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7 Easy Ways to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

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Does your room feel like a tiny box that gets smaller every day? In this article, I will show How to make a small room look bigger in 7 easy ways!
a small room and illustrations

Does your room feel like a tiny box that gets smaller every day? Do you dream of having more space to breathe and relax in your home? You are not alone. Many homeowners struggle with the same thing!

Luckily, you don’t need to knock down walls to transform your small room into a spacious and inviting one. All you need is creativity, planning, and the correct design elements.

In this article, I will show you how to make a small room look bigger in 7 easy ways. These ideas will work for any room in your house, whether it’s your living room, bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom.

Ready to get started?

How to make a small room look bigger?

The core key to make your small room look bigger is to reflect more light inside it. Light creates an illusion of space, so the more light your room reflects, the bigger it will appear.

There are several tricks you can use to reflect more light, such as:

  • Using a light color scheme
  • Placing a big mirror
  • Picking furniture that is not bulky or dark. 

It is also crucial to save space by decluttering your room or using vertical storage

In the following sections, I will explain each trick in more detail and show you how to apply them to your room.

01 Colors for Small Rooms

A light color scheme is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make your small room look bigger. 

Light colors reflect more light than dark colors, which makes them an ideal choice. — Remember: The more light you have in your room, the more spacious it will feel

That’s why if you have a small room, you should avoid using dark colors, as they absorb light, making your space feel smaller.

💡 Personal Insight: A light color scheme does not mean it won’t include any dark colors. It means you use light colors for most of your space, such as ceilings, floors, and walls. You should use dark colors as accents to create some contrast and depth. Like pillows and accessories, accents are small elements to spice up your space.

Want to learn more about creating a color scheme? Check out this article:
The 60-30-10 + S Color Scheme Rule

Examples of Light Paint Colors for Small Rooms

Examples of light colors
White, Cream, and Light green
  • White: White is the classic choice for creating a spacious room. It creates a clean and minimalist look that brightens up any space. Personal Insight: White can also be dull if you use too much of it. Add some colorful or dark accents to make your room more interesting.
  • Light Neutrals: Light neutral colors can give your room more warmth than white. For example, the cream is cozy and soft, making your space feel inviting and comfortable. Personal Insight: Cream combines wood tones, natural materials, and earthy colors well.
  • Soft Pastels: Soft pastel colors can add more character to your room. For example, light blue or pale green can make your room more serene or lively.

Paint your walls strategically. 

Choosing light colors is not enough; you must also understand your space to know where to apply them. Here are some tips on how to paint your walls with a specific goal in mind:

Want to make your small room look bigger?

Paint all your walls in a light color scheme. This will create an illusion of spaciousness and brightness.

white walls illustration to show how to make a small room look bigger
All walls are light

Want to add some interest?

Paint one wall darker than the rest. This will make a focal point in your room that will draw attention away from the size of the space. Personal Insight: You can also use this technique to highlight a feature wall or a fireplace.

Feature wall Illustration
Feature wall

Have a low ceiling?

Paint it a lighter color than the walls. This will make the ceiling appear higher. 

low ceiling illustration
Make your ceiling appear higher

You can learn more about how to paint your walls strategically from this article:

How Colors Change the Perception of Interior Spaces

02 Small Room Furniture

The furniture you choose and how you place it also affect how big or small your room looks. To make the most of your space, follow these tips: 

Select Multi Use Furniture for Small Spaces

Multi functional furniture examples: Storage ottoman, sofa bed, and nested tables.

Pick furniture that can serve more than one purpose, which will save you space and money. Some examples of multi-functional furniture are:

  • Sofa beds: Ideal for small rooms, as they can switch from a sofa to a bed in seconds. They also offer extra seating and sleeping space for guests or yourself.
  • Storage ottomans: Another clever option for small rooms, as they can act as a seat, a footrest, or a storage unit. They also offer extra storage space for your stuff, which keeps your room neat and organized.
  • Nesting tables: Nesting tables can fit inside each other, which saves space. They also provide extra surface space for your drinks, snacks, or books when you need them.

Embrace Transparency

Go for furniture that lets more light pass through, like furniture with visible legs or glass surfaces. This will help you create a sense of openness by allowing the eye to see through them, giving the illusion of more space.

Arrange Your Furniture Wisely

To maximize your space even more, consider how you arrange your furniture. Here are some tips on how to place your furniture to make a small room look bigger:

  • Leave some space between the furniture and the walls: This allows more light to circulate in your room, which makes it feel larger.
  • Avoid blocking windows or doors: This prevents natural light from entering your room, which makes it darker and smaller.
  • Clear Pathways: Arrange your furniture to allow easy movement around the room. Clear paths create a sense of space and make the room feel bigger.

03 Mirrors in Small Rooms

mirror in a room

Mirrors are a simple but effective way to make a small room look bigger. They reflect light and space, creating an illusion of a larger room. Yet, you need to do two things to achieve the illusion of space with mirrors:

  • Pick the correct type of mirror.
  • Place the mirrors in the right place.

Let me explain how.

How to Place Mirrors in a small room

There are 4 places you can put your mirrors to create a larger space:

  • Place a large mirror facing a window: This will reflect natural light into your room, making it brighter and more spacious. As an interior designer, this is my favorite way to use mirrors to achieve more spacious space.
  • Place a mirror behind a piece of furniture: This will create a sense of depth in your room by making your furniture appear farther away from the wall.
  • Place a mirror on the wall opposite the door: This will expand your space by making it appear longer than it is. It will also make your room more inviting and welcoming by reflecting the entrance.
  • Place a mirror on the ceiling: This will create a sense of height in your room by making it appear taller than it is.

Types of Mirror To Use in a small space

  • Big wall mirrors: Wall mirrors are mirrors that hang on the wall or lean against it. They are ideal for small rooms, as they reflect more light into your space, making it look larger. Personal Insight: To achieve the best results, combine this mirror type with placement no. 1.
  • Full-length mirrors: Mirrors that cover the entire height of a wall or a door. They are perfect for creating a dramatic effect that makes the room feel taller. They also allow you to see yourself from head to toe, which adds convenience to your daily routine.

💡 Personal Insight: Put only a few mirrors in one room, or It might feel like a funhouse, and that’s not the goal.

04 Minimal Space

Opt for Minimal Style A simple trick to make a small room look bigger is to adopt a minimal interior style. Minimal style is creating a functional, clutter-free space with only the essentials. This way, you can have more room to breathe and move around.

💡 Personal Insight: Minimal style can be boring for some people. You can spice it up by mixing it with another style that adds some personality, such as the Scandinavian style.

05 Vertical Space

Your vertical space is the space that goes from the floor to the ceiling in your room. It is often overlooked or underutilized, but it can significantly affect how spacious your room feels. Here are some ways you can optimize your vertical space:

Best Wallpaper Patterns for a Small Room

If you want to use wallpaper on your walls, choose the ones that draw your attention upward, like stripes. Stripes can create an illusion of height or width in your room, depending on the direction of the lines. 

Go Vertical with Small Room Storage

One of my favorite ways as an interior designer to optimize vertical space is to go up with storage.

Going up with storage means using the unused space above or below eye level. It also provides extra storage space for your belongings, which helps free up your space.

Another way to optimize your vertical space is to add plants. They will make your room more beautiful and lively.

06 Perspective

You can create a visual illusion of a larger space in your room by playing with perspective. Perspective is how your eyes perceive objects’ size, shape, and distance in a scene. You can play with the perspective of flooring to create an illusion of a larger space. Here’s how:

  • Use large tiles or planks. The bigger the tiles or planks, the fewer the seams that break up the floor space. This gives your room a more expansive feel, as fewer lines interrupt the flow of the floor. For example, you can use tiles 12 inches by 12 inches or planks 6 inches by 36 inches.
  • Avoid busy patterns! Choose simple patterns instead to keep the visual clutter to a minimum.
  • Keep continuity by using the same flooring from one room to another without sudden changes. This will make your eyes perceive the combined space as larger, as no abrupt stop signals the end of one room and the beginning of another.
  • Lay your flooring diagonally. This creates an optical illusion, as your brain perceives the longest distance between two points as a diagonal line. When you lay the flooring diagonally, the room’s longest perceived length becomes diagonally across the room. This tricks your brain into thinking the room has more depth and width. 

07 Lighting for a Small Room

Lighting is the use of natural or artificial sources of light to illuminate or decorate a space.

We discussed above how optimizing natural lighting can make your room bigger. But to maximize your space, you also need to optimize artificial lighting!

Artificial light is the light that comes from lamps, candles, or other sources. Artificial light can enhance the mood of your room. It can also make a small room look bigger. Here is how:

Use Light Sources that provide proper lighting for your space without taking up much space. For example, use ceiling recessed lights. Recessed lights are lights embedded into the ceiling. 

That’s it! These are the 7 easy ways how to make a small room look bigger. By following these tips, you can transform your small room into a spacious and inviting one you will love spending time in. Happy decorating! 🎉

Picture of Bahaa Aydi

Bahaa Aydi

I'm Bahaa, a Licensed architect specialized in Interior design & Archviz • Sharing my design days with you to help you design better space