how to make a small room look bigger

Most of us have struggled with trying to make the most of a tight space at one point or another. Luckily, there are many options to remedy this predicament! So no need to be taking a sledgehammer to a wall any time soon. In this post, I cover several effective ways to add visual square footage to your home all while using simple tricks of the eye that will convince your brain that there is more space. These tips are practical ways how to make a small room look bigger. So let’s get to it!

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16 Ways On How To Make A Small Room Look Bigger

1. Hang Curtains High

You will see me preach this throughout my blog. This is because hanging your curtains high can give your room an instant facelift! It’s a simple and very effective adjustment.

At first glance, your instinct Is to frame the window with curtains, however, doing this gives the appearance of lower ceilings.

The vertical lineage of the curtains elongates the wall making it appear taller and more grandiose.

I can not talk about curtains without mentioning my FAVORITE Amazon find! I love love love these curtains by Best Home Fashion, especially the PRICE. I purchased them in the “Cloud Grey” color. *Chef’s kiss*

I get compliments on them all the time! Plus, the PRICE is unbeatable for the quality. I got mine in the Light Grey 108 inches. Here they are below.

how to make a small room look bigger
how to make a small room look bigger

2. Have Large Tiles or Wide Wooden Flooring

If you are looking to replace your flooring, make sure to opt for a wide wood plank or large tiles. This will give the illusion of more spacious square footage rather than smaller, more clustered flooring. Remember, smaller shrinks; larger expands. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but the results speak for themselves.

3. Declutter Your Walls

Too much clutter on the walls can weigh down a small room quickly. I’m always an advocate for people to decorate their homes as they see fit, however, if you want to make a room on the smaller side to appear larger, you have to be mindful of what is on your walls.

Simplify your walls by not only decluttering but also organizing what you hang. Hanging photos or art randomly around a room creates a bit of chaos. Decluttering your walls will also save you the hassle of fixing a bunch of random holes if you move.

You want to anchor your art above large furniture pieces such as a couch, bed, or fireplace mantels.

These are easy go-to places to reference when trying to decide where to hang art. Organization and intentional placement are key to enlarging your small room. The smaller the room, the quicker it can get overwhelmed by clutter.

If having a single piece of artwork above your couch appears too minimalistic for your liking, frame the art with a decorative wall sconce on each side.

In addition to things that can clutter wall space, unruly wires such as TV cords hanging down can do the same!

If you are unable to have the electrical cords installed behind your wall, you can purchase cord concealers to help minimize the chaotic distraction of black cords hanging about.

Check out this helpful post on how to decorate a large wall for ideas and inspiration that will elevate your space.

4. Hang Large Art Work

how to make a small room look bigger
how to make a small room look bigger
how to make a small room look bigger

In addition to decluttering your walls, implementing large artwork pieces helps enlarge the appearance of your space.

Even though the picture on the left has frames that are well organized and not randomly scattered, all the breaks in between all of those frames don’t do much for the room.

Also, the smaller pictures subconsciously funnel your vision to a more narrow focal point. A large painting, however, helps broaden and open up the space visually.

5. Buy A Large Area Rug

I love a good large area rug. They seem to be the cure to a lot of décor conundrums. The rug helps anchor the room and visually stretches out the floor plan to seem larger than it is.

You always want to make sure that you purchase the right size because getting a rug that is too small will actually shrink your room. Large area rugs help expand the appearance of your floor plan.

Larger rugs can also help spaces that have an open layout such as studio apartments. They do this by organizing the space since they act as an anchor.

You can have one under your dining table set and one for the living room. This will give the look of separate but organized spaces so it doesn’t look like one empty room with random furniture pieces.

6. Paint Your Walls A Light Color

how to make a small room look bigger
how to make a small room look bigger

A dark room will easily envelop and enclose a small space. However, I’m not saying you are limited to a boring white wall! There are plenty of paint colors that you can choose from that have a different hue to them.

As you can see the room on the right is so much more open, inviting, lifted, and refreshed. The light coming through the windows, the mixtures of greys and cream, as well as the smaller touches of dark brown help accomplish this.

You do not need to have everything in one color to brighten up a room. I would just make sure the larger pieces of furniture and décor are lighter and then add touches of dark for added visual interest and contrast.

7. Use Large Printed Patterns

A lot of times people think to enlarge a room, we can’t incorporate patterns. False! It’s all in how you use patterns in a small space that can make or break the square footage usage.

Patterns are necessary to help break up the monotony in a room and add a dynamic factor as well as interest to a space.

Utilizing patterns that are large and simple can help your space appear larger. Smaller prints that are very busy or ornate distract the eye. Simplicity helps elongate the visual appearance of a room.

You can implement large patterned designs with rugs, curtains, pillows, and accent furniture that is upholstered such as chairs and ottomans.

8. Use A Clear Coffee Table

If you use a coffee table, choosing one that is glass will help your small room not feel as full. The glass gives the illusion of available floor space while still providing functionality. Just be mindful of its camo!

This may not be the best choice if you have small children who will leave constant fingerprints on the glass or have a few head bumps, but it is an option.

Another coffee table alternative for small rooms that you can do if the glass is not a practical option is an ottoman.

Some ottomans eliminate the sharpness of a coffee table and also are multifunctional to act as a coffee table as well! And they typically don’t take up as much space.

9. Furniture With Legs

When shopping around for new furniture pieces, opt for one that sits off the ground with legs.

This design adds more visual floor space to a room making it appear larger.

When the furniture sits on the floor, it is consuming up that floor space, cutting off the flow, and is typically bulkier.

10. Remove Closet Doors

This option is design-specific. You do not want to just be removing a closet door in the house. But if your closet’s design is more wide than deep, it could work!

You are expanding the visual appeal of the room further by removing the closet door and adding shelves to the wall in place of the hanger bars.

You can then add a few books and/or decorative objects to enhance your space. This option is particularly great for double-door closets.

11. Use White Light Bulbs Instead Of Warm

While warm lighting can create a cozy feeling, it can also close an already small space as well as age it. For an instant lift to your space, simply change out your bulbs from warm light to white light. It will freshen up the look of your room and it won’t appear as closed in and dingy.

12. Lay Wooden Floors Vertically

how to make a small room look bigger

If you are having trouble with deciding which way to lay your new wood flooring, laying it vertically towards the longest direction of the room is a great option! Placing the wood panels, as pictured above, helps give direction and deepens the length of the room.

This in turn gives a visual effect of a larger room. In addition to vertically placed flooring, lighter wood also helps make a small room appear larger. While rich dark wood flooring is beautiful and timeless, it can close in a small space.

13. Remove Any Furniture That Is Not Regularly Used

When you have a small room, it’s best to keep your furniture intentional. If you have large bulky furniture taking up precious space and filling up corners, you may want to reconsider its placement especially if it is not used regularly.

14. Add An Accent Wall

how to make a small room look bigger

There are truly endless possibilities here that you can get creative with and make a room your own! Not only do accent walls add texture and interest, but they also help give the illusion of a larger room. Accent walls do this by breaking up space the same way an area rug does.

You can add a coat of dark paint as an accent wall since from the viewer’s perspective, the darker color will appear receding. This elongates the look of a room.

Now, I know I mentioned above that dark paint makes your room appear smaller, however, dark paint as an accent wall enlarges the room visually.

In addition, accent walls can be panels, wallpaper, stenciled designs, a mural, etc. This makes for an affordable way how to make a small room look bigger.

15. Have Consistent Flooring

how to make a small room look bigger
how to make a small room look bigger

Consistent flooring helps bring a good flow to a home. As you can see in the image on the right, there are a total of three different floorings. Lawd have mercy! Back in the early 2000’s breaking up the floor like this was trending.

To compartmentalize each space in an open floor plan was all the rage then.

However, breaking up space with different flooring takes away from the size of the square footage. Having the same flooring throughout helps open the room and give direction. It’s not as chaotic.

Plus, having the same flooring saves you from constantly having to switch up your cleaning methods!

16. Add Mirrors

Now this tip is an oldy but a goody! It’s hard to talk about enlarging a space without giving this one its due. Mirrors reflect so in turn this gives the illusion of more space in an area as the reflection acts as a continuation of the room.

However, It’s important to be mindful of what the mirror is reflecting. If you have too much clutter in the reflection, the illusion will backfire.

Popular rooms to utilize this trick of the eye are small bathrooms and dining rooms. To accomplish this you want to invest in a large mirror for the full benefit of the effect. It doesn’t need to be one big mirror.

You can have a few tall/vertical mirrors placed a couple of inches apart in your dining area. This approach is more visually appealing, and decorative, and accomplishes the enlargement effect.


I hope these 16 tips on how to make a small room look bigger have sparked a few ideas for you! What is one tip that you have found helpful for your space? Feel free to comment below!

– Olivia Jay

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