How To Make Your Rooms Appear Larger

All of us have at least one room that is, shall we say, a little smaller than we’d like. For some of us, our whole house fits this description! Anyway, we can all take advantage of various design concepts that fool the eye and make our rooms seem larger.

Use light colors to make the room look larger

Light colors reflect light, while dark colors absorb light, making the room look and feel smaller. This means to use dark colors sparingly. If your colors are already dark, try to move the darker colors to a ‘background’ role while maximizing your neutral white or ivory. Here are some examples. For walls, paint the main portions a light shade of one of your colors, and use the dark colors in a border or painted trim. Instead of doing your entire window treatments of dark green, combine the green and ivory equally. For your fabrics, go for prints that use light backgrounds. In the bedroom, use your darker colors for valance, tiebacks, table scarves, accent pillows, and bedskirts; and make the more prominent draperies, comforter, shams, tableskirts, and sheets in your lighter colors.

There’s another trick that has to do with color

Paint your wall trim and moldings a lighter color than your walls. For example, if your like neutral linen-colored walls, paint your trim a tinted ivory. This follows standard 3D rules – lighter objects appear closer while darker or shadowed objects appear further away. When you paint your moldings a lighter color, the wall appears further back – thus making your room appear bigger.

Very effective strategy to apply to your furniture arranging

Set some of your larger furniture pieces at a diagonal. This works because the longest straight line in any given room is it’s diagonal. When you place your furniture at an angle, it leads the eye along the longer distance, rather than the shorter wall. As an added bonus, you often get some additional storage space behind the piece in the corner, too!

You don’t have to place the furniture at an exact 45-degree angle; often a lesser angle looks best if you can balance the look with another furniture piece. Here are some ideas…
Pull one end of your sofa about 3 feet away from the wall and angled toward your focal point and center of the room. Place an armoire, armchair, or other larger furniture piece near the end that is against the wall, to help balance the look.

Angle your bed so that it is coming out of a corner

Usually one of the corners opposite the door is best. This also gives you more available wall space for dressers and bedside tables. If you have a corner that your furniture looks lost in, bring it out at an angle. This will help soften the edges of your room and guide the eye around.

This last design technique may sound contradictory, but it works…. Upscale your furnishings!

Yes, choose larger. The trick to making this work is to choose fewer also. In other words, instead of choosing a smaller sofa, loveseat, chair, coffee table, and end tables to crowd into your living room, cut back and upscale.

Choose a larger set, but use only the sofa, chair, and one end table.

Instead off covering the walls with all your pictures, choose a few of the larger pieces or arrangements and arrange them to compliment your furniture placement.

Instead of choosing an ordinary window treatment, dramatize your window with floor-to-ceiling draperies that extend beyond the window to make it appear larger.

The result will draw pull the attention toward the large furnishings, and away from the actual small size of the room.

Try some of these, I guarantee that they’ll help!


After living in various countries across Europe Lola settled back in Philadelphia where she spends her time reading and writing about property and interior design.

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