Learn how to make a small room look bigger! These affordable ideas are easy to implement and provide maximum impact. Make a room look bigger in the simplest ways. Small changes, big reward!

Dealing with small, closed-off rooms in your home? If you’re living in an older home, chances are, you have at least one small room. Older, traditional homes tend to have choppy floor plans… aka walls.

A mudroom with horizontal cream painted wood paneling.
Want to save this?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it directly to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Originally published February 26, 2016. Updated with fresh content and ideas July 10, 2021.

While our home is spacious in square footage, the older 70s layout made for choppy, small spaces throughout. We’ve made a lot of changes over our years of living here (see our full Before and After photo tour to catch up) but sometimes, a small room just is what it is.

You know, the kind of room you can barely walk into and turn around in? Our home boasts a small living room, a couple of small powder rooms and had a small eat in kitchen prior to reworking it.

These small spaces can still be functional (and beautiful). Often, they have to be. You can live big with these small room ideas!

A small bathroom with a white pedestal sink and grasscloth wallpaper.

This list of 10 ideas for how to make a small room look bigger might just change your home, and even change your life! Learn all the secrets in this round-up of simple changes you can make in your home.

How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

Add Light

Light immediately makes a small room feel bigger. Allow light to flow in from a window, add light fixtures (I recommend ambient, task and accent lighting to maximize light and give the illusion of space).

Click through to learn more secrets for adding light to a room, including my favorite Brass Lighting!  

how to make a small room look bigger


Paint your walls in a light color, in a paint sheen that reflects light such as eggshell or satin {just not flat}.

You can find all of my favorite paint colors, see them in various lighting situations and learn which trim color to pair them with here.

neutral family room decor

Maximize Storage and Function

I’m a huge fan of this one and we’ve used it countless times over the years. Remove a cabinet or closet door to make a small room appear bigger, more accessible and therefore a little more open. Make your closets an extension of space by “finishing” them like this linen closet.

Adding a window bench seat to create a reading nook, converting a cabinet into a working bar and implementing peg rail or hook storage are all easy ideas to blend storage and function without consuming a lot of space.

garage storage ideas | organizing cleaning supplies

Add a Mirror

A mirror instantly makes a room look larger because it reflects both light and space. Shop some of my favorites here.

See how function and home design come together in this beautiful powder room

Use Wide Horizontal Lines

They make the eye continue horizontally, which gives the illusion of a more significant space. You can read more about these cedar paneled walls in our Mudroom and my small powder room here

A guest bathroom with horizontal cedar paneling and brick floors.

Draw the Eye to the Ceiling

There are a number of easy ways to do this – adding ceiling detail like crown molding, hanging curtains {hint, ceiling to floor is best}, using a tall, narrow mirror and painting the ceilings are just a few ways I love. 

how to make a small room look bigger

Think Minimally and Clutter Free

Decorating a small space minimally makes it feel larger. You can learn more about minimalist design here. 

Keeping your kitchen counters clear of clutter immediately creates a more expansive visual space in your kitchen, no matter the size.

how to embrace a minimalist lifestyle

Leave a Smaller Footprint

Whether with furniture or fixtures, a smaller footprint makes a big difference. In a powder room, a smaller toilet and a pedestal sink allow you to see more of the walls and floors, again making it feel more open.

Use furniture with legs and forgo bed skirts to create extra space. Select pieces with feet versus those that have fabric to the floor. 

A guest bathroom with horizontal cedar paneling and brick floors.

Use Rugs to Define the Space

Did you know that using a small rug can actually make a room look smaller?

Use this Rug Guide to find the best rug size for your space – you can even layer rugs on carpet to create the look you love. You can shop my favorite rugs here.

A small white living room with a large cream rug and white walls and furniture.

Continuous Flooring

Having one continuous floor material throughout your home connects the spaces, allowing your eye to continue no matter how closed off your rooms are.

Our home initially had laminate, carpet and tile on the main level, alternating from one room to another, breaking them up. Replacing them with white oak floors immediately made it feel more spacious. 

white and wood stairs

Have you tried any of these ideas in your own home? I’d love to hear your thoughts on making a small room look bigger!

10 easy ways to make a small room look bigger

More Inspiration for Home Decor

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. your home is beautiful! you have learned well, grasshopper! I admire all of your ideas for decor!

  2. Just interested in the wall brand of paint and color name or number. I love cream! Also the trim color as well.
    Thank you!