How To Make A Small Room Look Bigger Guide

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Space is a problem that many of us face. We can go through tons and tons of pictures of luxurious and spacious homes but how many of us can really afford them? So what we need to learn is the illusive art of using whatever space we have and making it look big and beautiful. Today, I will walk you through a detailed guide on that illusive art of how to make a small room look bigger, together with plenty of tips, illustrations and pictures.

english living room

First, keep in mind, there are no tips or tricks to make any room PHYSICALLY big. We can only make them LOOK big. How to make a small room feel bigger is by deluding the brain. If you are wondering how we can do this – it is because though we live in a 3D world, our eyes take in things in a 2D way and the brain has to figure out the rest. So by using the right kind of colors and selecting the right architecture we can make a room FEEL bigger.

In this discussion I’m going to be using a small, horribly cluttered, multipurpose living room as an example to show you how to make a small room look big by applying space expanding tips, techniques and tricks. If you can apply this to a living room like this you can easily apply the same tips and principles to make any room look bigger. To start with I have taken a typical room – a href=””>middle class home living room. This picture in the left shows you how it looks before we apply our tips.

As you can see a typical living room is used to serve many purposes from being a TV room, to a play room, an entertainment room for guests and a recreation room for the family.

This room looks small for various reasons like, the bad choice of colors, too many activities put together, clutter and conflict of patterns and designs. It exhibits all the things that cause conflict in a room. The things that cause conflict in many rooms are as follows:

1. Colors – Painting a room in dark and strong colors make the room look smaller.

2. Furniture – Placing the furniture against the wall draws the eye towards the wall making it look smaller.

3. Multiple Patterns and Colors – The cushions on the sofa contain multiple pattern and colors. The design on the wall all adds up to making the room look smaller. simple roof texture

4. Texture – The ceiling in the room has texture. Always remember that texture brings the ceiling downwards. in addition to this a light shade is used which brings the ceiling even downwards making the room feel stuffed and small.

5. Multiple activities – As you can see in the above picture many activities are lined together, the MP3 player, telephone, fax machine and TV. So when a person is watching TV, another person will want to send a fax and another would want to listen to music and it would be impossible to engage in all these activities together.

The points given above are common mistakes we make, so I will tell you how you could redesign your room to make space in a small room.

How Color Helps In Making A Room Look Big

Light and pale colors reflect light and thus make a small room look bigger. The picture above indicates that strong colors have been used in the living room making it look and feel small. If you paint a room completely white (the wall, roof and ceiling) it looks very big since the eye finds it hard to locate the corners in a  white box making the boundaries of the room completely disappear.

But not many of us would like to live in a complete white box so I will tell you how to make a small room feel bigger by making the right color choices. You need to choose light pale colors to make your room feel big. The colors or designs used on the walls, floors and ceiling have an effect on the type of illusion created and thus the way we feel about the room. These are practical tips you could use to create the right illusion in your room:

1. Horizontal lines, strips, pictures like the one in the living room increases the feeling of width in a room but decreases the height.

horizontal room height

2. Vertical lines draw the eye upwards increasing the feeling of height in the room

vertical line wallpaper

3. Strong colors on the side or longer walls in the room makes the room look narrow creating a corridor effect

side wall of room

4. Strong color on the short wall or corner wall of the room reduces the depth of the room but increases the feeling of width in the room.

make room smaller

5. Using strong or dark colors on the ceiling or the floor decreases the depth of the room. Thereby making it look smaller.

floor and ceiling colour

How To Use Flooring For Increasing The Space In A Room

Now we will see how to use flooring in the room in making a small room look bigger.Most of us use soft furnishing like rugs and carpets for the entire floor, these absorb light and sound. Since these type of soft furnishing are made of particles that suck light in they make a room feel smaller. So the tip to make the floor space look big is to use items that are hard and shiny on the floor. E.g. Timber, granite, tiles, marbles or anything that reflects light making a room feel bigger.

If you plan to use timber for the floor you need to know that diagonal lines increase the feel of width of floor while vertical lines increase the length and depth of a room. These flooring tips show you how to make a small room look bigger.

flooring reflect light

Skirting or extending the floor to the wall increases the feeling of space in a room by increase the height of the wall and floor.

wooden floor borders

You can use soft furnishing as an eye magnet, this means that you place a small attractive rug or carpet in the middle of the floor, ensure that you do not cover the whole place just a small area, and this draws the eye towards the furnishing and makes you forget the boundaries of the room.

space increasing designs

How Windows Help In Increasing Room Space

Glass is a wonderful element that improves the space in a room. Glass or windows allow light in making a room feel big. More light means more space. Using the right type of lighting is one of the primary principles in making a small room look bigger.  Windows also establish contact with the surroundings, this stretches and expands the room. A framed window draws the eye towards it so it is important to ensure that the window displays a good view.

So let me tell you how to do it effectively, it is compulsory to have more than one window in the room, this instantly increases the feel of space. Then you can place an eye catching object outside or place your window to display a beautiful garden with good lighting. This draws the eye out extending the view thus making a room feel bigger.Always make sure you keep your windows clear and use the right type of window treatment. Look at the image below:

window view designing

How Mirrors Help To Improve The Feeling Of Space In A Room

Now let me show you how to make space  in a small room by using  an important element – the mirror. Mirrors reflect light thus making it a perfect object to improve space in a room. To make a room feel more spacious place it towards the corner of a room so that a mirror reflects the whole room making it feel bigger. Mirrors can practically double the illusion of space.

mirror increase interior space

How To Place Furniture To Increase The Feeling Of Space In A Room

We tend to place furniture with its back on the wall. This is wrong and completely decreases feeling of space in a room. So how to make room look bigger by placing the right furniture? You need to  place furniture by moving it away from the wall. If you are unable to move it much at least keep a  few inches of space. This is because more floor space is shown and its stops a person from continuously looking at the comers of the wall.

Sofas are important but maybe you could place just one sofa and choose other seating with storage facility, this is a big added advantage. I would like to point out that according to psychologists no 3 people prefer to sit in a three-seater sofa and even if they do they feel packed, thus decreasing the feeling of space in a room. So it is no use cluttering your room with 3-seater sofas.

When placing furniture ensure that you keep sufficient space between the furniture. The standard body space required is about 3 meters but this can differ according to the culture you live.

increased space furniture placement

How to make space in a small room? Effective Storage. Do not scatter the toys and other items on the ground of the room.  Or stack it up in the corner of the room. Like shown in the typical living room above. Make sure you select furniture like ottoman stools with dual purpose which serve as a seating and storage. You can use some kinds of toy storage boxes too. Storage furniture is of utmost importance to increase the space in a room. Do not clutter your room. De-clutter is important to make a room look and feel spacious.

Storage furniture pictures

How To Create A Focus Point To Increase The Feeling Of Space

Another important element in making a small room look bigger is to use a focus point. A focus point, in other words an eye magnet is an eye catching object that draws the eye towards it. It can be a a blog of paint in the middle of a plain wall, an attractive painting or eye catching picture in the middle of a light colored wall. What a focus point does is that it draws the eye towards it making you forget the boundaries of the room thus increasing the feel of space.

room focus point

Selecting The Right Texture For The Ceiling

Many of us make like to decorate our ceiling with different kinds of texture or use huge chandeliers or shade just remember that if you place shades as shown in the picture below it will bring the ceiling down making the room feel smaller. Also decorative texture on the ceiling brings it down making the room feel smaller. Look at this:

ceiling texture designs

So make sure you select a smooth texture for the ceiling like this, to make your room feel bigger.

So now lets look at how the tips given above helped to change the typical living room to a spacious one, look at this:

declutter room designs

beautiful house arrangements

So now the room looks beautiful, peaceful and tranquility is all over the room. All pictures taken from So let me know if the tips I shared were useful and helpful to you. Redo your home to make it look spacious!!!

12 thoughts on “How To Make A Small Room Look Bigger Guide”

  1. This is wonderful! I feel doomed to forever live in small homes and things get sooo crowded. You’ve got some great tips here to open things up, thank you so much!

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