Interior Design

How to Make Your Small Space Look Bigger with Design

If your living space seems a bit too “cozy” for your taste, there are ways you can make your small space look bigger. The secret? It’s all about making the right design decisions. From changing the color of the walls to choosing the right window treatments, there are many things you can do to achieve your goal.

Photo of room with matching, see-through curtains
When your curtains all match, and even better, are semi-transparent then your small space will look much bigger.

Here’s a quick and easy list of interior design tips to help you make your small space look bigger.

Neutral Paint Colors

Soft and neutral colors on your walls will help keep your smaller space feeling open and airy. Avoiding contrast or accent walls will also help. If you’re opting for different paints on some of the walls, stick with varying shades of the same color.

Match the Drapes

Apply the same logic to your draperies. If you’re going with drapes for your window treatments, choose colors that are similar to the wall paint. This will make space look bigger. Ideally, opt for sheer drapes – they will make the room appear more spacious by creating an airy feel.

Strategically Placed Mirrors

This is a classic trick to create space in a room, and for good reason. Placing mirrors in a small room will create a reflection that will make the room appear bigger and more open. It’s a powerful optical illusion and it works very well.

Striped Rugs

If you’re into including a rug in your space, go with a striped one. It will trick the eye into thinking the space is longer than it is.

Floor-to-ceiling Bookcases

Adding floor-to-ceiling or wall-to-wall bookcases will make your ceilings appear higher than they actually are. You’ll also gain some storage space and get a chance to show off your book collection!

Furniture with Legs

Choose as much furniture with legs as you possibly can for your smaller space. This will allow light to pass under each piece and brighten up the room. See-through surfaces like glass tables will also allow light to filter throughout the space. This is a highly effective way to open up a room.

Choose Multi-purpose Furniture

While you’re choosing furniture with legs and clear surfaces, try and optimize the décor by selecting furniture that can serve multiple purposes. An ottoman that serves as a coffee table is a good example. This will reduce the amount of furniture you need in the room.


While you’re optimizing your furniture, reduce the overall clutter in the room. This is a year-round home improvement task that always pays off. Don’t neglect it! Clutter will quickly overwhelm a small room. If it’s not absolutely necessary, get rid of it. Only display what you need to in a small space.

Lighting Fixtures

Avoid just using overhead light fixtures (although they are a great décor choice). Adding several light fixtures in different positions will trick the eye into thinking space is bigger than it is.

Window Treatments

Finally, choosing the right window treatments can work wonders in opening up a room. Try selecting window treatments that are contained within the window if possible, like simple pull-down shades or roller shades. Remember to use neutral colors or sheer material if you can.

These are some of the best ways to make your small space look bigger – but we encourage you to experiment and come up with your own. Remember, it’s all about keeping the space simple, uncluttered, and airy.

About the author

Tre Pryor, Editor-in-Chief

Tre Pryor is the recognized expert Louisville Realtor who can:
  • List and sell your current home in Louisville,
  • Help you purchase your next Louisville home, or
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