How to Make Every Room in Your House Feel Bigger
Small spaces don't have to feel cramped; here are the simple design changes you can make to take yours from claustrophobic to classy.
Photo: Courtesy of Mona Hajj
Before you fall down a Pinterest rabbit hole of the best paint pairings for your dream shade, consider this advice from Baltimore-based interior designer Mona Hajj. "You don't want to break up the room with color," she says. "Use one color on the walls, the molding, the ceiling, even the windows. The idea is to not interrupt the space." The consistent color scheme creates the illusion of a larger area, so focus on a tone that helps the whole room work together.
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Your instinct might be to focus on your furniture's footprint, but height matters as much—or more. Choosing pieces that are lower to the ground allows you to, as Hajj points out, "work with higher space" because it increases the amount of vertical, decorative touches you can add to your small area.
Photo: Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess
Rachel Denbow of A Beautiful Mess was frustrated with the heavy, dark bookshelf in her sons' bedroom, so she decided to cover the panels with a handmade lining. The fix was cheap, easy, and made the space feel less cramped. "After the lining went up, the room felt bigger," says Rachel. "And I was able to style it with some of their keepsakes and favorite books which then freed up much needed closet space in our small bungalow." Rachel explains that linings "can turn a boring eyesore in your space into a design feature," saving you space and adding to the room's aesthetic appeal.
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Too many textures on your floor can make the space look smaller than it is, and different patterns may make a room look cluttered or dark. Sticking to one type of flooring, whether it be tile, wood or a rug that covers the entire room, will be your best move to make your spaces feel wider.
Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images
Mind the Gap
Create the illusion of a larger area by spreading furniture and décor to take advantage of the largest pockets of open space in your room. For example, Hajj says, although island counters are popular, they are generally right in the middle of the kitchen, taking away square footage that could make your home look larger. "Just use a breakfast table instead," she says, as the table can be placed to the side and will be less likely to disrupt the flow of the space.