How to Make Your Small Space Look Bigger

By Cristina Cleveland

I know that for many, a big house with a big yard is the dream. But after living in all sorts of accommodations from houses to dorm rooms to apartments, I’ve found that I actually flourish in a small space. It forces me to have a place for everything – and to keep everything in its place. It also means that there is never a neglected room or area that never gets used or a spot that I have been meaning to decorate forever. It’s true, you have to be more vigilant about tidying because a small pile can quickly turn into a big eyesore, but a 5 minute sweep at night is usually enough to keep clutter at bay. Plus, there’s less to clean! But just because a space is physically small doesn’t mean it has to feel that way. There are plenty of things you can do to create an airy, spacious feel in close quarters – keep reading for my tips. What about you, are you a small space dweller or do you prefer a spacious home? 


Low profile furniture – In a living room with a small footprint, a low profile couch and coffee table can help create the illusion that the ceiling is higher.

Furniture with legs – What does all of the furniture in the inspiration photo have in common? Legs! Thin, tall legs allow for visual space around and under your furniture, making the area look much more open.

Light colors – Bright white walls, light floors and plenty of natural light will always help a room feel airy and open, but if you don’t have control over some of those elements then opt for light colors in your larger pieces of furniture and decor like the sofa, rug and art.

The window effect – If your small space is lacking windows on a few walls, there are ways to fake it. If you do have a window or light source, place a mirror on a facing wall to reflect light and brighten up an otherwise dark spot. You can also use photography to give your room a “view.”

Clear furniture – Just like the trick with the legs, the key is to be able to see right through your furniture so that it takes up less space and weight visually. Try incorporating an acrylic or glass coffee table or side table if your living room tends to look cramped.

Wall sconces – When you’re tight on space, floor lamps and table lamps can take up valuable real estate. So opt for wall sconces for lighting instead, and the good news is there are so many cool vintage ones on Etsy.

Draw the eye up – A wall hanging or tall piece of art can draw the eye up and help the room feel taller, even if its footprint is small. This combined with the low profile furniture will trick the eye into thinking your ceiling is higher than it really is.

Sources: inspiration photo Architectural Digest, sofa West Elm, mirror Bower, wall sconces GiammyArt, coffee table One Kings Lane, macrame wall art himoart, rug Homestead Seattle contributorByline_Temporary_CristinaCleveland