How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

Bright room with grey leather sofa and coffee table el dorado furniture

When it comes to square footage, is bigger always better? Most homeowners – and renters – certainly think so. Sure, a small home can have its appeal, being cozy and charming. But given a choice, most people would still choose a spacious, roomy home.

Unless you plan on moving, though, you won’t be able to make your home suddenly bigger. But, you can make it feel larger! 

If you want to find out how to make your room look bigger, you’ve come to the right place. Our interior design tips will make your home feel open, airy, and spacious – regardless of its size!

Choose the Right Paint Colors

Dark colors close in a room and make it feel tiny. But lighter colors will make your rooms seem much bigger than they actually are. Stay away from stark whites, which can feel cold and sterile. Cream or off-white have been staples for years – so much so that they might feel outdated. Light grays are just as neutral and give a more sophisticated touch. Pastel blues are always a good choice, too, giving a tranquil and relaxed feel to any home. 

Changing colors from room to room chops up your home visually, making each room look and feel smaller. Instead, try using the same paint colors in adjacent rooms to make the rooms flow into one another and make the space feel larger. 

Opt for Smaller Pieces

Large pieces of furniture can overwhelm small spaces, making them feel cramped and stuffed. If your furniture pieces have to be placed so that they are touching to fit in a room, they are too big. Likewise, if a piece of furniture crosses the boundaries into an adjoining room (say, a dining table that spills into the living room), it should be smaller. 

If you have larger pieces that you absolutely love and don’t want to get rid of, make them the focal point. For example, if you have an oversized couch, don’t add a bulky loveseat and large armchair. Instead, add smaller pieces such as ottomans, accent chairs, or small (or even no!) end tables. 

Brown dining room table with wooden bench and wooden chairs.
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Get Rid of Visual Clutter

Messy, chaotic rooms can feel small and closed in. Organize your home and clear counters, dining tables, desks, and other flat surfaces of unnecessary clutter and endless nick-knacks. Instead, use one large decor piece to draw the eye to a focal point. 

Utilize hidden storage to place extra items out of sight. A storage chest that acts as a coffee table can hold board games, throw blankets, books, and more. If you use decorative boxes or baskets, try to find ones with lids so they close neatly. 

Grey fabric living room sofa with spacious coffee retractable table top.
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Let in the Light

Dark rooms feel smaller and more cramped. By contrast, the fresh, open feel of natural light can do wonders when it comes to making a small room feel larger. Instead of hanging dark, heavy drapes, keep things open and breezy with sheer panels in gauze or linen. If you need thicker curtains for privacy, stick with lighter colors and open them wide during the day.

Another window trick is to hang the curtain rods higher than the windows, creating the illusion of taller windows. This will make your room seem bigger than it actually is.

Yellow accent chair in a room with a large coffee table and a small side table and beach views.
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Add Mirrors

Mirrors are ideal for creating the illusion of more space than you actually have. Whenever possible, hang mirrors across from windows so they can reflect the light through the room, making it feel large. Anywhere you hang them, though, they will instantly open that room. 

Want a more stylish option than mirrors on the wall? Try an oversized mirror leaning against the wall for the same effect, in an unexpected way.

Mirrors and two light lamps, on top of a console. Jaguar decor item.
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Show off Your Legs

The furniture legs, that is! Exposed legs on furniture allows for light to flow underneath them and through your space, fooling the eye into seeing the room as larger than it is. Choose sofas, armchairs, and even beds with exposed legs whenever possible for that open feeling. 

Wooden dining table with console table. El Dorado Furniture
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Keep the Path Clear

An easy way to make a small room look bigger is to clear furniture and any large decor items from room entryways. This will give you an unobstructed view across the room, which instantly makes rooms feel bigger than they are.   

One quick trick is to highlight the longest line in the room: the diagonal line. If the doorway is located towards the corner of a room – and they usually are – place something eye-catching or in a bold color in the opposite corner. This will immediately draw the eye across the longest part of the room. 

Grey and blue cabinet with artwork and an accent chair in a home.
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Add Vertical Lines

If you’ve done everything you can to make a small room look like it has more square footage with no luck, don’t give up! There’s still one more option for you to try: making the room appear taller. This can be accomplished several ways. 

  • Hang a bold, interesting light fixture, to draw the eye upwards. 
  • Choose furniture pieces that are lower to the ground, so that there is more white space along the height of the room. 
  • Opt for decor elements that emphasize vertical lines, such as tall shelves or wainscoting. 

Whether you have a small house or just one small room, you can create the illusion of more space with these design tips. Rearrange your furniture and decor, and you’ll soon have the spacious effect you desire!

Large living room with blue accent colors and blue accent chairs. Wall art and coffee table shown in the room.
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