10 Ways To Make A Small Room Look Bigger


Of all the interior design challenges, this is the one most people face when it comes to making a room look and feel spacious. There are certain features you need to consider to bring a spacious feel to a small room. You can try the obvious things like bringing in natural light, choosing neutral tones and strategically placing furniture, but its how you make these elements work together that will really give the effect you want. Read on if you want to find out 10 features you need to consider to make a small room look bigger.

1.       Walls

It is a well-known fact that pale shades make a room look bigger and brighter. This is because lighter coloured walls are reflective and maximise the effects of natural light in the room. When choosing your wall colours, ensure you have a low contrast between different surfaces. If the floor and wall colours are similar tones, the area will feel harmonious and balanced.

Styling Tip:  Painting skirtings and door trims in a slightly lighter shade than the walls will make the surfaces visually recede and capitalise on the open feel you’ve created.

2.       Flooring

When you have different styles of flooring, it can make already small spaces feel even smaller. But when you have one consistent type of flooring, flowing from one room to another, it creates an uninterrupted flow, making it feel as if the rooms are part of one large space. If you have timber floors, try and go for wider boards. If you opt for tiles, choose a larger tile design as the fewer visible grout lines, the larger your floor will look.

Using a round rug is also a great option for smaller spaces as it creates a connection between the furniture pieces without adding another rectangular shape. If you do decide to go with a traditional rug, try choosing a smaller size that highlights the area between your furniture pieces.

Styling Tip:  It’s important that the rug doesn’t sit under the sofa as this will visually tighten the room.

3.       Windows

Windows obviously let in natural light but most of them need some covering at certain times of the day. Try to keep window treatments the same as the wall colour to give a seamless look and hang curtains high, letting them fall all the way to the floor, giving the illusion of height.

Styling Tip:  When hanging curtains, mount the track to the ceiling instead of the walls. Make sure the track reaches right across the room so the wall can become a waterfall of beautiful fabric.

4.       Doors

Internal doors and cupboard doors can sometimes eat into valuable space. So, eliminating a door altogether is a great option for making a room look bigger. If this isn’t an option for you, sliding doors can also work well to give function back to one square metre. Remember, every bit of space counts.

Styling Tip:  Barn doors are beautiful but best when they aren’t in a contrasting material – this will break up the line of vision.

5.       Lighting

Yes, daylight is one of the most effective and easiest ways to create the feel of more space, but what about when it’s dark? When the sun sets and it’s now dark inside your home, it’s all about getting the style and visual impact of the lighting correct. By selecting slender floor lamps with the base and shade in the same finish, you can achieve this.

Styling Tip: Choose floor lamps with a small base so the impact on the floorplan isn’t overwhelming.

6.       Mirrors

Mirrors are great in giving the effect of sunlight bouncing around the room. For a more permanent solution, you could create a wall covered in mirrors. For a less permanent solution, having two or three oversized mirrors resting on the floor will work just as well.

Styling Tip:  Make sure you place a mirror perfectly to reflect a window or view to add bonus light.

7.       Shelving

Creating floor-to-ceiling shelving is a great way to not only give a sense of scale and height to a space by drawing the eye upwards, but also is a fantastic way to create extra storage. You can never have too much storage in a small space. Try and go for a combination of open and closed shelving. If it’s all open, the area will feel cluttered no matter how minimalised your belongings are. If its all closed, you will lose the personality of the room.

Styling Tip:  Consider shelving in unexpected places like the hallway, over a doorway or under a sofa arm.

8.       Art

The size of a piece of artwork plays an important factor in the overall scale and proportion of a room. However, if you have it positioned above you eyeline, it can create a sense of height and space. Consider a combination of sizes and materials and start with the largest piece and then add a cluster of three or four smaller frames pieces.

Styling Tip:  If your artwork is being placed above furniture, think about the connection to create a cohesive vignette.

9.       Furniture

You should try to eliminate overstuffed couches and clunky furniture pieces from a petite home. Instead, opt on picking a sofa on legs so it’s elevated about 10 cm off the ground. Low arms will stop it feeling imposing. When picking a table, try to pick a round table that is light and reflective in material, such as marble or glass. This shape takes up less space and has no hard corners to interrupt the flow of traffic. Avoid chairs with seats and legs that splay out, and consider the height of the backs to ensure they don’t clutter or block a view. Lastly, instead of using coffee tables, use a selection of side tables instead as this will continue to keep the flow open.

10.   Decorative Pieces

If your home is already lacking in space, showcasing your collection of knickknacks isn’t going to help this matter. Decide on a handful of belongings you love and pack the rest away. Remember, placement is important and the key is to create a balance between a visual feast of your favourite things and a calm area.

Styling Tip:  Instead of cramming all your favourite bits together, rotate them every few weeks so each one is a focus point.