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How To Make A Small Space Feel Bigger

If you happen to live in what might be termed a ‘small house’ don’t be ashamed. There is nothing wrong with a smaller home, just as there is nothing wrong with a larger one. It will always come down to budget and personal taste, and just because someone has a much bigger property than you, that doesn’t mean you need to be upset or embarrassed. The entire reason different sized houses and apartments are built is that everyone, no matter what their budget or taste or requirements, can have what they want. 

Yet if you do live in a smaller property, you might want to make it feel a little bigger just for comfort’s sake. This is not mandatory, of course, and certainly not expected, but if it is something you are interested in doing, there are a great many ways you can make small changes around your home and give yourself a bigger looking place to live. Most of these ideas can be done on a small budget (sometimes even for free), so if this is something you think you might like to experiment with, now is the ideal time to do it. Read on to get some great ideas on how to make a small space feel bigger. 

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Make The Ceiling Higher 

It doesn’t sound like such an easy – or inexpensive – task when you say you should make the ceiling higher just to make your home (or even one of the rooms) feel bigger. It sounds like a massive undertaking and one that will cause a great deal of disruption, not to mention causing issues in whatever space is located above the one you’re extending upwards. 

Unless you have a property that would allow for a genuine ceiling uplift, as well as the budget to cover it, this would not really be one of the best ways to make your home feel bigger. However, you can put some ‘tricks’ in place that will fool the eye into thinking the room is taller than it is. One of these tricks is to hang wallpaper on the ceiling or, if that doesn’t appeal, to paint the ceiling a different color. Your eyes will be drawn to this patch of color or pattern (if you’re feeling brave), and that will make the room appear taller. 

Suppose you add some low profile furniture to the décor too. In that case, once again, you are creating a fantastic illusion that really can add inches (metaphorically speaking) to the room in question. 

Light Colors 

Although it’s true that if you have darker colors in your home, those rooms will feel comfortable and cozy, if you want to make the rooms look bigger this is the last thing you’re going to want to do when you’re deciding on your interior design. Instead, you should use lighter colors as this will help to reflect the light and give the impression of size. 

White is the most reflective shade of all, but a house that is all white inside would potentially be uncomfortable to live in, no matter how big or small it might be. Therefore, using an off white or cream color is a much better choice. Have lighter carpets and walls to increase the sense of space and, to break these light colors up and give you a splash of something different, you can add patches of color through your accessories like your cushions or the art on the walls. 

If you are going to use white to decorate your home, make sure you add some warmer tones too, otherwise your property might come across as sterile and uncomfortable for guests (and for you). Wood hues are a great idea and are extremely popular at the moment. 

Use Furniture That Fits 

If you’re looking for new furniture or want to buy furniture that will give more of an impression of size in the room, you need furniture that actually fits. Whether it’s a coffee table, a dining table and chairs, a couch, a recliner, a bed, a vanity unit, or anything else, if it doesn’t fit, you will have problems with the way the room looks. Anything too big will make the room look small even if it’s not that tiny, and anything too small will make the room look uncomfortably large and as though you don’t have enough furniture to fill it. 

If you find you have to locate your furniture right up to the wall for it to fit in the room, you’re already making a mistake – to give a good impression of size, furniture should, where possible, be away from the walls. This gives you enough space to walk around the items and creates a look of size. Of course, some rooms’ layout means this can’t happen, but it should always be the first thing to try if you can. 

Because of this, you should measure the room before you buy any furniture and measure the furniture before you purchase it. By creating a scale floorplan, you can see exactly where each piece is going to be located, and you’ll know right away if it is going to fit just right, be too big, or too small. 

On the subject of furniture, the legs are also an important consideration to think about. If you want a room to look more extensive, you should opt for furniture with legs rather than something that sits directly on the floor. As mentioned earlier, this will direct the gaze slightly higher up and trick the mind into feeling the room is larger than it is. Even if this is only a difference of a few inches, it is enough to help with the illusion. 


The effect a mirror can have on a room is almost magical; it will undoubtedly give you the illusion of space and make your living room or bedroom, for example, look and feel bigger than it really is. 

Having mirrors placed in strategic areas around the home will reflect the light and throw that light back into the room. If you combine this with the light colors you should be using, you can create an impressive design in your home. Even when there isn’t much light to be had, the fact that a mirror is literally showing you another room (albeit a reflected, ‘virtual’ one) will again make you think there is a lot more space. If you’re not sure this would work for you, just try it out. Hang a mirror where it can reflect the light and walk into the room. Then remove the mirror and do the same thing. You’ll definitely notice quite a big difference. 


No matter how cozy they might feel in the wintertime, heavy curtains at the windows will always make a room feel smaller. Even if the curtains are open, you will still be blocking out a portion of the view to the outside world, and that means less natural light (which is an excellent addition to a room if you want it to look bigger – plus it’s good for your mental health too) can come in, causing your room to feel constricted and full. 

The best thing you can do is to remove the curtains altogether. Of course, this is going to leave you home open to the outside world, at least in terms of what can be seen, so it’s not something everyone is going to want to do. An alternative would be to speak to Shuttercraft about creating bespoke shutters for your windows. If you have shutters, you can still block the outside world away when you want to, but when the shutters are open they can be folded right back, and you won’t lose any sunlight either.  

Make Movement 

It might sound strange to suggest trying to add some movement to your room, but in terms of interior design, movement isn’t quite the same as having something physically move. What it means is, you should try to give the impression of motion, and this, in turn, will give the impression of space. 

Any kind of movement will help in this regard, whether it is horizontal or vertical. You can start with your floorboards. By taking up the carpet and having natural floorboards, you are potentially expanding the space because these naturally flow – the room will seem to be longer when the floorboards are facing the right way (they need to be going vertically from the entrance to the room, otherwise, if they are ‘moving’ horizontally, you could be making the room seem much dumpier than it should. 

Some people use patterns on the wall or floor as an alternative to this. They use a patterned rug or wallpaper to give the impression of movement flowing. You do need to be cautious if this is something you intend to do – too much of a pattern and you can undo the illusion you are attempting to make. Plus, everything must be going in the same direction otherwise it will be confusing for the brain and not a comfortable space to be in. 

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James Anderson

Friday 2nd of December 2022

Thanks for sharing an amazing article. I really appreciate your work.

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Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

[…] the dimensions of your home can help you to plan everything from the position of the chairs to the shutters for your windows. It is also a great way to work out if you can really fit that beautiful refurbed fireplace or not. […]

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