10 Ways To Make A Small Space Look Bigger


While you may not be part of the tiny house trend, you’ve probably got a room or two in your home – if not your entire home – that’s not palatial. You can call it cozy, quaint or compact, but that doesn’t mean it has to look or feel cramped.

1. Mirrors

Buy a grand picture frame, poster-size or larger and paint it your favorite color. Put a mirror in and either hang it on the wall or if it’s enormous, just lean it against the wall. Without going all 1970s full-wall mirror crazy, mirrors are a truly effective way to “enlarge” a small space.

2. Keep window coverings light

Opt for no window coverings if your property offers privacy from nosy neighbors. If it doesn’t, try light, gauzy curtains or roman shades. Another option? Stained glass (faux or not) can not only provide privacy but also acts as a focal point to draw the eye upward and give a room a sense of space.

3. Ditch “heavy” furniture but not “statement” pieces

Heavy furniture includes overstuffed recliners and bulky, skirted couches. You could have a fantastic, streamlined sectional in the living room and make it the focal point of the space. Surround it with lighter furniture and keep the room uncluttered. ‘Lighter’ furnishings usually include a clean design, are smaller, and serve a purpose vs. just decor.

4. Move upward

Are your shelves at eye-height? Move them closer to the ceiling and put some pretty figurines or artwork on them. If you’ve got low-hanging pendant lights, switch them out for a statement chandelier that’s shallow but hugs the ceiling. If you’re a DIYer, tape a sea sponge to a broom handle, dab it in some gold or silver paint and sponge the ceiling for an ethereal touch.

5. Declutter

Clutter makes any space, large or small, seem tiny and uninviting.

6. Paint an accent wall

Keep three walls painted in light colors and choose a rich color for one wall. If that’s too daunting, paint the wall anyway and lean a huge mirror (from tip #1) against it.

7. Use multifunctional furniture

Need an extra bed? Install a Murphy bed in the living room that masquerades as shelving when it’s not in use. Alternatively, a sofa bed is a reliable standby and today’s models are much higher end than the old models with protruding springs and no back support. Also available are ottomans with lift-off tops that double as storage containers.

8. Corner shelving

Every house has one: that empty corner between rooms or in the foyer where you end up throwing your shoes or hanging your coats up on hooks. A tip: install some corner shelves mid-height up for books and keep a short coatrack or hooks below it.

9. Behind-sofa shelf

Move your sofa 4 to 6 inches away from the wall and screw a wood plank into the wall. Finish off the exposed end with another wood plank. You’ll have a couch-level, couch-length shelf for lighting, small plates at a party, and most importantly, the remote control.

10. Storage

Almost every house lacks adequate storage, and as a result, stuff you should be storing ends up cluttering your living space. Not only will it look cluttered, but it’s also hard to maneuver around. The solution? Cardboard boxes and shelf (contact) paper. Trim cardboard boxes so they’re shallow enough to fit under your bed, then cover them with shelf paper for durability. Put a bed skirt on your box spring, and no one has to know your storage secret.

You could have a mansion in the country that’s crowded because of bad planning or a compact apartment right downtown that offers comfortable, light and airy living. It’s all about decorating and using a little strategy when buying furniture that’s right for the space.