With interior decorating and design, those who live in small homes have use of a wide variety of visual “illusions” that can influence how your room appears to others. Here are some of the best tips of the trade to make a small room look bigger.

As with all “rules” in the design world, you do not need to obey all or even most of the traditions to get a lovely, spacious-seeming room. Try to understand the principles behind each piece of advice, however, so you can learn the rules before breaking them.

Allow the eye to move freely around the room

Having too much stuff and small piles or assortments of items visible impedes the flow of the room.

Leggy Furniture

Furniture that doesn’t have all of its base touching the ground, as well as not covering up the legs with a skirt, will let the eye flow freely under the exposed area under the base of the piece of furniture as well as over it, giving the room a more “free flowing” impact.

Open Surfaces

Removing Clutter:┬áHaving several areas of clean, dust free open space gives the illusion that you just have so much room that you couldn’t possibly fill it all, and also balances the rest of the room, which, if it is small, probably feels pretty cramped just by virtue of having to fit everything you need into it.

Every room will be improved by a decluttering session, but simplifying a small room can make an incredible difference. Try to hide all cords with cord organizers, keep occasionally used objects out of sight, use attractive storage for functional, everyday items to keep them in one area and concealed.

Allow light to suffuse the room


Light is important in interior design for so many reasons, but it is especially good for getting a good sense of flow and “airiness” around the room.

Use Lighter Paint Colors

Softer, paler painted walls reflect more light and help it bounce across the room.

Lamps and Lights

Well-lit rooms appear more open and airy. Try to have at least five light sources in the room, and preferably of varying intensities: for example, have both mood lighting and task lighting.

Sheer Fabrics

Gauzy fabrics keep a room looking lightweight, and, if used as curtains, can provide some privacy and filter a harsh glare, while still allowing a healthy glow from the sun to suffuse the room.

Visually expand the room’s dimensions

Use these tricks to give the impression that an ordinary small room is much larger than it really is.

Lighter-Colored Ceiling

A ceiling that is a slightly paler color than the walls negates some of the sense of dark shadows created by shorter ceilings and gives the impression that the ceiling is a few feet higher than it actually is.

Light Toned Floors

If you’re renting, you probably can’t do much about the floors but put rugs on them, but if you’re willing to re-do flooring, lighter floors tend to open up a room and dark floors tend to close it off more.


Mirrors can be a great stand-in for windows if you don’t have many windows or a great view, and visually increase the size of the room. Strategically position your mirrors to reflect the most beautiful parts of your room, whether this is artwork, a window, or anything else in the room that you love.

Graphic Effects

Horizontal Lines on the wall make a room appear wider; vertical lines make it appear taller. Other interesting, graphic elements help distract the eye from the size of the room.

Landscape Artwork

Expansive artwork, like photographs of country landscapes, underwater paintings, or any type of artwork in any style that represents a large area of outdoor space, can function almost like a window and give the room a bit of the wider world in your tiny room.