How to Make a Small Room Appear Larger

Designer Mary McDonald

Most homes are spacious enough to allow the owners to feel comfortable. At times, you may even think you’ve got too much space, especially when it’s time to clean and dust. More often, though, there is a kid's bedroom that isn’t very big and may be dark, dingy, and cramped. There is no need to tear down a wall or build an addition--there are other ways to make a small room appear larger. Here are a few tips.

Paint Works Wonders

One of the best ways of making a small space seem larger is to paint the room. A paint job will spruce up a room and give it a completely different look. If you use a bright color, such as a light yellow or white, the room will seem to expand, while using darker colors, such as black or brown will make the walls appear to creep inward. A bright paint job makes a room shine, and by using lighter shades of blue or a light shade of purple, such as violet, you’ll soften the appearance and create a more open feel.

Let In the Light

Another way to brighten a room is to add more light. A floor lamp or two in the corners will really brighten things up, and by using lamps with multiple bulbs, you’ll be able to control the light more effectively--because there may be times when you want to add a little ambiance by creating a darker, sultry affect.

Light-Colored Furniture

An overall theme when trying to make a small room appear larger is to lighten it up. One way to do that is to buy light-colored furniture. If the chairs, couch, and other furniture in the room are too good to throw away you can cover them with a lighter material, which not only brightens the room but will probably lengthen their usefulness.

Sweet Pickins Furniture

Small Furnishings

Putting small furnishings in a small room will make it look bigger. If it’s a bedroom you’re trying to improve, you can use light-colored bedding on a smaller bed, which will not only give you more floor space, but will also make the room look bigger. The same concept applies to other furniture, such as chairs and couches. If you have an over-sized chair, try replacing it with a smaller easy chair. It will make the room seem larger. If you replace the full-sized couch with a love seat, it will create more floor space and give the room a generally larger feel. However, it may be a good idea to have one large-sized piece of furniture in the room, which will make the rest of it appear smaller in contrast, and provide a sense of space.

Extend the Borders

If you have a larger room, such as the kitchen or living room, that has borders around the ceiling or floorboards, you can extend those borders into the smaller room. It will give the smaller room the appearance of being a part of the larger room.

Lighter Carpeting

Sticking with the ‘lighter is larger’ concept you can replace dark carpeting with a lighter color, which will give the appearance of enlarging the room, especially if you compliment it with lighter colored walls and more artificial light. A lighter motif will take away the feeling that you’re entering a cave, and will give the impression of a much larger room.

Brighten It with Art

Simply lightening the color on walls, ceilings, and floors will create a brighter, roomier feeling, but it can be overdone. In order to break it up you should add a few pieces of art. Bright, cheery scenes hung well off the floor will draw your eyes upward, which will give an impression of space. Having floor to ceiling drapes on windows will also provide a feeling of openness.


A larger mirror placed inconspicuously can make a room seem like it’s much bigger than it is. The reflection of light not only gives the appearance of increasing the size of the room, but will actually add to the overall brightness.

Let In More Light

It may be a last resort, because the cost could be prohibitive, but one of the best ways to make a room seem bigger than it actually is, is to increase the size of the windows, or add windows, a sliding door, or a sun roof. This will add more natural light, giving the impression of a much larger room.

Guest post from Casey Lynch. Casey writes about home insurance and home insurance quotes for

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