8 Visual Tricks to Make Any Space Feel Bigger
Cursed with a cramped bedroom, stuck with a snug house, or dealing with an itty-bitty office? These decorating tips will help you make the most of a small space.
1. HANG MIRRORS ON THE WALLS.
Mirrors reflect light, which makes a space look larger than it actually is. Selecting mirrored paneling for cabinets or closet fronts is a great—but pricey—decorating choice. Mirrored furniture also works well, but it’s often expensive. If you’re strapped for cash, buy decorative mirrors and use them to adorn your walls. Another option? Hang a single large mirror above a headboard, couch, or desk.
2. LOFT YOUR BED (OR BUY A TALL BED FRAME).
Since a bed typically takes up most of the floor area in your bedroom, consider lofting it with risers, or construct an elevated, built-in wall nook that holds a mattress. This makes your boudoir look larger, and saves floor space for large furniture items like a desk or a couch.
If you feel like a raised bed screams “college dorm room,” purchase a four-poster bed or another tall bed frame. Choices like these draw attention to ceiling height, and detract from a room’s narrow width.
3. REPLACE DOORS WITH CURTAINS.
Swapping heavy doors with light, airy curtains can open up a space and make it feel bigger. This decorating choice also allows you more furniture options, since swinging closet or bedroom doors often get in the way of side tables, coat racks, and other accent pieces.
4. INSTALL BUILT-IN WALL SHELVES.
Use vertical space to your advantage and swap bulky bookshelves, wardrobes, or TV units with built-in wall shelves.
5. PAINT THE WALLS A LIGHT COLOR.
Dark colors make a space feel confining. If you’re not a fan of blank walls, select paint hues like light blues, light grays, pastels, or neutrals.
6. SELECT YOUR CURTAINS WISELY.
If a room has access to windows or other openings, forego elaborate or heavy window treatments for subtle curtain panels that “frame” your outside view instead of obscuring it. Since a sunny room looks much larger than a dark one, pull back the drapes as much as possible to let in natural light. Also, choose shorter curtains that barely reach the ground. This makes the floor area look more spacious.
7. MINIMIZE CLUTTER.
To maintain a room’s open feel, go easy on the knick-knacks. Feel free to display a few favorite objects, but otherwise you should stick to a clean and simple aesthetic.
8. CHOOSE THE RIGHT AREA RUG.
A good area rug does way more than tie a room’s furnishings together—it also tricks you into thinking the space is larger than it actually is. When selecting a rug for a snug lodging, consider a pattern with small repeats. This produces the optical illusion of spaciousness.