Designing to Make Your Home Look Larger

1. Clean and Declutter

Clutter causes your room to look smaller by not allowing your eye to see past the chaos. Remove unused items and the day to day mess that can become the norm in your home. Clear out closets and drawers to reorganize what you use and donate items you forgot you even had. Instead of spreading out like items, group together collections to create a focal wall.

Before: Storage & Child's Playroom
Before: Storage & Child’s Playroom
After: TV Room
After: TV Room

2. Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important design elements of any room. Layer it to help draw your eye around the room with overhead, ambient and task in addition to any natural light. Add dimmers to give yourself control and play with different color temperatures in your light bulbs. If your colors are warmer, use a soft white. If your colors are cooler, use a daylight bulb.

Layer lighting to help your eye move around the room.
Layer lighting to help your eye move around the room.

3. Go Vertical

Take advantage of vertical spaces in small nooks or awkward spaces. Doing a floor to ceiling shelving unit draws your eye up and gives you a focal point while providing storage. Remove the soffit over cabinets and utilize that space to add display or to continue your cabinet to the ceiling. Add storage around a window or beneath your stairs to create a reading nook.

An unused corner was turned into a shelving unit to continue the eye upward with the fireplace.
An unused corner was turned into a shelving unit to continue the eye upward with the fireplace.

4. Flooring

One of the largest surfaces in your home, flooring can help give your home a larger look when done correctly. As homes open up, take flooring throughout. Chopping up spaces with different floorings visually cuts off rooms even if there are no walls. Take a hard surface throughout a kitchen, dining and living room to include the hallway and add a rug to soften and help absorb noise. Angling hardwood or tile to draw your eye to the furthest corner creates that illusion of space. Using bigger products such as 24” tiles instead of 6” or 12” eliminate cluttering gout lines.

Taking the same flooring throughout help creates one larger space.
Taking the same flooring throughout help creates one larger space.

5. Furniture

When purchasing furniture, ensure the scale of the pieces fit within the room. Filling a room with oversize furniture does not make it feel larger nor does tiny furniture. Invest in multifunctional pieces such as an ottoman with storage or decorative baskets to hold blankets and extra pillows. Look for pieces with more leg than bulk such as a parson’s chair or open shelving on a nightstand. When placing furniture in your room, the walls do not need support. Pull furniture 4”-6” away from the wall to create depth and setup conversation areas, especially if you have a “bowling alley” shaped room. Lastly, stow accents in your newly cleaned out closets until guests come. This cuts down on items you are trying to live around and can make your home feel brand new when you entertain.

Pairing an oversized sectional with a leggy chair and cocktail table help balance out the small space.
Pairing an oversized sectional with a leggy chair and cocktail table help balance out the small space.

6. Paint

Painting is such a big impact for a small investment. Don’t just stop at your walls. Lighten up the wall color by two shades and painting your ceiling. This makes your room look bigger by softening the definition between wall and ceiling. Extend your space by including the surrounding rooms and hallways instead of breaking it up with different colors. Accent a focal wall with a darker color to help the wall recede or use different shades of the same color for a harmonious look without being boring.

Painting the dining, kitchen, hallway and laundry room make this small home feel bigger.
Painting the dining, kitchen, hallway and laundry room make this small home feel bigger.
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