How to Make a Room Look Bigger

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If you're trying to make a room look bigger and aren't in the market for knocking down walls or extending rooms, there are tips and techniques that will make a room look bigger without costly overhauls.

  • Try built-in shelving. Shelves and recessed storage areas for books, or displaying art and other decorations will cut down on space taking furniture and shelving.

  • Utilize your upper walls. Another way to help a room appear bigger is by using shelving or decor near the ceiling. Leaving everything at eye level effectively boxes in a room. But, having things placed higher in a room will draw the eye upwards, lengthening the area.

  • Use mirrors. The thought of using mirrors in decorating puts some people off, but you don't need a wall length or even floor length mirror to give the illusion of a bigger room. Small and tasteful mirrors or reflective surfaces can help a room look bigger without sacrificing style.

  • Lighten up. Lighter areas are bigger areas. Opt for lighter paint and decor for a bigger looking room. Lighting, both natural and strategically placed lamps will also help open up a small room.

  • Avoid cluttering with knickknacks. Remove unnecessary clutter and you'll be surprised just how big a small room can look.

  • Consider long drapes for length and wide drapes for width. You can't make your room bigger with curtains, but you can make it appear bigger. The right window treatments can make or break a room. Use long floor-length drapes to elongate a room and wide window drapes or panels for width.

  • Go with continuous colors. This doesn't mean the entire room has to have the same color. But, try keeping the color scheme of the room within the same color family. Sharp, harsh breaks in colors within a room can make it appear boxed in and smaller.

  • Get furniture that stores. There are more selections of furniture and decorations with storage possibilities than ever. Find pieces with storage above, below and inside. This is particularly important if you can't part with those knickknacks you removed when de-cluttering earlier.

  • Keep that big couch. Believe it or not, having one or two pieces of large furniture in the room can actually make it look bigger than having seven or eight smaller pieces cluttering up the area. Just be sure there are clear paths and walkways between furnishings for a more open look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Natural sunlight is a great way to make a small room look bigger.

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