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How To Make A Small Room Look Bigger: Creative Design Ideas and Tips

How to make small rooms look bigger, decor ideas and tips

There are so many different things you can do to make a room look bigger. That is why this post is so long. How you hang your curtains, or the kind of ceiling lights you use can play a role in making your room feel more spacious. There is a range of different ideas here to help you transform your space – from simple ideas to the more full on makeover project ideas.

  1. The Right Color Choice

Color can play a big role in how a room looks and feels. Light colors make a space feel larger, spacious and bright. While dark colors will make a space feel cozy, secluded, and relaxing. So with a small space, you’ll want to use light colors. This applies to the paint on the walls, the furniture you choose, along with decor pieces such as curtains and area rugs.

The Art of Blending: The more you can blend everything together in a room, the more seamless it will look. This means it will feel like a larger place. To blend a room you’ll want to try and have items with a similar color (just like the bedroom in picture (2)). Say you have white walls, then you’ll want white (or slightly off white) curtains. Then you’ll want to blend the color of the walls with the color of the furniture and the rest of the room.

In the bathroom, you can have the same colored tiles for the floors and walls – creating a really seamless design for the space (6).

You can still add pops of color here and there. Plants are a good way of bringing in shades of green. While wooden pieces bring in warm brown tones.

  1. A Clutter Free Design

When it comes to small spaces you really want to keep it clutter free. This doesn’t just apply to keeping it tidy, but this also applies to the design of the space.

For decor pieces in a small room, you’ll want to go with fewer and larger pieces. This helps create a clutter free look. Instead of having 2-4 potted plants, see if you can get one large plant.

Say you want to hang up some pictures or paintings. Instead of creating a gallery wall with a number of pieces, it would be best to go with one or two large framed pieces. Not only does this create a less cluttered design, but larger pieces will make a room feel more spacious – check out the large canvas piece in the bedroom in picture (2).

  1. Storage as Decor

If you need to store things out in the open, then look to get storage pieces that look good. This way your storage pieces will also act as decor for the room. Look for a matching set. Here are some ideas for good looking pieces:

  • Wicker hampers, baskets, or trunks
  • Wooden crates and barrels
  • Galvanized or copper bucket
  • Glass jars
  • Wire baskets
  1. Smart Storage Design

When it comes to storage, built in storage is the ideal solution. Not only are built in units designed specifically for your space, meaning they are designed to efficiently use the space you have, they are also designed to blend in with your room. And with built in storage units, you can make the most of the height in your room and build floor to ceiling storage units – just like the home office in picture (4).

Use as much of your walls as possible. Either through built in units, or by hanging up shelving that goes all the way up the wall.

And make the most of the corners in your room. Either with corner shelving units, or a corner couch, corner desk, or even a corner gallery wall. To see more corner ideas, and some pictures, have a look at my post here: Making Use of The Corners In A Room.

My storage page has links to my room specific storage posts for more creative ideas such as: over the door storage hangers, and putting hooks and railings on the inside of closet and cabinet doors.

  1. Window Treatment and Design Ideas

How you style your curtains can play a big role in how spacious the room feels.

  • 1. Fit your curtain rod as high up near the ceiling as possible
  • 2. Use a curtain that is long enough to hang up high and reach just a few inches above the floor. By hanging a long curtain from up high you create the illusion that the room is taller than it is.
  • 3. Try and get a curtain rod that is slightly wider than your windows. You don’t want your curtains to block out any part of the window. This lets in as much natural light come in as possible.
  • 4. When it comes to the material for the curtains, a light colored one works best. The more it blends with the wall color the better as it creates a seamless look in the room. Or another option is to play with stripes. Vertical stripes can make the space feel taller, while horizontal stripes can make the space feel wider.
  1. Getting The Lighting Right

To make a room feel spacious you are going to want to make sure it is well lit. You want to have the entire space lit up, there should be light reaching all corners of the room.

A modern and tidy way of lighting a room is through recessed lighting. Recessed lights are fitted inside of your ceiling. This means all of the light fittings are hidden away, leaving you with a clean and modern look.

You can find specific lighting ideas over on my lighting page.

  1. Good Looking Wall Design Ideas

Add decorative elements to the walls:

  • Why not add some wainscoting. It can be the same color as the wall. You can even play with the height of the wainscoting. Having it only cover the bottom third or quarter of the wall can create the illusion that the space is taller.
  • Or add some texture to the walls to create subtle depth. You can create subtle textures with paint (Textured Wall Painting Ideas) or use wallpaper.
  • Crown molding is a good looking finishing touch
  1. The Illusion of Mirrors

Hang up a large framed mirror. The larger the better (following the clutter rule above – larger pieces make a room feel more spacious while smaller pieces make a room feel cluttered). Not only do mirrors add a sense of depth to a room,  but they bounce light around making the space feel larger.

  1. Choosing the Right Materials

Keep in mind that glossy materials, either for countertops or cabinet doors, help bounce light around the room making it feel more spacious. What would be even better is to use glass furniture pieces. Glass countertop for a coffee table, or a glass side table. Because of the transparency, it creates the illusion that the furniture isn’t really there.

When it comes to materials for flooring or walls for the bathroom or kitchen (tiles), you will want to go with larger pieces. Say you are tiling the bathroom floors and walls. Then go with large tiles. They are more expensive and harder to install, but because you have less grouting you are left with a modern and sleek looking design. And don’t forget what I mentioned earlier in the color section about blending to create a seamless design. In the bathroom, if you can use the same tiles for the floor and the walls, you’ll create a more seamless design in your bathroom – making the space feel larger.

  1. Using Stripes

Just like in fashion, stripes can create an illusion of width or lenth in a room. Striped curtains, furniture, wallpaper, or area rugs can create the illusion of a larger room.

  1. Using Furniture To Make a Room Look Bigger

If you can, pull furniture away from the walls as this will make the space feel more open. The empty space can be replaced with a narrow side table or console, just like in picture (5).

Also look for furniture pieces with legs, verses bulky boxy items. A couch or bed with legs is better than ones without.

 Here are some other home design posts to get more ideas from:

image credits 1/2/3/4/5/6

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June 1, 2016 in Decor, Small
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