Miracle Visual Tricks to
Make a Small Room Appear Larger
By Pamela Cole Harris
If you can stand in the middle of your room and touch the walls on all four
sides, then you probably need to add some visual space to your room (either that
or see a surgeon about those gorilla arms of yours!). If the neighbor next door
has a closet bigger than your room (and it's not a walk-in closet!), then you
need a little help "growing" your small room!
Here are some miracle visual tricks to make your room appear larger:
1. Use light values when painting your room. That does not mean
you are doomed to white walls! (padded or not!) Try a pretty
celadon or chamois (light green or cream beige, for those
non-lyrical decorators out there!)
2. Place the large pieces of furniture against the walls so the
open space in the middle isn't broken up. (I know what you are
thinking! "Pamela," you think. "The large piece of furniture
against the wall completely COVERS the middle of the room.
WHAT open space?" In that case, might I suggest wall
3. Choose a sofa and chairs with open arms and exposed legs.
This allows light to filter under the furniture, making the
room appear airier. (But you can no longer hide dust bunnies!)
4. Consider smaller scale furniture. A sofa or bed that takes up
less area will help visually open the room. (Probably not a
good idea to put a king-sized bed in that closet!)
5. Use vertical space for storage. Add a hutch or
floor-to-ceiling bookcases as a storage solution to reduce the
amount of floor space taken. (But I would discourage hanging
books and bric-a-brac from the ceiling - you never know what
will land on your head in the middle of the night!)
6. A large mirror in the room will reflect light around the
room. This is especially effective with near a window so the
outdoors can be reflected. (Just my own personal taste, but I
think mirrors on the ceiling and all the walls might be just a
bit tacky - unless they are helpful for your ... ummm ...
7. Arrange furniture at an angle if possible. This gives visual
interest to the small space. (I can hear you thinking again!
See item one above!)
With a few visual tricks and some rearranging of furniture, you can make any
room appear bigger than its actual size. But let's be realistic here! If you
want to move that four-poster bedroom suite into that closet - well, forget it!
Unless your cousin Vinnie is in the home remodeling business! In which case, you
may need more than just a miracle! Might I suggest liability insurance?
Pamela Cole Harris is an editor, writer and eco-decorator with over 35 years
experience. Her website,
http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.com is full of her unique decorating ideas
and "how-to"s. Her new book, "100+ Wildly Imaginative Ideas for Creating Your
Own Coffee Table - a Handbook for the Creatively Deficient Decorator " is
available through her website or at