Small Room, Big Space: Making Small Rooms Seem Big

A small room with a big window, drapes, and armchairs

By: Emila Smith

Making a small space into a big space seems counterintuitive. However, this concept is more about the perception of space, rather than the reality of the size of the space. We’ve all been in a situation where certain rooms in our home aren’t quite as big as we’d like and we’re trying to work with what we’ve got. 

But, if you’re in the process of redesigning your home, it might be a good idea to consider how to make those smaller spaces appear bigger. That said, here are some tips on how to accomplish that big look in a small space. 

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mirrors offer a sense of depth and scale to even the smallest of spaces. You’ve probably been to an amusement park that has a ‘fun house’ with a room of mirrors, and the space looks much bigger than it actually is. Consider that effect at home. Even though that room may be small, adding a mirror to the space will elongate the walls, causing it to feel much bigger than it is.

White paint

One of the biggest additions you can make, relatively cheaply, to make your small room look bigger is to add a coat or two of white paint to the walls or ceiling. White paint creates the illusion of length. This is true of almost any space, no matter where it might be in the home. It is the combination of light paint and light coming into the room that gives it the appearance of expansiveness. 

You can also apply the same principle to your furniture. For example, if you have a dark room that’s not well-lit and have a dark couch or recliner, consider swapping the cover for a light colour.

Let there be light

Letting light into a room will add a natural feel of length. If you’re doing a home renovation and want to add more ‘space’ to a small room, figure out the best natural light angles during the day, and put in a relatively large window. This will flood the room with excellent natural light that will add depth to the space.

De-clutter the space

One of the biggest things that can make a space seem small is the presence of ‘stuff’. It doesn’t matter if it’s things or furniture. If it’s there, it will  take up space and make the room feel small. 

If you have a small room to begin with, try spending a day going through every small room and taking out everything that doesn’t need to be there. 

You’ll be amazed by how much stuff you have that isn’t necessary for daily function. Decluttering the space will help you see the space that you do have.

Multi-purpose finishings

Given that you’re not working with very much, it’s important to maximize the functionality of the furniture that you do have. If you’re redesigning a space, you’ll want to look for the best multi-purpose furniture money can buy. 

For example, the Murphy bed is a fantastic way to turn a couch into a bed and back again, with next-to-no effort.


One of the most important things you can do to make a small room look big is to knock down those walls. Get some friends together with some sledgehammers and go to town. One of the best ways to make a small space look big is to open the space up to the rest of the house. 

Got a kitchen wall that makes you feel like your kitchen is tiny? Take the wall out. Opening up the space, literally, will add perceptual square footage.

Tile in the bathroom

Back to the bathroom for another tip. The best thing you can do here is to add tiling to the bathroom – preferably white tiles. This tile, best complemented by dark or white accents; you either want a sharp contrast or a seamlessness throughout, will allow you to elongate the bathroom in much the same way a mirror would.

Low-profile furnishings

Another idea is to make sure that most of your large furniture has a lower profile along with multi-purpose furnishings. Being low to the ground will not take up as much vertical space, thereby making the room feel bigger. 

This can also be true of small bedrooms. Putting a large, low bed in there will really take up the space horizontally but not leave you feeling cramped vertically. 

There are a myriad of ways to tackle the issue of feeling cramped in a series of small rooms and they don’t always have to be big expensive changes. You can make a series of small changes to small rooms that will make them feel like wide-open spaces.

To read more about Vigeo Construction and Consulting’s design philosophy, where they find inspiration, and how they help their clients incorporate elements that fit their lifestyle and budget, read https://vigeoconstruction.com/a-holistic-approach-on-home-design/

One Comment

  1. […] Now that you have let down the shackles, look for ways to maximize space. Floor space could be limited, but we often underutilize vertical spaces. A creative designer can help you use vertical spaces in various parts of your home and make small spaces look enormous.  […]

Comments are closed.