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 white couch in a small living room, making the room look bigger.
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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? Even though our home has more than enough space for our family, we have a choppy layout. We have done the best we can with a small living room, small powder rooms and other tight areas.

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

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.

A white bathroom with a gold sink and mirror that makes the small room look bigger.

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!  

A dining room with a large table and chairs inspired by RH Look for Less.

Paint 

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.

Before and after: A doorway transformed with a light fixture and a rug.

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.

Utilize furniture that does double duty – it stores essentials while also looking great, like this antique linen cabinet in our family room.

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.

A white living room with a leather chair and a dark wood linen cabinet.

Add a Mirror

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

A wooden dresser with a mirror, making the small room look bigger.

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 white mudroom with storage from a bench and small chest of drawers

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. 

A kitchen with white cabinets and a blue rug, perfect for kitchen gifts.

Eliminate Clutter

Decorating a small space minimally makes it feel larger. You can learn more about minimalist design here, and get our Clutter Checklist here. 

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

A white kitchen with a white sink and white cabinets. The perfect setting for gifts related to kitchen.

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 wall mounted sink gives the appearance of more space, because we eliminate the cabinet of a vanity, below.

A laundry room with a white washer and dryer and a wall mount farmhouse sink.

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 living room with a chair and a table, designed to make the room look bigger.

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. 

A white foyer design with a Dutch door, box trim moulding on the walls and hardwood floors.

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!

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20 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips! I really love the idea of making the room look “bigger” with these type of illusions.