Simple Decor Tricks That Make A Room Look Way Bigger Than It Is

When it comes to interior design, space is often an illusion. The biggest room isn’t always the most open and inviting, and even larger spaces can feel claustrophobic if the design is wrong. When you’re decorating your living room it’s important that it doesn’t feel too small and cramped, but it’s equally important that it isn’t too big and impersonal when you’re entertaining guests in there. Fortunately for you, that’s actually a lot easier than it sounds. Here are some simple ways that you can do it in your living room.

Open Into The Garden

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With a few simple changes, you can bring all of the garden space into the living room. All you need to do is put in some big windows or sliding doors on the wall that faces the garden. Having it open gives the impression that the room is far longer than it is. It also gives you a great view all year round. However, the biggest effect is that it lets in a huge amount of light which always goes a long way in a small room. During the summer you can open the doors up and let the outside in.

Pale Colors


Darker colors are quite overbearing and they suck up the light. If you paint a small room in a dark shade it’ll end up looking dingy and uninviting. When you’re fighting space restrictions you should steer more toward a lighter, paler color palette. Whites and creams will help to get the most out of the natural light in the room, giving it an airy feel. However, it can be a little dull if you’re using these very neutral colors. There are a couple of ways that you can get around that; a feature wall is always a good idea. The walls opposite the windows need to be paler so that they reflect the light around the rest of the room. The walls that the windows are on, however, don’t need to be. Using a darker, more interesting shade on there as a feature wall shouldn’t affect the lighting in the room too much but it’ll break up those neutral colors a little. You can also offset the lighter shades with the other furnishings in the room. Don’t go overboard with larger pieces like the sofa but cushions and rugs are both great ways of putting your own stamp on things.

Upwards Not Outwards

When you haven’t got the space to build outwards, upwards is your best choice. As soon as a person enters the room, their eye is drawn to certain features and their perception of the room and the space inside it is massively affected by it. If you put tall bookshelves or mirrors on the wall they draw the eyes upwards and gives the room a sense of space that you wouldn’t otherwise get. It also has a more practical function because all of that extra storage means that you don’t have to clutter the floor and tables with a load of junk. You can also use stripes on the walls to draw people's attention to the height of the room, just be careful not to use colors that will make it feel too enclosed.

Simplistic Furniture

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An extravagant piece of furniture looks great in a large, grand room but if you try to force it into a smaller living space, it’ll just overpower everything else. You want to use simple, clean looking furniture that doesn’t stand out too much from the colors on the walls. This means that when people look around the room their eyes aren’t drawn towards anything in particular. When you’re arranging your furniture, use a basic formation that utilises the space as much as possible. Try to keep sofas against a wall so you aren’t wasting space in the middle. As a general rule, you should look around the room and ask yourself whether every single piece of space is being used, if there are any areas that are wasted, you need to shuffle things around a bit.

When you’ve got a sofa in the room, sticking the furniture to the walls is your best bet. However, some rooms are too small to have a sofa in. If it takes up the entire room and makes it difficult for people to move around, it might be worth ditching it altogether. If you’re going to get rid of the sofa then you’ve got a bit more freedom with furniture placement. A couple of armchairs right in the centre of the room opens up the rest of the space but it doesn’t lend itself to entertaining guests as much. The benefit of having a couple of armchairs in the centre is that they won’t crowd the room too much if you decide to go for something a little more extravagant.


Tidiness is absolutely key if you want to make a room appear larger than it is. The best way to make something look incredibly tidy is to keep it symmetrical. You don’t need to create a room that is absolutely identical on either side but when it comes to bigger features like armchairs or lamps, keep it consistent. This encourages people to look from one side of the room to the other which tricks the brain into thinking that the room is larger. The brain is also generally attracted to symmetry. Be careful not to go overboard with the symmetry and jazz things up with a few pillows and wall decorations otherwise the room will lose any sense of character.

Cut The Room In Half

As we’ve already discussed, darker colors are a big risk in a small living room but if you’re dead set on using some, cutting the room in half is a brilliant way to do it. Split the room horizontally and use your darker shades on the bottom half. That means you can make all of your furniture and cushions etc. a dark blue for example, and then paint the walls in a white or cream. You get to use the darker colors that you wanted to use but the lighter top half of the room brightens things up and stops the bottom half from becoming too overpowering.

Don’t be defeatist about your small living room. Just use these simple tricks to draw the eye and trick people into thinking the space is much larger than it is.

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