10 Great Tips to Make Small Rooms Look Larger
(less cluttered, more spacious, calm & relaxed)!
Browsing through glamorous home glossy publications is one of my favourite ways of relaxing and igniting new ideas for my own house and others I’m working on.
It just feeds my creative brain!
But, actually, sometimes those large glamorous rooms which look amazing in the magazine can make me feel a bit like, well, if I had large rooms with lofty ceilings and period details to work with, it would be easy!
But, truly, you actually don’t need vast big rooms to have a beautiful and stylish home. It can totally be achieved in smaller spaces, like most of us live in and are used to.
One of the most frequent requests from the lovely ladies I help is that they want their room to look bigger, airy, uncluttered, lighter and brighter!
I treat it as my job to really ‘get’ what they want for their home and translate it into a design which gives them that exact required result!
So, what do you do when you want to make small rooms look larger (and more awesome)?
Well, you could get an extension or knock down walls, but if that’s not in the budget, here are my top 10 tips (plus one bonus) to help you make a small room look larger…
1. Don’t Over Stuff Your Small Room with Furniture
You need to maximise the sense of space and one of the best ways to do this is by ensuring the eye can see as much of the floor as possible. So, the less furniture in there, the more impact there will be. Just because you have extra pieces doesn’t mean you have to keep them (in that room).
Use this time to rethink the key items you actually need in the space, the ones that perform a necessary function (being pretty can be a function!) and move the additional pieces out.
Don’t be worried if it looks suddenly empty and sparse, with the right accessorising later, it will look amazing!
And, actually, this bit is sooooo important, because without addressing the furniture layout the other things you do just won’t work as well.
2. Invisible Furniture
If your particular style suits glass or perspex furniture then try it! You could go for a coffee table, side tables, bedside tables, book shelves, dining chairs or even a console table. Personally, I stay away from glass dining tables because I hate being able to people’s shoes, legs, feet, floor through it…I know, I’m probably slightly odd, but, well, I know!
3. Scale of Furniture
Often we think big means added luxury when it comes to buying furniture, but in a small room, pieces that are over-sized only makes it feel more like a cramped dolls house. The most common thing to get wrong is a sofa – ‘big’ looks fab in the shop, but not in a small space, so be very careful!
4. Wall Décor
If you want to make a room look wider, horizontal stripped wallpaper will do just that, giving the illusion of a broader room. If you prefer a different pattern, it’s also a good idea to keep the print light and fairly simple so as not to overpower the room. Stay away from big red flowers on a brown background as it will just be too much!
5. Mirrors and Art
A large mirror, or a collection of a few grouped together smaller ones is always a great way to add a sense of space and light. When it comes to artwork this will add depth as it draws the eyes into the scene or image. One common mistake I see is tiny pictures on big walls…don’t be afraid to choose larger pieces of art, or group sets together, even though it’s within small space. It will help!
On the whole, I advise that fewer accessories have a much bigger style impact than lots of little personal items. But, I never want to forget that it’s a home and these treasured items are very much part of it and should have a special place. It’s all in the way you display them and my best advice is to pick the best ones, then group them together perhaps by size or colour.
7. More On Accessories
It’s a big topic and I wanted to share one more interesting tip – surprisingly, an oversized item like a floor vase, which takes up little actual floor space, can be used in a smaller room to give the illusion that it is bigger. I have used simple twigs that I spray painted white and they look great!
8. Window Dressing
Keep it plain(ish). Keep it simple.
A roman blind in a colour which is the same as the wall surrounding it will blend away, keeping things uncomplicated. Same goes for a curtain, but avoid detailed headings and tiebacks – it’s a clean, clear uncluttered feeling you want to achieve, so if you can apply that to the soft furnishings as a general rule, it will work!
And, hang both in such a way that reveals as much of the window as possible.
You need to show its full size (even if it’s small) AND you need to allow in all the natural light there possibly is!
9. Room with a View
While we are on the topic of windows, another way of making a small room feel larger is not to obscure the view, if there is one. So no voiles (sheers), venetian or vertical blinds that only add to the feeling of clutter and stop you from seeing out, into the distance. Just think what a room feels like that has no windows…I know that’s slightly extreme but it highlights how much bigger and better a room feels when we can really see through a window!
Avoid dark colours on the floor which will make it all seem smaller. Choose lighter carpet or tiles or wood and this will help. And if you are painting or varnishing a floor, choose the gloss or shiny finish which will allow increased light to be reflected around (just beware that whatever you use is super durable and won’t show scrapes, which would be extremely annoying).
Bonus Point… …and just because you are worth it I, wanted to give you an EXTRA BONUS POINT to help you make small rooms look larger!
11. More On Furniture
Ok, I disguised this last point – it should really be called ‘clutter’ but that topic can make me feel like yawning and turning the page when reading about it…I already know, all clutter is not good and I honestly try my best to keep it at bay!!!
But, what I wanted to say to you here is about storage furniture – it is key to helping us live in a clutter-free home. So, TV cabinets with cupboards, a coffee table with a lid, an ottoman with a lid, a stool with a lid, a bed with drawers, a bookcase with cupboards, sideboards…these are the things that will help you have more storage and less mess on display which makes any room feel much tinier.Hope that helps!