How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

small office with black desk and chair

Many people living in urban areas or apartments often face the problem of having small rooms that can began to make you feel cramped and closed in. The best remedy for this is to design and decorate your room using a few simple rules that will create the illusion of a much larger room.


The first thing and most important thing you can do to make a small room appear larger is to paint the ceiling a pale color, this will instantly increase the sense of space in a room by reflecting more light into it. For the walls, cool colors like light blues and greens reflect light and make a room look brighter and bigger by maximizing the effect of natural light. Darker colors absorb light and will make a small room look even smaller.

bright room with white love seat and and rustic coffee table

Let in as much natural light as possible. A brighter room is a much larger looking room. Large open windows are great to brighten up a dark room and are especially good for a small room if they look onto a large open area. If you lack large windows or natural light, try adding a few lighting elements within the room.

You could also try painting a broad horizontal band all the way around the room to make it appear wider or vertical stripes to give the impression of height. Another trick is to exaggerate the sense of space by graduating the color from dark at the base of the walls to light as it gets closer to the ceiling.To prevent the room from becoming cold, try using warmer tones of the same colors for soft furnishings.

To avoid a cluttered look and to maximize usable space keep large pieces of furniture against the wall so as to not break up the open space in the middle of the room. Avoid unnecessary furniture and keep things organized. Also try to keep furniture from blocking pathways and views to more open areas to keep a more open feeling. Staying away from large furniture pieces will help with leaving more open floor space which will add to the illusion of a bigger room.

Mirrors can be very useful in your small room. Not only do they reflect light to brighten up your room but they create an illusion of depth that makes the room look bigger. Try placing your mirrors near a window to maximize this effect.

2 Responses to “How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger”

  1. John Kim August 10, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    It’s true, brighter colors make a room appear larger

  2. Seth Jacobs June 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    I like the dark at the base to light at the ceiling trick!

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