If your home, or rooms in your home are small then chances are you’ve been challenged to make them feel uncluttered, comfortable and cozy. The good news is that it’s really not that hard to make any space feel larger if you know the right tricks. Believe it or not, these tricks boil down to three simple categories; light, scale and movement.
As we move further into the beach cottage project, we’ve realized that while there is charm in our little house, there are also challenges when it comes to the much smaller spaces than we are used to with our home in PA. We want to make sure we design our cottage well so that it feels comfortable and cozy – our beach retreat – but we are learning that we have to make a real effort at each step to make sure we achieve our goal.
My hope is that my tricks below help you find ways to make your small spaces look bigger, feel more comfortable and cozy.
How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger
How to Make a Small room look larger by creating contrast with Light and Dark Colors
Believe it or not, you can do more than simply go all white in your small rooms. While mid range colors can make a small room feel more closed in, going super light or even super dark or both together can actually create the feeling of expansiveness. The contrast between light and dark can trick the eye and create depth making a space feel larger than it actually is.
How to make a small room look bigger by showing More Leg
Stuffed chairs, sofas, beds with skirts and other bulky furniture can feel large and boxy. To keep your room feeling larger, opt for furniture with exposed legs. Furniture that is more open and streamlined allows light and air to flower not just over but around it.
How to make a small room look bigger by creating Walkways
While it may be tempting to use every square inch of a small space to fit your necessary furniture and decor, if you are feeling like you are brushing into everything as you walk through the room, you may actually end up making the space feel more claustrophobic than larger. Instead, consider grouping furniture into one side or area of the room to create a clear pathway for traffic flow which will make the room feel more open.
How to make a small room look bigger by drawing the eye Vertically
Even if your room’s footprint is small, drawing the eye up can actually make it feel larger all around. Whether through architectural elements such as vertical panelling, furniture like a tall bookshelf or through decor like drapes hung from ceiling to floor; ceilings can instantly look higher than they actually are which creates the illusion of an overall larger space.
How to make a small room look bigger by choosing decor wisely
Scaling down the size of your furniture in a small room makes sense but when it comes to the decor you choose, it’s actually best to use a few larger scale items than many smaller pieces. Smaller pieces cna make a room feel cluttered which will make it look and feel smaller. Instead select a few surfaces throughout your space to create simple grouplings of no more than 3-5 items. Don’t feel the need to decorate every surface, instead allow your room to breathe and it will look and feel more open and larger.
How to make a small room look bigger by opting for Single Large Scale Art Pieces
When adding art to a small space, similar to decor on surfaces, opt for one large piece of art instead of hanging several smaller pieces throughout the room. If you strongly crave something like a gallery wall then keep it to just one wall in the room and then go larger on the other walls to keep the room from visually looking cluttered. Simple is better here, it’s ok to leave some walls empty to avoid overwhelming the space with too much going on.
How to make a small room look bigger by adding More Lighting
Nothing makes a room feel larger than light. Add lamps throughout your small space to light up darker corners to make a room feel more expansive, bright and airy. Place your lamps in vignettes with other decor (mentioned above) to keep them looking intentional.
Open windows to let in more natural light or opt for light, gauzy material for your drapes to let in more natural light if possible.
How to make a small room look bigger by using Mirrors
Reflect light from windows or from lamps by using mirrors. Not only do they make great wall art, they also help reflect light around a room and into darker corners which makes a room feel larger.
The other fun thing about mirrors is that they can actually look / feel like another window in a space when placed in the right locations. By reflecting the view in the room, they can create the illusion that the eye is seeing more space than is actually there.
How to make a small room look bigger by clearing out the clutter
Any room whether big or small can start feeling closed in and cramped when it becomes to look cluttered. This is especially true when you are short on space to begin with. To avoid clutter, plan regular “cleaning” sessions to get rid of or put away items that make your space feel cluttered.
How to make a small room look bigger by keeping things simple
If you follow one trick and one trick only to make your small room look bigger it should be to keep things simple. By keeping things simple I mean keeping the color palette and furniture to a minimum. Editing your space regularly should be your top priority. You need to be intentional about everything you bring into your small space.
If your design involves a wallpaper feature wall then keep everything else simple. Using a bold fabric on the sofa, then keep everything else simple. Keeping simple in mind with all your choices will be your best way of keeping your space feeling as large and open as possible.
While I know these aren’t the only tricks for making a small room look bigger, these are the ones I embrace because I know they work. Do you have any other tricks you use regularly for making your rooms look bigger?
Share any tips you have in the comments below.