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13 Tips and Tricks to Make Small Rooms Feel and Look Bigger and Brighter

a bedroom with a neutral colour palette, transparent brown and cream curtains, twine decor a wooden floor and a rustic mat with a plant in a wicker basket

When it comes to home design, small spaces can sometimes feel a bit tight and confining. But fear not, there are plenty of amazing tricks you can use to make those small rooms feel bigger and more open.

Whether you live in a cosy apartment or have a tiny room in your house, these clever tips can help you create the spacious and bright home you've been dreaming of. Let's dive in and learn how to transform your small spaces into inviting havens of openness and light.

Choosing the right colour palette for small rooms

room with white walls, neutral grey sofa and armchair with circular mirror collection on wall, wooden floor

Creating the illusion of spaciousness in small rooms is an art, and it all starts with colour.

The timeless elegance of white: When it comes to the blank canvas of your room, and by this, I mean the walls, ceilings, and floors, opt for white and pale shades that play with light and reflections, which can instantly make your space feel larger than it is.

How to add bright colours to small rooms: If you’re keen to incorporate brighter tones, then make sure you use them strategically – accent walls, carefully curated artwork, and subtle pops of colour in the form of cushions and ornaments can add character without overwhelming the room.

Furniture for small rooms: When selecting furniture, stick to neutral tones to maintain a sense of unity, such as sand, pale grey, and pale blue. To create visual interest, infuse textures and accents rather than lots of bold colours.

Remember, a delicate balance of shades and careful use of colour can truly transform your small room.

Smart Storage Solutions

In the realm of small room transformations, smart storage solutions are the unsung heroes that can make a world of difference.

Elevate with vertical storage: Embracing vertical storage options that stretch from floor to ceiling not only maximizes your storage capacity but also draws the eyes upward, creating an illusion of height and spaciousness.

Hidden storage is key: Concealment is another game-changer—opt for storage compartments that skilfully hide away unsightly clutter, maintaining a clean and clear room.

Multi-functional to free up space: Multi-functional furniture is a secret weapon in the battle against limited space. Look for pieces that pull double duty, like ottomans with hidden storage or beds with built-in drawers.

These strategies not only free up floor space but also enhance room minimalism, creating a sense of spaciousness.

Improving Room Ambience with Proper Lighting

Lighting can make a huge difference in the way a room looks and feels. Dark rooms tend to feel smaller because our eyes rely on light to perceive depth and space. Relying on just your ceiling lamp to illuminate a room can create a clinical feel. Optimising light can transform a small space and it doesn't need to be difficult!

a small room - small but spacious feeling living room with a muted colour palette, two minimalistic artwork pieces on the walls, with plants and ambient lamp

Utilise natural light: The best way way to brighten up a room is to let in as much natural lighting as possible. You can achieve this by using transparent curtains, reflective surfaces, and, as mentioned above light-coloured walls, ceilings, and floors. This is sure to make your space feel brighter, and therefore bigger!

Create multiple light sources: If your room is short on windows and therefore lacking in natural light, another way to create a well-lit space is to layer your lighting with multiple light sources. This can include overhead lighting, table lamps, floor lamps and even things like string lights and candles.

Eliminate dimly lit areas in the room: It's also important to pay attention to dark corners and add light where you can. Warm ambient lighting works beautifully to enhance the cosiness in small spaces.

Ditch the Clutter and Embrace Tidy Joy

There is a simple and easy way to make your home feel more spacious, without even needing to spend any money!

One idea for improvement could be to start decluttering your home and getting rid of any unnecessary items that are taking up space. It can be difficult to let go of things, but it's important to evaluate what you really need and want in your life.

By simplifying your surroundings, you may find that you feel less suffocated and more at ease in your own space.

a small room - studio/study room with a minimalistic design - desk, plant, mirror, transparent curtains
Photo source: Unsplash

Declutter your home: If you've heard of Marie Kondo, then you will know that tidying up and decluttering your space can have a huge impact on your home.

Take a leaf out of Marie's book and only hold onto items which spark joy (or that you really need!).

Once you've decided what you want to keep, get rid of the rest! This doesn't mean your old, unwanted possessions must end up in a landfill; consider donating them to charity, giving them to a friend or family member in need, or selling them to start a rainy day fund.

Once you see how much new space you have in your home, you'll realise just how little you need all of those things!

aesthetic organisation - an inbuilt shelving unit with white crockery, small plants and a minimalistic design - organisation for small rooms

Learn to put things away: This one is simple, but perhaps not easy for everyone (me included!).

After a big spring clean, it's easy to promise you'll keep your home or room tidy, but one month later, the mess is back and your space feels small and stifling once more.

The best tidying advice I have ever received is to make sure all of your possessions have a designated space to be put away. This includes clothes, books, and other miscellaneous items that may be cluttering your space. Tired of seeing that laundry basket always just "hanging around"? Make a set space for it in a cupboard so that putting it away becomes second nature!

Leave out "heavy" items: Heavy decor includes things like thick curtains and rugs. These might seem like standard decor to include in your home's aesthetic, but they can create an illusion of reduced space by introducing additional bulk and disorder to the area. Instead, opt for light-coloured, simple rugs and transparent curtains to open up the space visually.

Remember, in general, the more there is to look at in a room, the more cluttered it tends to look. Simplicity is key to making a room feel bigger.

decor for small rooms - a dresser with an "ooh la la" graphic artwork piece, some smaller artworks and small ornaments

Categorise your decor: As mentioned earlier, establishing designated areas for items in your home can effectively minimize the unwanted "clutter" appearance. This principle extends to your decorations too, including ornaments and artwork. While they are crucial for self-expression, randomly scattering them throughout your space can create an uncoordinated and haphazard ambience.

Choose a wall segment for displaying your artwork and arrange it thoughtfully. Achieve this by crafting either symmetrical or asymmetrical layouts – it's entirely up to your personal taste! Similarly, designate specific spots for your ornaments, keepsakes, and more, like allocating 1-2 shelves on your bookcase.

Illusion Tricks to Make a Room Look Bigger

Channel your inner magician and employ these simple tricks to craft the illusion of a more expansive space within a small area! Mastering the art of spatial illusion can wonderfully enhance the perception of size in compact rooms.

using mirrors to make small rooms look bigger - a rustic, boho style room with a wicker chair, plants, and a large full-length mirror, wooden floors

The magic of mirrors: Mirrors are a great way to make a room appear larger. By placing a large mirror on one wall, light is reflected into the room and creates a sense of spaciousness. If you have the freedom to do so, a full wall of mirrors can enhance this strategy even further.

use compact furniture to free up space in a small room, a neutral room, with a dark navy compact sofa, a compact chest of drawers, with plants

Compact furniture is key: Opting for compact furniture is akin to solving a space-saving puzzle. When selecting pieces, aim for functionality without excessive size. That oversized, cushy armchair may be tempting, but it could engulf your small living area. Instead, go for furniture that fits seamlessly, creating a cosy yet spacious ambience in your living room.

Before making furniture purchases, consider crafting a floor plan to determine the available space. Take measurements and ensure to check the dimensions of any furniture you're planning to buy. This thoughtful approach guarantees you will end up with a well-proportioned layout and can save you from the frustration of acquiring pieces that end up being a misfit in your room.

Harness the power of light tones: Embrace soft colour palettes like pristine white or soothing neutrals such as elevated sand, delicate blue, muted grey, subtle green, or pale yellow. These shades help bounce light, infusing the room with brightness and expanding the perceived space.

Choosing the right decor for a small room

When it comes to making a small room feel and look bigger, the right decor is key. You want to express your taste without overpowering the area. Here are three tips to help you choose the right decor:

Add greenery: Indoor plants not only add a touch of nature to your space, but they also help purify the air and create a feeling of freshness. Choose small plants that don't take up too much space, or opt for hanging plants to free up floor space. Though adding more objects to a room may feel counterintuitive, adding foliage can invigorate and brighten the most lacklustre of rooms. Just exercise some caution when buying houseplants - it can get pretty addictive, as I've learnt from personal experience. For more information on choosing plants for your space, check out our

a shot of a blue and grey couch with a watercolour painting of the beach hanging above

Play with size: When it comes to decorating small spaces, the size of your decor matters.

While oversized pieces can make a room feel cramped, the idea that large wall art is only for spacious areas is a common misconception.

Don't hesitate to embrace a bold choice if you truly adore a sizable painting, photograph, or wall hanging. Just exercise moderation – resist the urge to overcrowd a room or wall with multiple large pieces; one big piece is generally sufficient. When it comes to accessories like vases and decorative trinkets, opt for smaller items.

My preferred approach for small rooms is minimalist ornaments – usually in a single, neutral hue, with captivating shapes. This adds allure without overwhelming the space.

Don't be afraid to go bright, just not too bright: Don't confuse bright colours with dark colours - dark colours can make a room feel smaller, but bright colours, when used thoughtfully, can add character and energy.

Once you've selected light and neutral colours for your walls, ceiling, floor, and furniture, go a little wild and incorporate small splashes of your favourite colours within your decor! A Barbie-pink cushion, a lime-green plant pot, a cyan footstool? These might not align with your personal style, but you get the idea, venture beyond the conventional!

That wraps up our exploration into expanding small spaces - remember that making little rooms appear more spacious requires some thought from each of the areas we discussed above. From carefully curated colour schemes to streamlined storage systems, every element has a part to play. The most important things to remember are to keep it bright, tidy, neutral, and free of unnecessary clutter! Choose your décor carefully and make size-appropriate choices, but make sure you have fun! Your interior design should reflect your personality, and therefore should be an enjoyable endeavour!


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