Aug 27, 2014

8 Ways to Make a Small Space Seem Bigger

by Julia Millay Walsh

Multi-purpose furniture and clever storage units are essential for organizing your small space, but there are also numerous ways to visually expand your square footage to make it appear larger than it actually is. Think of it like an addition—but you don't need to hire a contractor. Read below for eight of these tried-and-true small-space tricks.

Be it oversize artwork or a bookcase that grazes the ceiling, large-scale pieces accentuate the width and height of your home. Rather than hanging a whole gallery wall of small, framed art in a petite room, hang one oversize piece for maximum impact.

Matching your furniture and other materials to your walls can make them almost disappear, making your space seem less cluttered or full than it really is. If you’re shopping for curtains for a small room, look for fabrics in the same hue as your paint, and if you have an old armoire,, consider painting it while you’re dressing your walls in color.

When it comes to color, white is hands-down the best shade to make your room appear bigger, both horizontally and vertically. Nothing creates this illusion better! Whether you paint your walls white and add color in furniture and accents, or you opt for all-white everything, it’s up to you, but the whiter, the better!

Similar to how they work to elongate your figure, vertical stripes will visually elongate your room. Consider a striped wallpaper in a small powder room or even a striped headboard in a diminutive bedroom.

Drawing attention to your ceiling, be it with patterned wallpaper or a statement-making chandelier, will draw your eyes upwards, giving your room the appearance of height. On the contrary, a busy, distracting rug can draw eyes downward, making your room feel smaller.

Lucite and acrylic furniture is clear and has the effect of disappearing into your space. That acrylic desk of yours may offer plenty of surface area to do your work, but you’ll never even notice it with a quick glance around the room.

Drapery hung close to the ceiling acts like a booster seat for your home. Resist the urge to install your hardware right above the window and go get your ladder! Yes, it may require a little extra yardage, but it’ll be worth every penny when your ceilings all the sudden appear to soar.

We’ve all been fooled by mirrors before—and I don’t mean skinny mirrors. Mirrors not only reflect light gorgeously around your room, brightening up your space, but if you have a large-scale one, it can also make your room appear ttwice as large as it is. Try it—just be careful where you’re walking.

What other tricks do you rely on for opening up your small space? Share in the comments.

Explore: Small Space, Tips