Top 10 Ways to Make a Room Look Bigger

Written by: Editorial Staff

June 8, 2011
Filed Under Decor 


A list of the top ten ways to make a room look biggerContributed by Cindi Pearce, Top 10 Guru

Think along the lines of Houdini and become a master magician and illusionist, using all the tricks at your disposal and you can make any room in your house appear to be much larger than it really is.

Reach into your arsenal of magic tricks and let your sorcery begin. Here are the top 10 ways to make your room appear bigger than it is:

10. Construction

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

Knock down a wall. Okay, so you can’t do that. Read on …

9. Monochromatic

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

At least some of the furniture in your small room should be the same color as, or very close to, your wall color and this will give the impression of a much larger room. If your walls are white and your sofa is black the room will look smaller than it would have it the walls and sofa were both white. You are eliminating lines of demarcation when you keep the wall and furniture in similar tones.

8. Expose the floor

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

Make sure that you can see the floor and this will create the illusion of more space. Use furniture that has exposed legs and arms because light can get in under the furniture and the room looks less cramped. Choose an area rug that lets the room breathe – go for color, but don’t overdo it on size. A glass top table will also make your room expand.

7. Proportion

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

If your furniture is too big for the small room the entire area is going to seem out of balance. Your furniture needs to be in scale with your room. Use only a headboard for your bed in a small room, instead of heavy side rails and footboard. Purchase a loveseat and small chairs instead of a large overstuffed sofa. If you find that some of your stuff is simply too big, move it to another room or have a yard sale, get rid of it, make some money and purchase less cumbersome furniture.

6. Add reflective surfaces

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

Opt for reflective surfaces because they reflect light and shine, which expands the area of your room. A gold, copper or silver lamp, or anything metal, will glimmer in the light as will shiny table top surfaces.

5. Multi-functional pieces

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

Purchase furniture that is multi-functional and can be used for several purposes. This is comparable to killing two birds with one stone and saves you space. For example, get an ottoman that also serves as extra seating and an impromptu table top or card table. Some ottomans have lids that are cushiony on one side and a hard surface on the other, which is the table side. This way you can eliminate the need for several pieces of furniture, and you gain more room, which makes the area look roomier.

4. Lighting

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

Don’t dismiss the importance of good lighting in any room. The right kind of lighting can turn an ordinary room into a showcase. Consider using up lighting, recessed lighting, cove lighting (under or over cabinets or inside the cabinets), rope lighting, task lighting (in the areas where you work or read) and ambient light (for setting the tone and the mood). Focus the lights on, for example, the ornate crown molding surrounding around the perimeter of the room that you want to showcase or use up lighting to highlight your large plants.

3. Mirrors

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

Use wall mirrors to their full advantage. Place several on the wall across from a window and they will reflect light and give a sense of spaciousness. In addition, a collection of mirrors on the wall is beautiful wall art and the mirrors serve a purpose: You can see yourself if and when you need to.

2. Light

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

Let the sun shine in. Take advantage of any windows that you have in the room. Do not cover them in heavy fabrics. Use filmy, see through materials so the light can come into the room, brightening the space, making it look larger. If privacy is an issue, consider using decorative window film that keeps people from seeing in but lets the sun shine through. Remember that natural light will affect the color of your room. Paint a small area of the room and see whether you like the color during the daylight hours. At night, see if you like the color as it appears under artificial light. There will be a difference.

1. Color

A list of the top ten ways to make a room look bigger

This is your ace in the hole, your panacea and your little piece of magic. If your room is claustrophobic, brighten it up with the right color paint. Remember, dark colors absorb color and make a room look smaller while light colors make a room look bigger. For example, if you want your ceiling to appear higher, which will make your room appear more spacious, paint the ceiling a light color rather than a dark shade because a dark hue draws the ceiling even further downward, which isn’t what you want. Paint the walls a lighter shade than what is on the floor. If the floors are dark and the walls are light your room will seem bigger than it is. Keep your dark colors (furniture and accessories) close to the floor and use lighter hues as you move upward and closer to the ceiling. In addition, keep in mind that cool colors recede and make a room look bigger, whereas warm colors advance and make a room look smaller.

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