Making Small Rooms Look Larger

Folks you may have noticed that it’s been very quiet around here of late.  Things have just been extremely hectic in both my professional and personal life and I’ve had little or no time to update this blog.  Thankfully the wonderful internet is helping me out and Jane Blanchard of has kindly offered to help fill the void with a wonderful guest post on ways to make a small room look larger.  I hope you enjoy and I promise you I will be back blogging with full steam in the very near future!

Like Harry Potter, many homeowners feel like they live in a cramped cupboard under the stairs. Thankfully, there are oodles of ways to make a small room look bigger – and they don’t involve magic. With a little paint and sweat equity, any small space can be rescued.

Go Forth, and Clutter No More

According to the National Soap and Detergent Association – yes, such an association actually exists – getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of housework in the ordinary home. Homeowners have more no-longer-used or impulse buy leftovers than they know what to do with. Donating furniture or re-gifting Precious Moments knickknacks is the easiest, healthiest way to free up space.

Think for Every Corner

how to make small rooms look larger

SOURCE: Zillow Digs

In a small space, what hangs on the wall is more important than what rests on the floor. As grandmother said, “Every room has eight corners.” A dramatic painting or pot n’ pan rack can add height and drama to a small footprint. Install a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, or, as a cheaper alternative, hang floating shelves in bathrooms, bedrooms and home offices.

Let There Be Light!

how to make small rooms looks larger

SOURCE: Zillow Digs

Placing an interior window at the end of a hallway, cutting in a skylight in a family room, or installing recessed lighting in a small kitchen can work wonders. When possible, use natural lighting or dispersed lamp lighting. When hanging window drapes, hang them from the ceiling rather than the top of the window to add height.

Purchase Multifunctional Furniture

Forget the La-Z Boy recliners! Small homes demand multifunctional furniture. Choose corner desks with hutches, translucent Lucite tables, and loveseat sofas with exposed legs. Invest in folding accent tables and under-stair cabinetry storage. Interior designer Christine Brun recommends, “Go big or don’t bother!” – her verbatim instructions on choosing an oversize wall mirror.

Go Light and Shiny

how to make small rooms looks larger

SOURCE: Zillow Digs

Dark colors shrink a room; light colors expand it. Paint using whites, pastels and cool colors. Limit warm and dark hues to visual focal points, like a picture frame or nightstand. Paint small rooms using a monochromatic color scheme, and choose a satin or semi-gloss sheen rather than matte or eggshell.

Arrange Micro Spaces

One room is not necessarily one space. Built-in window seats, alcoves and bump outs delineate micro spaces, cozy areas to read a book or strum the guitar. If an alcove addition is outside the budget, use rugs and angled furniture to delineate micro spaces.

Create an Optical Illusion

how to make small rooms looks larger

SOURCE: Zillow Digs

“Stripes are a nice, graphic design element that can bring movement and pattern to a room,” says interior designer Angela Free. Most homeowners use stripes when tiling a bathroom backsplash, but don’t stop there! Striped wood paneling or striped bamboo floors add visual energy and elegance as well as the illusion of space.

For more home inspiration and other tips and tricks, please visit

About Karen

My name is Karen Hughes and I'm an Interior Designer from Dublin, Ireland. I’m passionate about design and I started this blog as a way to connect with others just as passionate as myself. I tend to ramble on about all sorts of things, projects I’m working on, people, places and things that inspire me (and some that don’t). So put the kettle on, get comfy and settle in. I hope you enjoy your visit and don't forget to say hello. Visit my website to find out more about my services and view my work.


  1. Building a book shelf in a small space really makes sense. Having my “office” under the stairs means I have limited space for ledgers etc. I can see now that If I build a bookshelf, I can have all my “office stuff” nearby. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Paul, thanks for stopping by.

  3. If what we have is a small living area, it doesn’t mean we can’t make it to be what we want it to be – bigger! Anyways, we would agree with the windows. They are focal points that can let in natural light that can help bring an illusion of space. And so, you have to work around them. Design-wise, there are many colourful choices when it comes to window treatments. And it’s important that you keep them covered too (though you can open them when there is the need for brightness) so that you’ll have privacy and safety.

  4. Hey Karen … Great work actually. After reading your post, I simply followed all your tips and now I have around half of the room free and interiors are also looks pretty well.

  5. Hey Karen…… Great post! I live in Dublin in small flat and am always trying to find ways free up space or at least give the illusion of space. I recently bought a futon but I feel as though I had to sacrifice quality for space. It does serve a dual purpose but it is just not all that comfortable to sleep on. 😛

  6. Nice research Karen. Actually important for me because it is impossible for me to arrange all the interiors properly by managing space in home. This proved to be a great help to me.

  7. Nice photos. Love all Interior. .

  8. Lovely post- definitely think that light can make all the difference and light colours in particular can help make a room appear spacious. Never considered the bookshelf- wonderful suggestion!

  9. Smaller shelving that doesn’t take up too much room works for me. These are great tips!

  10. Nice uploaded photographs…!!!

  11. Thanks’ for you; I’m extremely interested in your blog for information to “making a small rooms space manage large look”

  12. Good work!!! It has proved to be a great help to me. I like the concept of making space by arranging things to the proper area even if the rooms are small. The combination of using light according to the colors is great. Looking forward for more suggestions.

  13. Interesting ways to make a small room look bigger. Really very informative for me..

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