When designing a small room, there are several tricks to make it feel larger. Furniture placement and choice, color pallet and lighting can either work for or against your space. Following some simple guidelines will give you a larger feeling and functional room.


Paint Colors


Using lighter paint colors is perhaps the easiest way to make a smaller room feel bigger. Generally, neutral or lighter colors are recommended for smaller rooms. A monochromatic look will help the space feel clean and open. Paint the trim, walls and ceiling complementary shades of the same color. Don't forget to use light colors on the floor too. For a more unusual technic, use a fun, patterned wallpaper or bold paint color on the ceiling. This will draw your eye up and give the room perceived height. Using a striped pattern on the floor can elongate a space and increase its overall feel.


Mirrors and Lighting


Strategically placed lighting and mirrors can open a room and help create depth. Overhead lights are harsh and are not flattering. Use unique floor or table lamps to create warmth and a cozy feel. Tuck a mirror on a bookshelf or across from a window. The reflected light and space will open the room and make it seem endless. Avoid heavy curtains, this lets more light into the room. If you can, do away with window treatments entirely. If you do hang curtains, hang them from the top of the wall rather than the top of the window to elongate the walls.




Overloading a room with furniture can make a small space feel even smaller. Choose pieces that are multi-functional or have hidden storage. For example, an ottoman storage chest can act as a coffee table and an extra chair when you need one. A large piece of furniture can actually make a small room look bigger, but it must be strategic. When you do go with a large statement piece, make sure that it is the primary piece of furniture in the room. Too much furniture looks cluttered. So, keep it clean and intentional. Also, try arranging the furniture in creative ways. Pushing all the furniture against the walls is not only uninteresting, it doesn’t make the room feel larger. Creating pockets of space around furniture gives breathing room to your space.



Less is More


With small spaces, lots of small items will make the room cluttered and seem smaller than it really is. De-clutter your space and opt for a few larger decorative items rather than many small ones. A common rule of thumb is no decorative item smaller than a cantaloupe. If you do use smaller items, group them by size or color. This creates cohesion and streamlines the space. Keep the walls clutter-free too. Group similar pictures together or go with one bold art piece. Solid fabrics are usually a better option for small rooms. However, if you want to use printed rugs or couch pillows, choose smaller prints that won't overwhelm the space.


The key for small spaces is to keep it minimal with each piece adding to the overall look of the room. Avoid clutter and over-filling the space. Play around with furniture layout. Remember light is your friend, the more light and air brought into the room, the larger it will appear.

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