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How to Make Small Rooms Look Bigger

Create the illusion of space

If you’re working with a small room, how can you fit in all your stuff so that it doesn’t feel cramped? And on top of that, how can you still make it beautiful? 

Fortunately, there are a few design tricks you can use to create the illusion of a stunning, larger space:

  • Define spaces with rugs. Besides giving your room a finished and polished feel, area rugs give the illusion of more space.

  • Choose furniture with built-in storage features. With more places to hide clutter, you automatically have a whole lot more space.

A living room with area rug. Define spaces with rugs.

Design tricks for making a room look bigger

  • Use mirrors and other reflective surfaces. Mirrors, metallic décor and other reflective surfaces bounce light back into the room, giving it more depth.

  • Create multiple sources of light. Rather than relying on one overhead light, spread lamps throughout your room to draw attention to the entire space.

  • Decorate with fewer, larger furnishings. Less is more. It’s better to have a large sectional sofa than a loveseat with multiple chairs. Make sure the legs are exposed, as skirts can make sofas and beds look boxy.

A living room with couch and side chair. Decorate with fewer, larger furnishings.

More ideas to consider

  • Select lighter colors. Whites and soft neutrals can really brighten a room, making it feel open and airy. And by adding depth with contrasting colors, you can magnify the effect.

  • Install floor-to-ceiling drapery. By hanging drapery above the window and down to the floor, you can make your ceiling look higher and the space around it bigger. Light, airy fabrics work best.

Try to scale down as much as you can. The fewer accessories you have, the bigger it will feel. Not every surface or corner needs an accent. Let your space have room to breathe.

A dining room with white floor-to-ceiling drapery. Select lighter colors and install floor-to-ceiling drapery.

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