Small House, Big Personality: 8 Ways to Make a Tiny Room Feel Larger

Small House, Big Personality: 8 Ways to Make a Tiny Room Feel Larger
  • Opening Intro -

    Small room? No problem!

    You don't have to be Houdini to make a tiny room feel grand.


Forget the sleight of hand tricks. Whether you’re transforming a tiny house into a haven or have just one smaller-than-ideal room you need to work with, there are all sorts of design tricks that can help turn fun-sized spaces into functional and fabulous rooms. Lucky for you, we know every single one of them.

Keep reading for eight ways to make a small room look and live large.

Snag One Statement Piece

It sounds counter-intuitive, but hanging a large piece of art in a small room will give it some gravitas. How big can you go? That all depends on the sort of space you have to work with. Try to purchase a piece that mirrors the shape of the wall you’re hanging it on. For a narrow wall, that means a longer, vertically oriented piece. For a wider wall, choose something horizontal.

Pro tip: Stay away from bulky frames and any items (like shelving) that will impinge on the livable space of the room. Instead, pick something slim that will hang close to the wall.

Whitewash Your Trim

Some say painting dark wood molding is sacrilege. Poppycock! Brightening up a small room goes a long way to making it look bigger, and that doesn’t stop at the wall color. To maximize the boost you’ll get from a paint job, put a pale color on the walls and paint your trim (gulp) white.

Pro tip: Swap out dark fixtures, too. This goes for ceiling fans, light fixtures and curtain rods, all of which contribute to making a tiny room feel more cramped than it really is. White, chrome or brushed nickel finishes are all good choices.

Install Flooring Strategically

A wide-open floor plan can handle long, wide planks that seem to stretch from here to the horizon. Your smaller space needs a different flooring strategy. Install floors with a similar look to the rest of your home—identical, if possible, for ultimate continuity—but use shorter planks. The short planks will give the illusion that the room is larger than it is.

Pro tip: If you love hardwood floors but aren’t sure it can stand up to the abuse from kids, pets, and other activities, give engineered hardwood a look. You can find surfaces than can be refinished or refreshed and finishes that can hold up to spills that are cleaned up quickly.

Today’s luxury vinyl plank and laminate floors also feature incredibly realistic wood visuals and textures with the added bonus of increased durability, soundproofing, and, in some cases, water-resistant ratings.

Rethink Your Furniture

Overstuffed chairs are comfy, it’s true, but you can score the same level of afternoon nap satisfaction with furniture that has a smaller footprint. As you shop for sofas, chairs and tables, look for pieces that are economical with their lines. Think: straighter profiles and soft curves rather than chunky arms, legs and, well, everything else.

Pro tip: Be on the lookout for furniture with flexibility. Nesting tables, desks with leaves and pull-out sofas that can grow when you need them and shrink back down when you don’t are ideal for areas where space is at a premium.

Kick Clutter to the Curb

The ticket to making any space—even a massive one—look miniscule is to overload it with miscellaneous odds and ends. Resist the urge to cover surfaces with knick-knacks, collectibles and memorabilia. In addition to downsizing your small room, visually, they will also make a tight area more difficult to navigate.

Pro tip: Hide your storage in multi-tasking furniture. We’re all about ottomans and coffee tables that function like trunks to hold all sorts of goodies, from spare blankets and pillows to books, magazines and other treasures.

Go Floor-to-Ceiling

Low ceilings can make a small room feel even smaller. One of our favorite interior design tricks will make yours soar. Here it is: Instead of sticking inside (or close to) the window, hang your window coverings closer to the ceiling. This works wonderfully with Roman and roller shades, which will also add some extra personality to your room.

Pro tip: Love a curtain? Us, too. Just make sure to hem them so that they don’t puddle on the floor. Puddling is perfect for 12-foot parlors. For small rooms? Not so much. They’ll bring the ceiling down, shrinking the already-tight space you have.

Mirror, Mirror

Who says mirrors only belong in bathrooms? We love the idea of sticking a mirror inside an interesting frame and hanging it on the wall as a piece of art. If you’ve ever been in a fun house, you know exactly how mirrors can make a space look larger than it really is. For your tiny room, go for a large rectangular or circular mirror.

Pro tip: Mirrors aren’t your only option! There are all sorts of subtle ways you can bounce light around a room. Glass lamps, enameled dressers and metallic accents on furniture and frames will all make your small space look a little larger than it really is.

Light It Up

Nothing shouts “We didn’t know what to do in here!” more than leaving up a blindingly bright ceiling fixture that casts shadows in all the wrong places. Pull that sucker down and replace it with recessed lights on a dimmer switch so that you can control the general lighting levels. Then, add low-profile task lighting with sleek table or floor lamps.

Pro tip: If you don’t have room for table-top or floor lamps, give wall sconces and pendant lights another look. When hung over side tables (or nightstands, as in the case of the super-small bedroom) or the arm of a reading chair, they’ll look fresh and fashionable.

See? There’s no reason to bemoan tiny rooms! After all, space is what you make it. With these interior design tips in your back pocket, you’ll be able to make your space feel so much bigger than its dimensions.

other valuable tips:

Image credit: Pixabay

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