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How To Make A Room Look Bigger


We all love the idea of wide-open spaces, which is why most people like to spend as much time outdoors. However, our homes are our sanctuaries. Although we may all dream of having large open floor plans and larger rooms, not everyone can live in that style of house. This is a particular problem for those living in big cities in practically any country in the world. As a result, many people have had to compromise choosing convenience over space. Some people are lucky enough to own a home or apartment with ample space in the living areas but then have very cramped bedrooms or vice versa. While you may not be able to do much about the size of a room, we do have some tips on how to make a room look bigger.

Let There Be Light

One of the easiest ways to make any room look bigger is by adding as much light as possible. Regardless of the size of the room, if there is not enough light, the room will look smaller. The first place to start is obviously with the windows, and the last thing you want to do is cover the windows with thick, dark coloured curtains. Instead, opt for sheer curtains covering the windows to give you privacy while allowing sunlight into the room. This natural light is essential in making the room look bigger and makes the room more cheerful during the day, which is great for your well-being. Another benefit of allowing natural light into your home is that sunlight equals warmth so take advantage of those sunny days. 

You should look into adding more lighting to the room. There is usually a single light fitting in the middle of the ceiling in every room in most homes. This may light up the room, but the edges and corners miss out. Add more light with lamps, wall sconces or even hidden lights around the edges of the room.

Choose A Lighter Colour Palette

The right colour scheme in a room can create the illusion of extra space. The general rule of thumb is to choose lighter, brighter colours. White is the most obvious choice, but it can also be bland and a little boring if you overuse it. Of course, you can use any colour you like but choose that colour in lighter tones. Lighter colours reflect more light, making the room look more open and fresher. 

If you’re wondering what colours make a room look bigger, soft blues, lilacs, and other pastel colours are a great choice. Choose colours that work well with your furniture and decor but also your personality. 

The same concept of choosing the right colour palette for your walls applies to the floor coverings and, of course, your furniture. However, you don’t and shouldn’t overdo the colour scheme. For example, light beige walls may look nice, but the room will look dull if the furniture is the same. It’s a good idea to have a solid colour for your furniture and perhaps dress it up with contrasting cushions and throw rugs. Take this idea a step further and add a variety of pillows that include different patterns and textures to give the room depth and warmth.

Get Rid Of Clutter

A cluttered room not only looks messy. It also makes a room look cramped and tiny. Humans are visual by nature, and when we pile things along the edges of a room, it can actually make the room appear to close in around us. This can make even a large room look cramped, but if you have a smaller space, it not only makes the room look tiny, it’s also going to make it harder to move around the room, like trying to navigate an obstacle course. 

Clutter isn’t just bad for a room; it doesn’t help the person living with it either. A room full of clutter can make a person feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious and make it quite difficult to find things when we need them. The worst thing about clutter is that it tends to accumulate, and if you don’t try to keep it under control, it can very quickly become a hoarding problem. 

The best way to avoid a room becoming cluttered is to stop buying things you don’t necessarily need. Avoid the temptation of buying knick-knacks just because you like the look of them or you think you are getting a bargain. You can also avoid clutter by creating an efficient system for storage using boxes, baskets and other containers. If you have multiple people in the home, you can avoid clutter and the endless search for everyone’s items by colour coordinating belongings for each household member. Simply assign each person a colour and purchase storage containers in that colour for that person’s items.

Scale Your Furniture

large dining room

That dining table and chairs you’ve been eyeing for the last few months may look grandiose, but how well will it fit in your dining area? The same applies to that huge cushiony couch. Yes, it is super comfortable but will it look out of place in your living room? Avoid putting a large piece of furniture into a small space as it will dominate and make the room look cramped and tiny. If you have a small room but need lots of seating, a sectional corner lounge can be placed strategically in a corner where it won’t take up a lot of floor space. 

If you want to create a nice airy looking living room, incorporate lots of lighting and lighter colours but also look at the different styles of furniture that will work. For example, a sofa with legs gives the illusion of this piece almost floating, which will add to the room’s airiness. Also, choose a small tub chair as an accent piece to give the room an added element of fun by selecting a different textured fabric in a contrasting colour for maximum effect.

Create A Focal Point

a focal point in a bedroom

A focal point in a room is usually one of the first things you notice when you walk into a room. In some rooms, this can be a built-in feature such as a large window or a fireplace, but sometimes you need to add the focal point yourself, and this could be a piece of furniture, artwork or a stunning lamp. In most cases, if it is a furniture piece, as a large piece, this can become your focal point. For example, if you have a sofa that you want as your focal point, dress it up with several cushions in different colours and patterns. 

As you move from room to room, here are some ideas for a focal point for each different space. [i]

Living room – If the room already has an interesting aspect, such as a great window or built-in shelving, stick with these and dress them up. Otherwise, make your sofa the focal point and surround it with contrasting pieces. Just make sure they complement the piece without clashing.

Bedrooms – The bed is usually the focal point of this space, and you can make it look more interesting by choosing a fabulous bedspread or crisp cool linens. Take this further and perhaps choose a textured fabric bedhead or an interesting picture or decorative feature above the bed. 

Bathroom – Choose any aspect that stands out. This could be the bathtub, the shower or the vanity. Think of an old-style tub with claw feet, as this will be an eye-catching element.

The Magic Of Mirrors

an example of how to make a room look bigger with a mirror

Did you know you can use mirrors to make a room look bigger? Mirrors reflect light, and when the mirror is placed strategically in the room, the light can reflect all around the room.[ii] Mirrors also give the illusion of making the room look deeper as it reflects the room itself. Depending on the room’s size, you may also be wondering whether to use a framed or unframed mirror. While either will look great, a frame can make the reflection in the mirror look closed in. If the room is on the smaller side, choose a frameless mirror. However, if the room does have a little extra space, a framed mirror works just fine. In fact, you can even use several smaller framed mirrors in areas like the bathroom or above a bed for a charming effect. 

Quite often, the best spot for a mirror is near a window where it can catch the natural light. However, if this is not possible, placing a mirror over a bed, a fireplace, or another focal point can also make a smaller room look bigger. You can even include a set of two or more mirrors to add a little extra depth to a room. 

If you have limited wall space in a bedroom, but you have a built-in wardrobe, consider adding mirrored doors. Not only will this help you when you’re getting ready to head out, but a large mirror can also make even the smallest room look much bigger.

Keep It Simple

an example of a simple bedroom

The number one rule to make a room look bigger is to keep it simple. Less is more in tight spaces, and simple designs work better in small spaces. Think of a minimalistic interior design concept and keep your possessions, furniture, patterns and other elements to a minimum, so they are not invading every space in a room. Of course, you can always add a little of your personality to the room with accent walls or interesting elements such as cushions, vases or light fittings. 

Keeping it simple is particularly important when it comes to a narrow room. Apart from choosing the right furniture and the best placement for each piece, you should also know how to make a narrow room look wider with paint. The general rule of thumb is to paint the wall at the furthest point in a slightly darker colour and lighter colours on the side walls.

Make the most out of whatever space you have with a few simple ideas. Most importantly, by keeping smaller rooms free of clutter and flooding them with lots of light, you can create the illusion of space, even if you don’t have much of it. 




Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.


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