Many of us have one of those awkwardly small rooms somewhere in our homes. It’s that little space that we’re not quite sure how to use.

Typically one of two fates befalls these pint-sized places. They either become a glorified closet – a storage space for a random assortment of miscellaneous furniture and other clutter – or they’re left empty and under utilized.

As a designer, I’m always looking for ways to maximize available spaces, big and small. Here are 10 ways I’ve discovered can help dramatically improve how spaciousness a small room feels. Implement one or two of these tips and you’ll think you added extra floorspace. Here’s how to make a small room look bigger.


1. Go with pale walls.

Now is not the time for dark dramatic colors or intricately patterned wallpaper. Stick with light colors to make your space look bigger.


2. Maximize natural light.

If there’s a window in the room, avoid blocking it. Let as much light in as possible. If you do add curtains, be sure they’re a light color, thin, and easily tucked away when the sun comes out.


3. Channel you inner minimalist.

Your smaller rooms can’t absorb the extra clutter that larger ones can. Get rid of any clutter that’s making the room look messy. Simply tidying up a small room can make it look substantially larger.

mid century kitchen


4. Put up some mirrors.

A great design trick is to use mirrors to reflect spaces where the room opens up, like a doorway, alcove or window. Reflecting these spaces gives the illusion of extending the small space, making it look bigger.


5. Choose furniture wisely.

As part of channeling your inner minimalist, you’ll want to make sure that every piece of furniture has earned its way into the space. Think about the particular function of the piece of furniture, and how it contributes to the room. If it’s not going to be used, get rid of it.

good lighting living room


6. Allow for breathing room.

In larger spaces like studio apartments, you can get away with shoving furniture together. In smaller rooms, however, you’ll want to leave some space around different elements in the room. If you’re having trouble doing this, revisit my last point.


7. Pack it up.

If you use the room to entertain guests, you may want to purchase some easily storable stools or chairs rather than try to fit additional pieces of furniture to the room. That way, when your company has left, opening the small space back up is as easy as sticking some folding chairs in the closet or under the sofa.


8. Use your vertical space.

If you can’t sacrifice floor space for storage, use mounted shelves to organize your items. This allows you to keep the rest of the room clear of clutter.



9. Let it be.

If your small space is still frustrating you, it may be best to accept and embrace the size limitations of your little room. Line it with plush rugs, wall hangings, and pillows. Use soft, dramatic lighting. Make your space a cozy sanctuary in your open, airy house – a place to listen to music, meditate, and reflect.


What tips do you have for making a small space look bigger?