Make a Small Room Look Bigger

I like a small space. It feels cozy, and helps those of us (ahem) who are a tad disorganized or reluctant to throw stuff away, by forcing us to live more simply. But while a small space can feel cozy, you don’t want it to look, well, too cramped. Here are some super easy tips to make your pint-sized room feel like an oasis.


  • Lamps
  • Mirrors
  • Light Colored Paint

Step 1: Color is Your Friend 

Paint color is probably one of the easiest ways to help small spaces feel a little larger. Channel your inner interior designer and choose a word to describe your favorite style, like “beachy”, “sunny” or “peaceful,” and come up with colors to match. Warm colors, like red, orange and yellow make walls feel closer and rooms feel smaller. Darker colors also have this effect. A better choice, if you want to help your room feel larger, is to use cool colors, like pastels, whites and neutrals. These colors give the impression of receding or moving away, making rooms seem larger and more open. If you have your heart set on a yellow room, do it! But choose a  lighter tint. Light and brightly colored walls are also more reflective making a space seem more open, which helps maximize the effect created by natural light.

Don’t be afraid to use multiple colors in your room, just make sure you use hues of the same saturation (look for colors next to each other on the same color swatch), no matter if they’re pale or bright. Another trick to use…paint trim and doors to match the walls, and add matching tone-on-tone fabrics and textures to your furnishings. Don’t worry, your room won’t feel washed out if you add knick-knacks and pillows in your favorite color for a little extra pop.

Helpful Tip: A white ceiling creates the impression of a higher ceiling.

Step 2: Let Light In

Every room will look larger if it’s brightly lit. If you have a window(s) in your room (lucky you!) keep the curtains or blinds open during the day. No windows? Use lamps, and lots of them. Be sure to pick a light bulb with enough wattage to brighten the area.

Step 3: Get Rid of that Clutter

Another way to make your room feel larger is to (eek!) cut back on extra furniture, accessories and anything else that unnecessarily takes up space. This may be a terribly painful process, but trust me, it will breathe new life into your space and really make a difference in how the room feels. Keep floor space as clear as possible and use seating that’s the same scale as the room. An overstuffed couch, large vanity or dresser can really ruin the whole vibe in a small room. And be careful with your color, decorating your space in the same color scheme as the room will always add to the enlarging effect.

Step 4: Use Focal Points and Mirrors

Use a focal point in the room to draw the eye of anyone walking in. A focal point makes a room feel focused and cohesive and draws attention away from any clutter (because let’s face it…decluttering is HARD), making the room feel like it has more space.

How do you do this in a subtle way (because in a small space, subtle is your friend)? In dining rooms, use a delicate, or reflective, centerpiece. Think glass or mirrored candlesticks or wispy green ferns and forsythia branches. In bedrooms, choose colorful, but complimentary, bed pillows or other accessories that make your bed stand out. And the best trick for a small space? A mirror. They reflect light and make the space seem larger. And frankly, their shiny surface can make your space seem clean and fresh, which is always a plus.

For floors, using lightly colored wood or light, neutral carpet colors which make a room appear brighter and more open.

Now go sit in your not so small room and enjoy!

4 comments on “Make a Small Room Look Bigger

  1. Just wondering what suggestions you have for a loft sleeping area to make it feel larger or at least not precarious. It has a railing so no danger of falling but wouldn’t want guests feeling clostrophobic!

    1. Hi Cindy! Loft sleeping areas are amazing, but I can totally see your point. I think a lot depends on what the rest of the room looks like…is it small as well, lots of windows or not so much? I would decorate with light fluffy bedding, not bulky, and make sure the color scheme matches the rest of the room – preferably something neutral like a off-white or beige. I think what’s also helpful is to put a small ledge on the outside of the loft for items like a clock, lamp, book, etc. That way your guest won’t feel “all elbows” and worry about knocking something over…which adds to that tight claustrophobic feeling. Another thing that applies to any guest room (and bathrooms too!) is to spend some time in it yourself. Make notes of what you need or find missing. As long as you have thoughtful amenities, your guests will love staying with you!

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    1. Hello,
      Thanks for writing to us! Currently we aren’t doing any guest blog spots, but will keep your information if we ever move in that direction. Thank you!

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