While you may be limited in many ways by the dimensions of a room, you don’t necessarily have to feel like you’re in a small room just because you are. The way you design and decorate any room can have profound effects on the way it feels. And this holds true for your perception of space; there are plenty of ways to make a room feel bigger than its physical size.
So, if you have a smaller room—or even a larger one that somehow just seems to feel small—here are some tips to make a room feel bigger. They’ll help prevent that sense of being closed in or cramped, and generally increase people’s comfort in the space.
Ways to Make a Room Feel Bigger
- Eliminate clutter, whether it’s on shelves and table surfaces, the floor, or the walls. Both over-decorating and messes make any space feel smaller and more chaotic.
- Avoid other visual busyness, like too many colors, complex patterns, mixed-and-matched patterns, and so on.
- Favor light, bright, cool, or neutral colors in the room’s color scheme; avoid dark and warm colors, especially on the walls.
- Paint trim and molding a lighter color than the walls to create a more expansive feel.
- Hang a large mirror on one wall. Try to place it where it will reflect a good amount of light—particularly natural light. Other strategically placed reflective surfaces can help, too.
- Keep the curtains, blinds, shades, or other window treatments wide open. In fact, consider hanging no window treatments at all.
- Look for opportunities to furnish the room with space-saving furniture pieces, as well as multi-functional furniture that can reduce the number of pieces in the room.
- Choose furniture that’s proportional to the room. Don’t use pieces that take up an excessive percentage of the room or wall space. But, don’t try to overcompensate with furniture that’s too small for the space either, as this creates an off feeling in the room.
- Select furniture that sits lower to the ground to leave more vertical space.
- Emphasize the vertical with taller, narrow decorative elements.
- Refrain from pushing furniture all the way up against the wall, even though this may seem counterintuitive. Having even a little bit of space between furniture and walls adds a feeling of roominess.
- Maintain an open, easily navigable path through the room.