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12 Ways to Make a Small Room Feel Bigger

Living roomWhile cozy can be chic, claustrophobic definitely is not.  De-cluttering is one way to add breathing room to a home, but that will only take you so far. There are many other tricks decorators employ to add the illusion of space and make a home live larger.  And if you are preparing your house to sell, that should definitely be your objective:  lighten, brighten and add space, because more space = a higher value in the eyes of potential buyers and more money in your pocket. Of course, you can’t actually add more rooms, but you CAN make the rooms you have look and feel bigger. Here’s how:

1. Use cooler paint colors on the walls (blues, grays, cool beiges). Cool colors recede, making the room look more expansive. Warmer colors advance and create a cozy but more closed in feeling.

2. Go for a monochromatic color scheme. The less contrast there is in the room, the more spacious it will look. Lots of contrast chops up the space visually and makes a room look smaller. Use the same color on big furniture pieces as on the walls for a sleek and open look. You can keep things from getting too monotonous  by using different textures or by adding punches of color with throw pillows and accessories.

3. Choose curtains or window treatments that maximize natural light (sheers or light-colored panels). Skip the heavy drapes in dark fabrics.

4. Use recessed lighting instead of hanging fixtures to give the impression of a higher ceiling and a cleaner, more stream-lined look.

5. Use the highest recommended wattage in light fixtures - 100 watts, if possible. Putting them on dimmers allows you to control the brightness.

6. Use fewer, larger (but not oversized) pieces of furniture instead of several smaller pieces. This will give the room a less cluttered look.

7. Select upholstered furniture with exposed legs (vs. skirted) to create the illusion of more space.

8. Use glass table tops for coffee tables or dining tables for a more open feel.

Dining room with a view9. Install the same flooring throughout the space to maximize flow. Mixing flooring types or using area rugs gives a more chopped up feel to the space.

10. Consider removing doors between rooms of living areas to open up the space.

11. If you have a good view, hang a large mirror or group of mirrors opposite (or diagonal to) the window with the view. The mirror will “read” as another window, expanding the space and bringing in more light.

12. Keep table and counter surfaces relatively clear. Don’t let accessories and knick-knacks dominate, as the space will appear busy and cluttered.

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