3 Steps to Make Small Rooms Look Bigger

How can I make this small room look bigger?  This is a question I get all of the time, especially from people who are selling their house.  A huge goal in presenting your home for sale is to make rooms feel welcoming, spacious, and bright, with good traffic flow.   Maybe this is also your goal in your home, just in general!   Today I have 3 Practical Steps to help you make your small rooms look bigger.

Step 1- Lighten & Refresh with Paint

photo credit: stylingyou.com.au

The room above went from outdated to pretty spectacular just by painting!  Looks like they have changed blinds to shutters, but it's    S.O.   G.O.O.D!   If they were selling, I would have recommended the paint, and then just suggested to remove the blinds to save money - thinking about return on investment.  

Paint is money in a can.  When you choose the right paint color, it can make a HUGE difference in how the home is presented and will attract more buyers.  Paint colors have something called an LRV (Light Reflectance Value.)  The higher the number, the more light is reflected, thus making the room brighter.  Zero is the darkest black and 100 is the brightest white.  When painting for a home to sell, look for a neutral color that has a LRV of 70 or higher. Here are four of my favorites below.

Sherwin Williams 7004 Snowbound       (an off-white)        LRV 83   

Sherwin Williams 6105 Divine White        (pink beige greige)  LRV72   

Sherwin Williams 6385 Dover White     (cream)                  LRV 83   

Sherwin Williams 6070 Heron Plume     (green gray greige)  LRV 75

Paint living rooms, dining rooms, and bedroom walls in a flat/matte or eggshell finish.  In bathrooms, kitchens, or high traffic areas, you may want to go for a satin sheen so that it's somewhat washable.   My recommendation for baseboards, trim, and molding is to use the exact same color in a satin or semi-gloss sheen/finish. That way, you'll know that it matches. No stress!  Plus it looks really classy when you do that.     A great person to follow for painting advice is Maria Killam.  Click here to be taken to her website.                                                                                               

Step 2 - Think Vertically

Your windows are one of the best friends in the room.  You need to expose them by removing the drapes if they are outdated, dirty, faded, etc.   Keep the windows bare or reinstall drapes that go as high as possible - not just above the window.  Also, you want the rods to stretch out to the left and right about 8-10 inches from the window opening so that the open drapes will not block the light from flooding in.  Pro Tip:  Use drapes in a color that matches (or is very similar to) the wall color.   Do you need new drapes up to 120 inches long?  I've found that Half-Price Drapes is my resource.  

photo: Pinterest zimmo.be

A super tall mirror looks great in almost any room.  It draws the eye up, reflects light, and visually enlarges the space.   Placing a large mirror above the fireplace can be great too - just be careful as to what the mirror is reflecting.   Love this one below for its simple, classic look!

photo: Pinterest mirror: Home Depot

Another way to think vertically is to concentrate on a focal wall.  This may be where the fireplace is located, or maybe it's a great built-in, or maybe the headboard in a bedroom. Placing a large art, mirror, or decor pieces on this focal area is another way to make the space feel larger.  The height of this art below really emphasizes the amazing windows beside it, which is what we want to do, especially when selling.   Why?  The art is leaving with the owner, and the buyer gets these great windows, right?

photo: Pinterest art: etsy.com

Step 3 - Use Bigger Furniture & Accessories

I know this step may sound contrary to what you think, but a lot of smaller tables, chairs, art and decor just makes a room look cluttered and busy.   Use a full size sofa and chair if it's possible.  Choose a coffee table that's in proportion.  If you don't have room for side tables and table lamps, use a floor lamp instead.   The photo above and the one below are really great examples of this step.  See how the lamps above are placed right behind the chairs? Very nice!   Minimize your decor to just a few larger scaled pieces.  Less is more!   I say this all of the time too!  This step will give your room a sense of calm and peace.  

Photo: Pinterest Shop: Amazon

Well, there you have it!  Three steps to making a room look bigger!   I hope these help you with your bigger-looking room goals.   Don't forget to clean and declutter your space.   That's the no-brainer step that we sometimes dread.  But, you'll be glad you did it.   

Have you read my post about styling a coffee table?  Click here to see it.

Looking forward to the next time I can share with you!  Until then, if you need help with staging or decorating, just reach out.  🙂


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