13 Ways to Make a Room Look Bigger

Hang Shelves Higher than Eye Level

Whether you’re redecorating your condo or furnishing a new home, there are several floor design tricks and decorating techniques you can use to make the space look bigger. Even if a room doesn’t have high ceilings or is smaller in size than other rooms in the home, you can decorate and furnish the space in a way that creates the illusion of a larger living area. From choosing the right home flooring options to picking the right shade of ceiling paint, here are 13 ways to make any room look bigger:

  • Paint the Ceiling: Drawing the eyes upward can create the illusion of more space and taller ceilings. Paint the ceiling in a unique color or even consider wallpapering the ceiling in an eye-catching pattern so eyes move upward when entering and moving around the room.

  • Hang Shelves Higher than Eye Level: Another way to draw the eyes upward is to hang shelves closer to the ceiling or above a window. Run these shelves all the way across the wall to create the illusion of length and height. Fill the shelves completely with books or decorative items to maximize the space.

    Hang Shelves Higher than Eye Level
    Image Source: Shutterstock

  • Go with Oversized Accents: Decorative accents, such as vases, bowls, and boxes can add some personality to any space. However, too many of these items in a smaller size can make the space feel cluttered. Stick with oversized items and statement pieces to make your room look bigger and expansive.

  • Choose Lighter Shades of Flooring: Darker colors of home flooring are great for creating a more intimate ambiance and cozy setting. If you want to make the room look bigger, you’ll want to work with a floor design that’s a lighter color. Think light gray shades of ceramic tile or the look of white marble flooring instead of a cherry wood hardwood color or dark brown shades.

  • Fill the Room with Oversized Furniture: This might sound counterintuitive but, just like the decorative accents, you’ll want fewer, larger pieces of furniture that fill the space rather than several small pieces. Having a room filled with a small sofa, two chairs, a small coffee table, and two side tables will look smaller than a room filled with an oversized sectional and one coffee table.

    Fill the Room with Oversized Furniture
    Image Source: Shutterstock

  • Leverage the Power of Stripes: Whether you use a striped rug or pick out home flooring planks with narrower strips, those thin stripes running from one edge of the room to another will create the illusion of length. Whether they’re placed vertically or horizontally, stripes can elongate the space with little effort. If you do choose a striped rug, try to steer clear of very bold or bright colored stripes. These will overpower almost all the furniture and wall decor in the room, which means the eyes will be drawn down. Stick with lighter shades or muted tones to make the most of this effect.

  • Skip the Window Treatments: While curtains, blinds, and drapery can create a warm and intimate setting, they also make the room appear smaller. If you really want to maximize the space and create more depth in the room, leave the windows uncovered. Having all that natural light coming in will open up the space naturally, and eyes will be drawn elsewhere.

  • Fill Walls with Oversized Art: While gallery walls are can be a fun way to decorate an area with a variety of colors, shapes, and designs, it can also create a sense of clutter and make the area look much smaller. Stick with one oversized piece of art that fills some or most of the wall to make the area look bigger. Use art as a background for furniture instead of being the focal point of the space for the full effect.

  • Play with Mirrors: Glass and mirrors can add more dimension to the space, and all that light reflecting through can create the illusion of more space. Consider covering an entire wall with large tile mirrors or hanging an oversized mirror on an empty wall. Placing a mirror directly across from a window will make the room look bigger instantly.

  • Color Coordinate the Smart Way: Decorating one room with different shades of a single color will create the illusion of more space. Even though you might be thinking of throwing in some complementary colors, ideally you want to stray only a few shades lighter and darker on either side of the color spectrum to make the area look bigger.

    Color Coordinate the Smart Way
    Image Source: Shutterstock

  • Choose the Right Carpet or Rugs: When it comes to home flooring, the color and style of rug you choose can make a big difference to the overall ambiance and feel of the space. If you want to create more space, use rugs to separate the room into smaller spaces. Lighter colors will draw the eyes away from the floor, which can help to make the room look bigger. If you can, choose a shade of carpet or rugs that is only a few shades lighter or darker than the walls so it doesn’t become the focal point of the room.

  • Pick Furniture with Raised Legs: Even though we’re starting to see lots of skirted sofas, sectionals, and coffee tables with a very low-profile design, you’ll want to choose furniture that has raised legs. Visually, seeing the furniture legs creates a sense of height, so hiding that part can make the space look smaller.

  • Don’t Fill Up All the Space: It can be tempting to fill an entire room with furniture and decorative items, but doing so will make the room look smaller. Having empty spaces, such as exposed shelves, empty walls, and even empty corners in a room, will create an airy and spacious feel.

Whether you’re decorating a studio apartment or just want a guest room in the house to look bigger, there are several things you can do to create the illusion of a bigger floor plan. From picking out home flooring to choosing furniture, use these tips to make any small space look much larger than its actual square footage.

About Dave Montagliani

David Montagliani has been proudly “making dust” since 1978. Starting out at just 13-years-old cutting blocks and making trivets, Dave has built a 3-decade long career supplying and installing for contractors and home builders alike. Starting small as a benchman and joiner, then graduating on to running his own cabinet business specializing in Euro-style kitchens, you’d be hard pressed to find a realm of woodworking that Dave hasn’t touched. Most recently, Dave has focused on millwork and flooring over the past twenty years of his career, and brought his expertise to the retail and eCommerce world. When not hard at work leading the Category Management team at flooring eCommerce destination BuildDirect.com, you can find him tinkering in his garage—you guessed it—making dust.

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