Whether you’ve just moved into a new place or have been there for a while, it could be your rooms are small. Great, but small. You’d like a way to make them look bigger.
Fear not. There are many decorating ideas that make rooms look roomier. Here are 10 of the best.
Light colors will make rooms look much bigger. Think white, of course, but also ivory, light beige, eggshell – even very pale pinks and blues.
Using one color going up or down in darkness and intensity makes rooms appear bigger. If your rooms are very pale blue, for example, your sofa could be vibrant navy with white accents.
Although your walls should be light, no one said your ceiling had to be. A rich dark color – burgundy or cobalt blue – will draw your eye upward, creating the illusion of more space.
Accessories that are clear draw your eye past them and give a sense that the rooms are bigger. If you’re buying a kitchen table, for example, a streamlined Lucite one will give more illusion of space to a tiny kitchen than a dark wood plank.
A clear shower curtain makes your bathroom look much bigger than one with parrots and jungle vines all over it. With a clear curtain, the bathtub space becomes part of the overall space. With a dark one, it’s blocked off.
Much of what you’re doing in decorating to make small rooms look bigger is bringing as much light in as possible in and not stopping the movement of your gaze. Heavy drapes and curtains stop the eye. So don’t use them! Let your windows be bare of window treatments.
Worried about neighbors peering in? Use sheer gauze curtains so you and visitors can see out, but retain your privacy.
Strategically placed mirrors are a great way to fool the eye. Your eye reads the space as bigger than it is. That’s why small restaurants often have one mirrored wall or large mirrors behind the bar. What works for them will work for you, too.
Vertical stripes make people look more streamlined. They also have that effect on rooms. If three of your walls are white, for example, a fourth in zebra stripes and a monochromatic black couch will make the room look much bigger.
While you may love collecting seashells from vacations or have a collection of ceramic kittens, placing a lot of things in a room will shrink it visually. The eye needs one or two focal points, not many, so cut that clutter. Choose a bright color as an accent and have one large vase and one throw pillow, not more.
Small rooms aren’t only an aesthetic challenge, but also an organizational one. If clutter makes a room look small, then how do you get rid of DVDs, sheets, extra towels, books and stuff?
Simple. Buy a steamer trunk as a table, for example, and use the interior to store DVDs and books. Get a bed with storage drawers underneath. There go your sheets and towels.
One of the best ways to ensure your rooms look bigger is to make furniture smaller. A dining room table that folds up is going to leave more space in the kitchen once it’s up, not down. Need a study desk in the living room or bedroom? Install one that folds up when you’re not using it. Needless to say, a fold-up couch that doubles as a bed is a tried-and-true method of maximizing space in a small apartment.
How can small rooms be made bigger? So many ways. With attention to color, patterns, focal points and furniture, you’ll be adding the illusion of square footage in no time.