How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger: 6 Tips from a Design Expert

When it comes to making the most of small homes, we all know the basic hacks for saving space, but if your ottoman isn’t quite cutting it, knowing what to do next can be a challenge. 

Sometimes a bit of decluttering and smart organisation may be all it takes to free up some space, or perhaps you need to think outside the box. Being clever with lighting tricks and using multi-purpose furniture, such as shelved floor lamps, tapping into the minimalism trend or creating an illusion with design details, how can we make a small space feel bigger?

To truly maximise the potential of any space requires a bit of creative thinking. Luckily, Julia Barnes, Head Buyer at ValueLights has shared six hacks for making the most of a small space that you might not have thought of.

Swap table and floor lamps for wall lights

Julia says: “When working with a small room you should always look to free up as much floor space as possible. Swapping floor lamps for mounted wall lights will illuminate your room corners without encroaching on precious space. 

    “Furniture that sits on the walls, instead of pushed up against them, adds fluidity to the space and being able to see the corners of your room will make the room feel a lot less cramped.”

    This can work particularly well in the bedroom, Julia adds “Switching out your bedside table lamps for a wall light helps to keep your bedroom looking sleek and refined and leaves space on your bedside table for the essentials only.”

    Avoid patterns to reduce visual clutter

    Julia says: “Visual clutter is often a misunderstood concept when it comes to interior design – it’s less about how a room looks and more about how it feels. This means it’s important to not only consider the physical items you keep on display in your home but also the design elements of your interiors”

      “One way to reduce visual clutter is to avoid any loud patterns or wallpaper. Maximalism has been hugely trendy in the interior design space over the past few years and while it can be tempting to replicate your Pinterest pins, this is a trend which will quickly make small spaces feel busier than they are.” 

      Make the most of multi-purpose furniture 

      With Google searches for ‘multi purpose furniture design’ up 136% YOY, it’s clear more people are looking to find space-saving solutions in their homes.

        Julia says: “Multi-purpose furniture is a lifesaver when it comes to furnishing a small space allowing you to get several functions out of one item and freeing up this space for other pieces. While the ottoman bed has become a recognised staple, there’s plenty of other multi-purpose furniture solutions that often go under the radar.”

        “As houses continue to get smaller, the market has adapted to the wants and needs of the modern occupant to provide dual, and even, tri-purpose solutions. For example, floor lamps with built-in shelves such as our Hiru or our Omnia shelf which functions as a bedside table, light and charging port!”

        Keep window treatments simple

        Julia comments: “A brighter room will always feel bigger and this should begin by maximising the natural light available to you.”

          “Curtains and drapes can be lovely additions for adding both ambience and decorative interest to your home, however, if you’re solely looking to make your rooms feel more spacious, they can make windows feel overcrowded and block out precious light.

          “Roller blinds are a sleeker option to consider, allowing you to completely open up your window space during the day.”

          Add vertical lines

          Julia advises: “A great trick to make a room seem bigger is to create a vertical path of vision. Running wood panelling or installing striped wallpaper helps guide the eye up towards the ceiling, having the effect of elongating the space. If you’re looking for more of a quick fix, using tall, slender floor lamps will have a similar effect, bringing attention to the height of the room, no matter the ceiling height or the room’s square footage.” 

            Take advantage of awkward corners

            Julia says: “Maximising every nook and cranny is key to small rooms. No matter how limited or how awkward you may believe a space to be, always try to unlock its potential – whether that be via shallow storage or even just a pegboard”

              “If a space is too small for furniture, go back to tricks which help make a room look more spacious. A great hack for awkward corners is to add a mirror. You can pretty much add a mirror anywhere and it will help to enhance the perceived size of your room!”

              Eve Crabtree

              Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.