To make a room appear larger, we must create the illusion of more space. In order to do this, we must create a sense of openness and movement by using tricks and techniques that will help the occupant perceive a room as larger than it actually is. Using colors, staging techniques, dynamism, and more will help you achieve the ultimate goal: create more space where there actually isn’t any.
Mirrors are your Friend
Anything that causes your eye to travel around a room in an intentional and orderly fashion will make it feel larger and mirrors are the best way to achieve this goal. Placing a mirror in a room, especially one that gets minimal natural light, will make the room feel like it expands beyond the actual square footage and add more light to the space, tricking the eye into perceiving more space. My personal favorite is the Cadence Frameless Mirror sold by Ballard Design – it’s versatility and size variants enhance any room beautifully. Check out my entire list of favorites and top rated mirrors of 2022 here!
Emphasize Horizontal Patterns
Whether that’s using board and batten, shiplap, or simply aligning your wall art in a horizontal fashion, emphasizing horizontal patterns will make your brain think the room is larger than it is.
Emphasize Vertical Patterns
Especially if you have taller ceilings, emphasizing vertical patterns will cause the space to feel bigger, training the eye to look up and down at the space rather than around the room in an un-orderly fashion. The sense of openness will increase simply by adding even one vertical element.
Less is More
When decorating a small space, less decor and furniture means less of a cluttered feel. Minimizing what you don’t need in the area is a great way to make the room feel more spacious. Pick larger decorative accents that serve as statement pieces rather than little knick-knacks.
White is Your Friend
The color white is like a blank canvas, you can make it as elaborate and detailed or as minimalistic as you’d like. In terms of enlarging a space, white makes a room feel airy and light, really opening up any small room. Painting the walls and ceiling the same shade of white will also help achieve this goal, blurring the lines between where one ends and one starts will essentially give the feel of higher ceilings. If you need help choosing the best whites for your walls, check out our post!
Minimize the Fabrics
The design is in the details but sometimes the details are too much for the design. Taking out decorative elements like window curtains and rugs will make the space feel more open.
Pay Attention to Negative Space
It’s important to create a flow throughout your room when trying to make a smaller room appear larger. It’s all about how the space makes you feel and creating a sense of openness and movement using the negative space in the room will help you achieve this goal.
Lower Your Furniture
Choosing lower furniture has it’s benefits! Having furniture like couches and beds that are the lower profile style will make the room appear larger simply because there’s more space between the furniture and the ceiling.
Light Colors Appear Larger
You want to aim for the “light and airy” feel no matter the design style you’re going for. Pairing light colors with darker furniture will create a beautiful contrast without defeating the ultimate goal.
Use Artificial Lights
If you rely on an overhead light to light up the entire space, try implementing a few lamps. It’ll create a more cozy feel and make the room appear more spacious, especially when you have limited natural light.