How to Make a Small Room Feel Bigger

With prices for Australian real estate skyrocketing over the few decades, especially in inner-city suburbs, more and more people are settling for small homes and townhouses.

But even the cosiest of homes can feel a little claustrophobic at times, especially when a global pandemic is keeping you inside more than you might like.

So how do you make a small space feel bigger without having to pay for costly renovations? Well, there are a number of tricks that interior designers have been using for years, which we’re going to share with you.

Maintain space between furniture and walls

People often push furniture against the wall to compensate for the lack of space, when in fact it only draws attention to it.

Arranging your furniture so there is space between it and the walls is a great way to create the illusion of space. It also allows the light to fall all around the furniture, making the space appear bigger.

The exception to this rule is your bed. Pushing the bed against a wall can help your bedroom feel cosy by making the space feel more intimate.

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Make use of mirrors

It’s a classic way of making a room feel bigger and for good reason. As mirrors reflect both light and any outside views from windows, the space instantly feels bigger.

Avoid curtains and rugs

Curtains and rugs are perfect for creating a cosy, close environment. However, if you’re wanting a little more space to breathe, avoid using them wherever possible. If you need window coverings, slim line blinds are a much better option in small rooms. Read here Which is Better: Curtains or Blinds?

Curtains obstruct your view through a room and out the windows, even when they’re not drawn. They act as a barrier for your eye, separating the inside from the outside. Rugs work in a similar way. By sectioning off an area of the floor, a rug can make it seem like there’s less floor space than there actually is.

Use white or pale shades

When it comes to painting and decorating in small spaces, always try to use white or pale shades. Like mirrors, these colours reflect the light, helping to open up the space. Using dark colours in small spaces will create more shadow and a cosier more intimate atmosphere.

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Emphasise vertical space

Emphasising the height of the room will help to create a greater illusion of space. Anything that draws the eye upwards is helpful here. For example, tall skinny bookcases and feature lighting that illuminates the ceiling will draw the eye towards the ceiling.

Using low-profile furniture is another great way to create the illusion of higher ceilings. And you don’t even need to buy new furniture — try swapping out legs to get a custom look.

Use floating furniture

If you can, pick furniture that ‘floats’ to avoid taking up floor space. For instance, you can wall-mount shelves rather than using an entertainment cabinet or bookcase. Without having something physically on the floor, the space can appear to be less cluttered.

You can see this technique at work in most modern bathrooms. Many stylish sinks and vanities don’t actually touch the floor anymore and are wall-mounted instead. This makes a usually cramped space seem roomy.

Use sliding doors

Traditional doors that open inwards or outwards into a room can take up precious floor space. A simple solution is to install sliding doors. They look great and don’t take up additional room.

There’s lots of ways you can make a small room feel bigger, no matter your budget. From simple strategies like rearranging your furniture to bigger renovation projects like installing sliding doors, there’s no need to feel cooped up in your own home.