Give the illusion of space in a small room

A small room can feel dark, claustrophobic, and uninviting. With a few simple tricks, you can give the illusion of space and make even the smallest area more welcoming. By taking advantage of light, color, and available floor space, you and your family can sit back and enjoy the ample space that awaits!

Natural light

To instantly open up a room and give it an open, airy feeling, take advantage of the natural light available. This simple trick works for even the smallest room, and is a 100% free way to improve the look of your home. Pull back those heavy draperies, clean the windows, and let the sun shine in. Find more 'affordable ways to maximize natural light in your home'.

Light colors

Dark colors will cozy up a space, but they can also close it in and make a room feel smaller than it actually is. To give the illusion of space, use flattering neutral tones on the walls, and accent the room with pretty colors that will complement your décor, and open up the space. Remember to paint the ceiling with a bright white paint; this draws the eye upwards and helps to give the appearance of longer wall space.

Don't break up the room

To help open up a small space, don't break it up with heavy molding or thick wallpaper border. This will only serve to chop up the wall area and make the room look smaller. Instead, keep the walls open and accent them with a pretty picture, mirrors, or other appealing accents.


Oversized furniture doesn't belong in a small room, as it will crowd the space and make the room appear smaller. To give the illusion of more space, bring in smaller pieces that will fit comfortably. By keeping the furniture to a smaller scale, you'll open up the floor space and enjoy a more spacious atmosphere.

Reflective surfaces

You've probably heard that mirrors can be used to make a space appear larger. Place a mirror at the end of a short hallway to give the illusion of length. Add a set of long mirrors against one wall to give the illusion of a bigger room. This same illusion can be achieved with virtually any reflective surface. Stainless steel, glass, metal, glossy paint, and lacquered finishes are all examples of materials that reflect. Add these to any area to give the illusion of space.

Get rid of the excess

Clutter, unused furniture, and too many accent pieces, can quickly take over a room and make it feel short on space. Declutter, organize, and move the excess somewhere else. If you think you may need an item, go ahead and keep it in the room, but store it in an attractive basket or bin to keep it organized.


More from Jennifer Wagner:

Ideas for Decorating Short Windows

Tips for Decorating an All White Room

Beginner's Guide - How to Paint a Room


Personal experience

Jennifer Wagner - Yahoo! Contributor Network