Top Tips for Making a Small Room Look Bigger

Bespoke Sofa in Small Living Room

Top Tips for Making a Small Room Look Bigger

Designing a small space can be a challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our list of top tips for making a small room appear bigger. With few clever tricks, you can make your small room feel bright, spacious and inviting, without compromising on storage space.


1). Spatial Planning

Spatial planning is essential for any space, but particularly so for a small room. Functionality is a key consideration and a clever use of space is vital. Start by zoning – map out the different areas of the room and their function, so you have clearly defined spaces. For example, a living room may also need to accommodate a study or dining area.

It is important consider the foot flow of the space; how will you move around the room comfortably? The room will provide a more comfortable environment if you can move around unhindered. Easy circulation is key!

Keep furniture away from the doorways and foot flow areas. For example, place long furniture along the longest walls and where possible, butt sofas up to walls to create more space.

Keep the traffic flow areas as clear as possible, but make use of every part of the remaining space without over-cluttering. For example, a small nook could make a great study area or be a perfect spot for shelving.


2). Light is Right!

The lighter a space is, the more spacious it will seem. In a small room, dark coloured walls tend to make it feel as though the room is closing in on you, whereas lighter coloured walls create a more airy feel. Neutrals, pale greys and pastels are perfect options for this.

A light-coloured floor and ceiling will also help to make a room feel larger. If your floor is dark, make sure that the walls are particularly light, or add a light-coloured rug. A rug is also a great way to add texture to the space and create a more cosy, inviting atmosphere.

Avoid heavy curtains which partially cover the window and block out light even when they are open – you need to allow as much natural light to flow into the room as possible.

Mirrors are one of the most effective ways of maximising the natural light. Clever use of mirrors can lighten a space, thus making it seem larger. This is especially the case in rooms which aren’t blessed with an abundance of natural light.


3). Create Balance

It is easy for a small room to appear cluttered (even without much clutter!) as everything is packed into a small space. However, balance and symmetry can bring a harmonious feel to your space.

Our brains naturally love balance as it is easier to process. Once you have established the basic layout and traffic flow for your room, look for ways to add balance. When it comes to interior design, balance doesn’t need to be a symmetrical layout – that could get boring! You can achieve a symmetrical feel in a room while still maintaining the visual interest.

For example, a sofa can be balanced by adding a second sofa or two chairs opposite. If the room isn’t large enough for a second sofa or chairs, balance the sofa with a large piece of artwork on the opposite wall.

Light colours not only broaden a space, but they also create a sense of harmony. Keep your walls, ceilings and floors light, but add accent colours to brighten the room and give it a personality. Cushions, ornamental pieces, artwork and plants are a great for this. But keep your accent colours to a maximum of two – any more than this and the room could appear cluttered and unstylish!

Also, be sure to use furniture and artwork which is in proportion to the size of the room. Over-sized objects will immediately diminish the space.  Likewise, small items in an expansive, empty space will be dwarfed.

Furniture and artwork should be a maximum of two thirds of the wall they are adorning. And tall furniture can overwhelm a small room, so think carefully about the space you have to work with before selecting your furniture and ornamental pieces.


4). The Value of Vertical

When we think about usable space, we tend to focus on floor space. However, height will immediately make a space appear larger. A room with high ceilings will look larger than a room of equal floor space but with lower ceilings.

Clever design tips can help you achieve the appearance of a higher ceiling. Decorative cornicing adds another dimension and draws the eye upward, while vertical striped wallpaper gives the illusion of length.

And take advantage of available wall space for storage. Bookshelves can look attractive and are perfect storage options which do not take up valuable floor space. They can also help to add balance to the symmetry of the room.


5). Use Multi-Purpose Furniture

Clever choices in furniture can save you floor space, or provide a bonus storage space.

Too many furniture items will make your room seem cramped, while too few items might mean that you have to compromise on storage space. The trick is to select furniture which provides a double purpose.

For example, use a storage chest as a coffee table; this can not only look stylish but provides an excellent storage solution. For seating areas, use sofa beds (a great option of you don’t have a guest room) or look for sofas with storage. For a kitchen, opt for a breakfast bar instead of a table and chairs. This will also provide additional kitchen work space.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the shops, or you’re looking for something unique and more stylish, contact your local custom furniture makers who will be able to design the perfect piece for your room.