It’s not fun staying in a room that feels claustrophobic rather than cosy. Fortunately, there are many simple ideas to make a small room look bigger, so avoid the feeling of gloom and misery by following these tips.
How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger
1. Clear Up the Clutter
Try and keep it as free of clutter as possible. Invest in furniture with clever storage and multi-purpose items such as tables and sofas with drawers to keep your things in. Ottoman style beds, particularly the style where the whole mattress lift up, are fantastic storage solutions.
2. Small and Simple Furniture
Avoid large pieces of furniture, such as sideboards and large cabinets. The clean straight lines of modern furniture tend to work best in small spaces.
3. Reduce the Quantity of Furniture
One well-chosen large piece of furniture, such as a corner sofa, can actually fill the space better than multiple smaller pieces which can easily make a small room look cluttered.
4. Well Placed and Sized Carpets or Rugs
A light coloured carpet or rug is an effective way of opening up the space and making a small room appear bigger than it actually is. If you’re feeling bold, why not opt for stripes on the floor? As well as being an interesting feature, they will make your room look either longer or wider than it is in reality.
5. Make Use of Mirrors
Place a large mirror – or a group of mirrors – on a wall opposite a window or a doorway. The reflection will act as a trompe l’oeil.
6. Keep Furniture Away From Walls
It might seem counter-intuitive but place furniture away from the walls to create an illusion of roominess and space. The space behind them doesn’t have to be wasted – fill it with a bookcase or a console table.
7. Decorate the Ceiling
The ceiling is often neglected but you can make your bijou pad feel like a palace by decorating the ceiling with wallpaper or paint, or even by adding interesting wall stickers. The guiding principle is anything that draws the eye upwards creates an impression of space.
8. Choose Light Over Dark Colours
Avoid dark coloured and densely patterned curtains and upholstery. Lightweight fabrics, such as cotton and linen, create a breezy feel rather than heavy fabrics, such as velvet and chenille.
9. Choose Smaller Ornaments
When choosing ornaments, follow the cantaloupe rule – aim for objects that are no smaller than the size of an average cantaloupe or small melon. It might seem odd, but objects that are smaller look like clutter even in a small room.
10. Get an Extendable Dining Table
Opt for a dining table with drop leaves that can be extended when required and folded away neatly when not in use.
11. Maximise Light
If your room is not overlooked and privacy is not a concern, why not do away with curtains altogether?
Undressed windows maximise the amount of light let into the room, allow you to admire the outside view, and trick the eye into perceiving a greater amount of depth. If you do need privacy from neighbours and passers-by, a roll-up blind or a light gauzy net curtain will allow a light and airy feel.
If you don’t have lots of natural light – which is very important for a sense of space – use table lamps strategically placed around the room for a source of artificial light.
12. Decorate the Walls
Hang pictures and shelves high on the walls to draw the eye upwards and emphasize the impression of height and space.
13. Choose a Space Saving Bed
For a bunk bed, if you don’t need an additional bed, the space below the top bunk can be used for a wardrobe, a desk, a sofa, a bookcase or a combination of all these things.
14. Integrate Transparent or Transculent Furniture
A clever way of creating the illusion of space is to use transparent furniture, usually tables and chairs. Switch an opaque shower panel to a transparent one and watch the way in which your shower room suddenly looks bigger. Using clear materials will help to open up any room.
15. Show Consistency in Paintwork
Eliminate shadow lines by painting the walls and ceiling the same colour. This creates a sense of continuous space.
Colours That Make a Room Look Bigger
In a small room, it’s a good idea to spend some time exploring ideas to make a small room look bigger, and one of the most important factors has to be colour. You might be tempted to go for a classic white in a small space, but interestingly many more other colours can have a space enlarging effect.
Artists and interior designers use a colour wheel, with colours graded according to their degree of warmth – reds, oranges and purples fall at the warmer end of the colour wheel, while blues and greens are cooler colours.
To make a room appear bigger, choose colours for the walls, such as pale blue, Eau de Nil, cream or the palest grey.
For a pulled-together look, choose furnishings and neutral floorings that complement the colour of the walls. If the ceiling is low, paint it a lighter colour than the walls to make it appear higher.
Just remember that light and cool colours reflect light and make a small space appear larger, while dark and warm colours absorb light and will make your room feel small and cosy.