If you’re looking for ways to make a small room look bigger, you’ve found the right post. This is a complete guide for you to review, pick, and choose to transform your small room into a much more open space using everything under the sun (not all at once though!)
When you spend some time to really consider your small space you can transform it into a cozy, zen-den retreat.
Unfortunately what ends up usually happening though, is that all your possessions are shoved into a small room making it feel like the walls are legit closing in. Claustrophobic, cramped, and straight-up stressful.
If you’re mindful about your choices and really put the work in (i.e. get choosy and don’t settle for clutter) creating an airy, relaxing space in your small room is achievable.
The truth is, creating an idyllic retreat in your small space is easier than you may think. It’s about fucking with your eyes and tricking them to believe that a space is much bigger than it is by utilizing movement, scale, and light.
Pick and choose some of the below ideas to really open up space in your home and specifically in your small room and create a nice airy room that feels much bigger than it actually is.
These small room ideas include using rugs, paint, and wall art to define spaces as well as window light and hanging lights to brighten it all up. There’s something for everyone’s taste and hopefully, you can get really solid ideas for small rooms that are affordable and, let’s face it, cozy and comfy AF.
Use Color to Open Up the Space
Alternating between bright colors and dark colors to give depth to the room and trick the eye.
When in Doubt, White it Out
There’s a reason landlords go with a classic white paint on walls – to make their properties seem bigger (also it’s a magic eraser and great equalizer of all the colors).
If you’re not sure what colors to go with just opt for an entirely white palet and you almost cannot go wrong.
Scale Your Furniture Appropriately
If the furniture you’ve bought touches up against the walls it’s too big. Bring things in from the walls by about an inch or so.
The exception to this is a big bed in a small bedroom.
Depending on how small the room is you want it to fill most of the space making it transform into a bit of a sleeping cave that’s super cozy and comfortable.
Opt for furniture that has exposed legs to give some vertical lift.
Opt for Low-Profile Furniture
Low couches, chairs, and beds can make the walls seem so much higher.
Declutter, and Minimize All the Papers And Other Crap
The only thing that’s going to get in the way of your small space look much bigger is…well, you.
Leaving clothes, papers, and random things laying on your counters, tables, and furniture is the fastest way for the walls to feel like they’re closing in on you.
If you’re living under a rock and haven’t heard of Marie Kondo yet, then…you know. Come out of the rock.
Check out her series on Netflix called “Tidying Up” or even better go straight ot the source and learn how to say goodbye to the clutter once and for all.
I find it helpful to have a few places to “store” things for me to go through later so that I don’t’ feel so overwhelmed to de-clutter but it looks pretty.
Use Mirrors on Dark Walls That Don’t Get a Lot of Light
Any mention of a small room and we’ve got to talk about using some mother fucking mirrors. It’s like the oldest “open up a room” trick in the book but even with this you need to be strategic.
Where you place the mirror, what it looks like, and how it’s hung can do a little or a LOT to open up a small space.
Use Mirrors to Reflect a View and Open the Space
Position the mirrors in your room so that they reflect a view making the space look like it has more than one window.
This is also a great way to increase the amount of natural light in the room.
Use Mirrors to Reflect Light
Oh speaking of lighting..use the mirrors to reflect both natural light and manufactured light. Light is a huge factor necessary to making your room seem bigger and making mirrors your bitch to fix it and improve the lighting is an easy and often inexpensive way of “opening up” the small room.
Buy Furniture With Exposed Legs and Use the Feng Shui Notion of Nothing “Under” furniture
The exposed legs make the furniture feel taller.
Keeping the space clear underneath makes it all brighten up. It’s just so much “bigger” feeling. You’ll be surprised.
Choose Statement Furniture That is Large and In Charge
It may feel counterintuitive to choose a large piece of furniture for your small room decor but defining a small bedroom or a living room with a large couch actually does wonders for the room.
Speaking of large scale furniture…
Choose Vertical Furniture over long Pieces
In small rooms, you’re going to want to angle everything to be vertical. A tall but short dresser is a better choice than a long wide one.
Use Curtains the Same Color as the Wall
Choose sheer colored drapes that are the same color as your wall to elongate and emphasize the space around the windows.
This little tip tricks the eye to make the room feel bigger by extending the color around the window.
Use Light Breezy and Airy Fabrics
Couches, cushions, curtains…none of them want to be drenched in a fleece in your small room.
Light cotton, linen, muslin, even some silk fabrics can make the room feel lighter, and as a result, really open up the space making it feel a lot better.
Choose Large Scale Wall Art
As above, when we choose smaller art it actually plays a trick on our room and makes the walls and the entire space feel smaller.
Choosing large scale art, or creating a large gallery wall with smaller pictures/frames fills the space in a way that makes it look enormous.
It’s a fun trick of the eye/brain and it also makes for a great excuse to go big with that canvas wall print you’ve been eyeing.
Pick and Choose Some Large Decorative Art Displays
Pillar candles, large vases with big flowers, big trays as centerpieces or on your couches, each of these adds a touch of SOMETHING to create an illusion of the space being bigger.
In theory, if your space can accommodate these large pieces then it MUST be bigger, right? Don’t overdo it though. Less is always more when it comes to decor especially in a small space.
Hang Floor to Ceiling Curtains
The vertical lines that are created with curtains that expand the entire length of the walls become an optical illusion of how tall the space is. This is especially effective with shorter ceilings in older homes.
But if you’re lucky to have taller ceilings get ready for the room to feel enormous (just from a few curtains!)
Use Floor to Ceiling Bookcases or Wall Shelves
This opens up your space by making the ceilings look higher and also offers an incredible amount of space.
For an added depth or length paint the bookshelves the same color as your walls, a neutral light color, or even a bright accent color (but make sure this accent color “wall” is the only one or else it will start to feel smaller again).
Alternatively…Ditch All the Rugs and All The Curtains
I think this really depends on your flooring and window/natural lighting.
Utilize Hidden Storage Options and Multipurpose Furniture
A coffee table that doubles as blanket storage? An end table that has drawers for remote controls or other electronic devices?
Be choosy AF when it comes to finding pieces to decorate your space and if they can only be used for one purpose then they’re not worth it (other than a couch and a bed).
Invest in Furniture That Can Be Rolled, Pushed, and Stored Away
When you have guests you can make more space for them, but it also clears space for you for your every day living.
Carts like these are great multipurpose carts that you can store in a closet when not in use but can be a cute industrial style end table, craft table, or even an extra table for storing cooking supplies in a pinch.
TK – target storage wheely cart.
Be Purposeful About the Empty Space
Don’t feel compelled to put something on every shelf, or every counter space because you have so few of them.
In a small space, the opposite design element works to your advantage.
Open it up more by leaving it empty and only displaying a few items strategically around the room.
Use Rugs to Define a Room
If you’re in a studio apartment or your small living room bleeds right into your small kitchen which heads right into your small bedroom, then defining each area with an appropriate rug makes everything feel like it’s much bigger (and defined spaces really open up the small room).
Alternatively…Ditch All the Rugs and Curtains
For me, seeing a room without rugs and curtains just feels a bit…naked. But when you have a small space these elements add a layer of texture that can feel heavy.
If your room has hardwood or tile floors experiment with not having any rugs or curtains at first and see how it feels.
Spread Out the Light
If you’re lucky enough to have a big window in your small room embrace it with some dramatic curtains, but at night the walls may actually feel as if they’re closing in.
Spread out the sources of light with multiple lamps placed around the room in strategic areas. Opt for X Light (soft or bright) to improve the lighting as well.
Buy Furniture the Same Color as Your Walls
Have you noticed this tip is in a few places yet?
Basically your goal is to set up a totally monochrome space with some massive accent pieces or pops of color. This makes your room feel much bigger than it is.
Picking a desk, counter, or even couch color that matches your wall tricks the eye into thinking the room is much bigger.
I’m all about playing tricks on my eyes. They always fall for that shit.
Embrace Simplicity and Get Minimalist
Learn how to edit the small space you’re living in. Which means saying no to another decorative picture frame, or throw pillow.
The more you have in the room the less space there will be. It’s just math.
Try to avoid collecting random knickknacks. If you do have them, make it purposeful by including them as an entire piece (so a gallery wall of small photo frames for example).
This same theory goes for art as well. Choose one or two walls to display pieces, rather than something on every wall.
When it comes to decorating a small space keep it simple AF. If you want a fancy wallpaper or a brightly colored wall consider making that gorgeous wallpaper pattern an accent wall or even just a trim.
Choose Furniture That Can Be Expanded or Shortened
Dining tables with drop leaves, stacking coffee tables, ottomans that fold out into a larger coffee table…These are your best friends in a small space.
In fact, whenever you buy a piece of furniture for a small room, try to make sure it has more than one function. The only exception for this is probably a couch but even this has the option of turning into a bed for a guest or even for your own regular depending on the kind of space you’re decorating.
Paint Your Ceiling in an Accent Color Or With Texture
Choose a bright airy color to paint your ceiling or add some texture. There’s also this fun mirror glaze style look for a ceiling that draws the eye vertically and makes those ceilings look so high!
Color Coordinate Your Accessories
Decorate your space in coordinating colors with picture frames, books, knickknacks, statues, etc. this is a really fun way to incorporate some color into the small space but also give it room.
It can make it all balance out so nicely with some fun blue pillows, books, elephant bookends, etc.
Just imagine the possibilities!
See-Through-Furniture for a Wow Factor That Also Makes Shit Look Bigger
Glass tables, lucite chairs, modern plexiglass coffee tables, woven chairs–opt for items that fool that silly old eye of yours into thinking that there’s more space. Because, like, if you can see through the chair then is there really a chair?
Also, this furniture can make you get fucking meta on some people.
Channel Your Inner Zebra Goddess and Opt for Stripes
Wearing stripes can make you look taller, or wider depending on the thickness and positioning of the stripes.
The same goes for your flooring in your small space home: consider Zebra print or striped rugs or even simply painting an area of your floor (like a really small bathroom) with stripes to elongate the space and make it feel like it is…well…longer!
Choose Different Shades of the Same Color
Keep the colors in your small room similar, but not EXACTLY the same. Opt for different shades of the same hue to give depth and yet offer monochromatic eye-bulging feelings.
Now is not the time to embrace the whole spectrum.
Pick what you like from this list. but not all of it at the same time. Channel your inner minimalist and know that beautiful home decor is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to take some time to get this right. Don’t rush it. Don’t do too much. You can always add more, but it’s harder to take things away once you’ve invested in a lewk.