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How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

Create the appearance of more space in a tiny room with these interior decorator tips and tricks.


  • Step 1: Use color Use vibrant paint. Contrary to popular belief, white doesn't make a room look larger; deeper colors do by making corners disappear. If you want to use a light color, give the space an accent wall in a darker shade; it elongates the room by making the wall appear to recede.
  • TIP: If you have carpeting, paint the baseboards the same color.
  • Step 2: Avoid small furniture Avoid small furniture. It may seem counterintuitive, but a few oversized pieces work better in a modestly-sized room than a lot of tiny furnishings, which just make a room look cluttered.
  • Step 3: Use two mirrors Place mirrors on walls across from each other to produce the illusion of a room that goes on and on.
  • TIP: Choose mirrors with thick glass, which better reflects dimension.
  • Step 4: Choose complementary furnishings Choose furnishings in shades that complement each other. Having a lot of competing colors and patterns makes a room look smaller.
  • Step 5: Let it in the light Use sheer curtains that can be pulled completely away from the windows during the day; dark rooms look smaller. Hang the curtain rod near the ceiling, and have it extend past the sides of the window; this gives the illusion of a larger window, and therefore a larger room.
  • Step 6: Tile it In small kitchens and bathrooms, use subway tile - 3- by 6-inch ceramic tiles -- to add depth, or glass tile, which reflects light.
  • FACT: Did you know? Japan invented the capsule hotel concept, which offer rooms as small as 75 square feet.

You Will Need

  • Colorful paint
  • Big furniture
  • Two mirrors
  • Complementary furnishings
  • Sheer curtains
  • Subway or glass tile

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