8 Secrets On How To Make A Small Room Look Bigger

From using light paint colors and large lamps to skipping out on curtains, we have secret tips on how to make a small room look bigger and more stylish.

If you find yourself in a home or building that only offers you small rooms (like dorms or smaller apartments), there are several ways to make the space look deeper and wider.

Perhaps you have an extra room in your home that you were thinking about making into a walk-in closet. A small space like this could also make a very inviting guest room, if you make sure to use all the right colors and elements.

Here are eight simple tips and tricks on how to make a small room look bigger and more stylish, just like the ones from the magazines.

1. Skip the curtains

Simple white bedroom
Simple white bedroom

You can hang curtains in the room, but if you do, make sure to try and open them daily. Allowing natural light in will make your room look bigger as this eliminates dark corners while connecting the room to the outdoors. The combination creates a feeling of more space.

If you do decide to hang curtains, it is better for them to hang high and wide. So, even if your window is a small one, make sure to hang curtains from very high up and allow them to fall, because this will draw the eye up and over.

In terms of colors and textures, try to find curtains that are the same color as your walls, or buy them in a sheer material. Both will create the illusion of a bigger space.

2. Mirror, mirror on the wall


Placing a large mirror in the room creates a focal point. This helps your room to look bigger because it can reflect both the artificial and natural light (that you’re allowing in by opening the curtains, of course) in order to make the space seem brighter and wider.

Mirrors come in all kinds of styles and a variety of price tags. Some great places to find antique or unique mirrors include local thrift or consignment shops.

If you’re trying to go for a more homey, eclectic or unique look in particular, thrift stores can be a great option for finding mirrors that you would otherwise not be able to find in popular home stores.

Other stores that carry large, beautiful mirrors include those such as Lowe’s, Target, and West Elm.

3. Keep an eye on clutter


Clutter can easily stack up for all of us. However, when trying to make a small room appear larger, managing clutter is key. Using storage bins and drawers can help with clutter management and organization.

Similarly, jewelry hangers and boxes can prevent earrings and necklaces from piling up on armoires and other tabletops and shelves in the room.

Great DIY storage ideas include pour ottomans (which open and double as a space for shoes or other personal items), storing items in decorative boxes underneath your bed or using shower hooks to hang more clothing in a closet (if your room includes one, like in a dorm).

One way to declutter a space, which has spread exponentially in terms of popularity, is Marie Kondo’s process.

This is thoroughly discussed in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Kondo, a Japanese cleaning consultant, uses the KonMari Method in which you ask yourself if each item in your space “sparks joy”. The concept is simple: if the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, toss it.

4. Paint with light and neutral colors

Light colors
Light colors

Using lighter colors allows more light to be reflected, thus giving the illusion that a space is larger than it is. Beautiful pale blues and mint shades can offer a very relaxing environment, and, if you’re looking to paint a nursery or girl’s room, a light pink or eggshell color will look very nice. Continue the trend by investing in light colored flooring as it will also help to elongate the space.

5. Paint the ceiling


Opting either to paint or wallpaper the ceiling will help to draw the eye upward, giving the illusion of a larger space. Beautiful fleur-de-lis wallpaper or a floral wallpaper can help to make a space unique and seem larger and more airy.

It can also be a pop of color for spaces that otherwise use muted colors like light grey, ivory or pastels. Wallpaper the ceiling with a night sky type of design for a magical, whimsical feel or stick to more colorful and vivid designs for something more eclectic.

6. Use the cantaloupe rule


Instead of buying many smaller pieces of décor for a home, which makes it seem crowded, opt for larger pieces. According to Sabrina Soto, a home style expert from Target, “Decorative accents smaller than a cantaloupe crowd a room”.

Try purchasing elements like large colorful vases or lamps, large framed wall art or other pieces of décor that really take up some space. A few larger items will make a room look like there is much more “breathing room” and negative space, instead of crowding it with many smaller accents, which can make a room look suffocated.

7. Incorporate stripes into the design


Just as wearing clothing with vertical stripes can make you look taller, using vertical stripes in your home can give rooms the appearance of being much higher and wider and, therefore, more spacious. Think about purchasing a rug, curtain, tapestry or framed wall art that incorporates stripes in order to give your room a look of length.

It can be a really smart design move as well: if you have a very minimal design, the black will really give the room a pop. If you go for a black and white look with your furniture, think about getting a striped rug that uses colors like red and white or yellow and white to contrast from the room’s other accents.

8. Use more glass and Lucite


Using furniture and other decorative accents that are made of glass or lucite helps to give the effect of a larger space. This is because they don’t take up too much “visual” space, and are also really stylish.

They are very modern and, because you can see through them, they contribute to a room having more “negative space” unlike wood or plastic furniture, which can seem like it’s cluttering an area. Glass and lucite also have the added benefit of being able to match any color scheme.

Have fun with your design!

Smaller spaces can be very cozy, and, with the right decor, can seem a little bigger and less suffocating. The most important thing to remember is to have fun with your design. Play with different textures and colors, and create a room that reflects your beautiful, unique self!

About the author

Aisha Moktadier

Aisha Moktadier is a writer and proud graduate of the University of Miami. She is currently a staff writer for Vix and the creator of Soul Terrarium, a women's lifestyle blog. She is also a coffee fiend, avid book reader, and adventure-seeker.

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