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9 quick fixes to make a small room look bigger

There are a few classic decor rules you can apply to making small spaces look bigger.

Small Rooms
Madeline Tolle

Trends may come and go but there are a few classic decor rules you can apply to making small spaces look bigger. Here are our top 9.

1. Less is more

This is the rule of thumb when it comes to interior décor. When it comes to window coverings, first prize is to have none at all if you want to make an area look bigger. If that makes you feel too exposed, blinds are recommended above curtains as they occupy less space.

Small Rooms: Less is More
Bethany Nauert

2. Underfoot

Rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpets help break up a floor space. If you only have one main rug in your living room, for example, it needs to be big enough to hold at least one-third of your furniture. Grouping several large objects together in a designated area creates the illusion of space. Imagine a coffee table that only just fits on a rug – this will make the space seem smaller and disorganised.

Small Rooms: Underfoot
Monica Wang

3. Focal points

Make a feature out of a shelf by hanging it from the ceiling. Use occasional lamps to highlight certain areas instead of overhead lights. Many decorators consider groups of objects smaller than the size of a melon as clutter so it’s important to select and arrange decorative pieces with that in mind.

Small Rooms: Focal Points
Whitney Morris

4. Colour block

Group books and even clothing and shoes if stored on open shelves in blocks of colour to make an eye-catching design statement. It also looks more organised.

Small Rooms: Colour Block
Dustin Walker for Hutch

Small Rooms: Colour Block-2

5. Size counts

An artwork that dominates a wall – a huge painting or tapestry – by its sheer size will create the illusion of space.

Small Rooms: Size Counts
Corbis Corp, Brittany Ambridge

6. Look at you

Large, wall-mounted mirrors are an easy way of opening up a room.

Small Rooms: Look at You

7. Hide it

Choose furniture that doubles as storage – pull-out drawers under beds and tables are invaluable. Designers are coming up with more and more inventive ways of making furniture work harder in small spaces.

Small Rooms: Hide It
Apartment Therapy

Small Rooms: Lighten Up
Whitney Morris

8. Lighten up

Keep floors and ceilings light and bright by choosing pale shades for paint, flooring and floor coverings. Some homeowners even use wallpaper instead of paint on ceilings and applied striped designs to floors to create the illusion of length.

Small Rooms: Book Shelf
Brittany Ambridge

Small Rooms: Kitchen
Joshua W. McHugh

9. Space it out

One large statement piece looks better than several smaller pieces. Think couch vs occasional chairs and let the legs be visible if the space is very small (that’s still a very contemporary trend too). No matter the length, legs that are a design feature make large pieces of furniture appear less bulky. Go one better and set large furniture away from the wall to create the illusion of more space.
Small Rooms: Space it Out
Madeline Tolle

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