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5 Ways To Make A Small Space Seem Bigger

make a small room look larger

There are effective methods to create the illusion of space in small rooms within a residential property.

Whether it is a deliberate choice or not, having a small house or limited space does not necessarily result in a lack of functionality or feeling cramped inside.

With our tips, you can make tiny houses or small rooms appear more spacious through design, organization, and visual techniques.

1. High Ceilings

It isn’t always possible to make your ceilings physically higher than they already are. However, if you’re rebuilding your home or building a new one and you know it’s small, go with a flat roof, i.e. no attic taking up space you won’t use.

The flat roof should be at the correct pitch, which is around. Seventy-two degrees or a minimum fall of 1:80 – a slope that allows snow and rain to drain quickly.

For example, with our own home, which we rebuilt. Our interior ceiling followed the slope of the roof. This immediately created a much higher canopy over the open-plan living space, giving the illusion of a much larger room.

Additionally, we used one shade of white paint for the ceiling, walls, and doors.

With small spaces, unless you have extensive experience with interior painting, use a contract painter who knows how to create a professional finish.

2. Natural Light and Light Colours

Like our home, a room with good light will immediately feel more extensive. Allow as much natural light as possible into the room.

To achieve this in a small room, use sheer curtains or blinds that let light through while maintaining privacy.

Also, use only light colours for the window furnishings as darker colours will make the room feel more closed.

Ideally, your walls and ceiling will be a shade of white, which has reflective properties. To avoid the room looking cold and clinical, use paintings, accessories, and furniture in warmer tones—perhaps cream, brown, or wood. This can be a winning combination.



Use a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a well-lit space. Proper lighting can make a room feel more inviting and spacious.

One trick we use is to split an open-plan room into three living spaces using lights and furniture. The continuous ceiling and floor make the room appear larger than it is.

Use innovative LED light technology to create different colours and give your room a distinct ambience.

3. Furniture That Fits

Buying furniture that fits the room might not be a priority, but it can make a big difference to the overall look.

The balance certainly needs to be struck; otherwise, your room may appear smaller than it is if, for example, a sofa that barely fits in the room will make it seem cramped.

Avoid oversized furniture that can overwhelm a small space.  Opt for furniture proportional to the room’s size; therefore, measure up first.

Measure Up

Measure the room, and work out where you want the main pieces of furniture to go, including sofa, chairs, coffee table, TV cabinet, etc.

When it comes to bedrooms, carefully selecting the ideal spot for your bed is crucial. However, if your room is smaller than the average size, you might have limited choices.

If your bed does not fit the room well, change it.  Consider it an opportune time to choose a bed that meets your requirements and doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Thinner legs

Use furniture with thinner legs to see underneath the chair, sofa or couch, table, coffee table, cabinet, etc, so more floor is visible.

Danish or Nordic-style furniture is ideal for small rooms.

Floating furniture

Another option is to use floating furniture. We have used wall-hung bathroom vanity units.  Once again, more of the floor is visible, giving a sense of space.  Floating cabinets in bedrooms and kitchens also create a spacious yet functional room.



Choose furniture that serves multiple purposes to maximize functionality without cluttering the space. For example, use a sofa bed or a coffee table with storage. You can also make rooms multifunctional. For instance, we use a room as a laundry and a wet room for entering the house during damp weather.

Hang Up

For your living area – hang your TV on the wall; this draws your eyes upwards and away from the floor.

Using vertical space to draw the eye upward and create the illusion of height can carry through to every room.

Floor-to-ceiling shelves or tall furniture can achieve this effect. Our home has floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinetry to use all available space. The high cupboards do make the kitchen appear much more extensive.

4. Mirrors

Having mirrors in a small room is an excellent tip if you want to give the appearance of more space. Mirrors can visually expand a reach by reflecting light and creating the illusion of depth. Place mirrors strategically to bounce light around the room so it seems lighter, brighter, and more significant.

We have placed a mirror in our entrance room that reflects light and the trees outside the window, bringing them inside for more space.

5. Rugs And Drapes

Did you know vertical stripes can create the illusion of height while horizontal stripes can make a room appear wider? Choose vertical stripes for your window dressings, such as drapes or curtains, and horizontal stripes for rugs.

We preferred to use blinds that fit within the window frame and are the same colour as the walls, so it looks like a continuation of the wall.

For a rug, we used wool carpet with a cotton edge that is essentially a stripe, making the room seem more expansive.

Final Thoughts

Another essential tip to making a small room more functional and seem more significant is to use sliding doors, not hung doors.

Remember that the key is to create a sense of openness and reduce visual clutter. Experiment with these ideas to find the best combination for your room and personal style.