11 Easy Ways to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

Small room with natural decor items, wicker chairs and tv screen on opposite wall

The Spruce / Sophia Reay

You may lament the lack of space if you're in the process of decorating a small room, but there are plenty of reasons why small is better: small spaces are easier to decorate, easier to keep clean, and easier to organize. So what can you do to make a room look bigger? Think of easy fixes like clearing out clutter, adding reflective surfaces, choosing neutral colors, and more, Read on for more simple tips that will help you make a small room look bigger without breaking the bank.

Clear Out the Clutter

There's nothing that makes a small space feel more cramped than having too much stuff. Work out ways to get collections out of view, organized behind doors, table skirts, or on shelves. With things neatly arranged and out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open.

Open the Way

When furniture and accessories block the view into a room, it will look cramped. By moving furniture out and away from walkways, you'll open up the space and make it feel larger. You can also choose short pieces of furniture like an ottoman, an armless open chair, or a low table, and place large, tall pieces along a wall rather than out in the open space. If you can see the floor, the room will look larger.

Wooden chair and glass side table moved out of the walk way with neutral-colored rug in middle

The Spruce / Sophia Reay

Chooser Soft, Light Hues

Whereas dark, warm colors make space feel cozy and intimate, light, cool colors make space feel open and airy. For optimum effect, select soft tones of blue and green.

Use a Neutral Color Scheme

Choose colors that are in the same family, and use tone-on-tone woven upholstery fabrics, textured wall finishes, and tonal drapery fabrics. Cool colors and delicate warm colors on most surfaces give a small room a more open look.

Neutral wooden chairs with faux sheepskin pillows on top next to lamp and side table with books

The Spruce / Sophia Reay

Coordinate Wall and Furniture Colors

Contrasting colors tend to break up a space, making it appear even smaller than it is. Pieces of furniture that match the wall color are less jarring and tend to blend with the space, giving the illusion of a bigger room.

Let in the Light

Any room will look larger if it's well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Get rid of heavy draperies, and open up the windows to let the light of the outdoors into the space. Add more lamps or install track lighting or recessed lighting.

Utilize Glass and Lucite

By using materials that you can see through, anything beyond will appear farther away. For example, in a tiny bathroom, get rid of an opaque glass shower enclosure and substitute a clear, frameless one. The room is the same size but it will look bigger. Now you can see all the way to the wall at the back of the shower––it may only be three extra feet, but the difference it makes is dramatic. You can also use glass or lucite for tabletops. With a sturdy base of wood, stone, or metal, the space around the table will open up the view beyond.

Glass side table with decorative sculpture next to stacked books and wicker chairs

The Spruce / Sophia Reay

Add Reflective Surfaces

Use a large framed mirror on a wall, or stand an oversized framed mirror against a wall. You'll get the same room-enlarging effect as a mirrored wall, but with more style. The room and light will be reflected, resulting in a more open feeling. Top a coffee table or side table with a piece of beveled plate mirror, or purchase a mirrored chest of drawers for a similar effect.

Go Big

Use a few large, simple pieces of furniture or accessories in place of several smaller pieces, which makes a small space look cluttered. With open space and large blocks of color, the room will appear to be more calm and comfortable.

Keep the Upholstery Plain

Select solid-colored upholstery for furniture instead of bold plaids, stripes, or prints. Use texture for interest and neutral tones whenever possible.

Stick With Airy, Light Fabrics

Sheer fabrics allow light to pass through window treatments, bed skirts, and table covers. If you want something other than plain colors, find soft floral vines or simple stripes to keep the look simple.