How to make a small room seem large


Don’t fill your room with overlarge furniture. Smaller rooms call for smaller furniture. That said, if you have one large piece that you absolutely MUST use – then use it as a focal piece and scale down the rest.

Arms and legs matter

Chairs and sofas without arms are perfect for small spaces because they appear more open and lightweight. Furnishings with exposed legs also help to visually add space to a small room. In general, choose furnishings with clean lines.

Pack it away

Choose furniture that can be tucked away when not needed. This might include an extendable dining table, some folding chairs or a nest of tables. Multipurpose pieces work well in small spaces. Furniture that serves many functions is a great way to streamline a room. For example, an ottoman (padded chest) with built-in storage provides a place to store blankets and books, yet also makes a compact footrest.



Even in a small room you need to define the spaces. One easy way to do this is to use rugs to differentiate between one area and another.

Use open shelves

Use open shelving – this creates an illusion of space whereas closed shelving visually pulls in the walls and makes the room look even smaller.

Think outside the box

In a small room, it’s easy to feel boxed in: to avoid this keep the furnishings low-level so as to give the eye space to roam around.

Achieve balance

Balance the room with a few verticals like a gorgeous piece of art, a long thin mirror or a narrow floor vase with tall reeds.

Use carpets to create an illusion of space

To make a small room look larger, use a carpet with two different heights of pile.

Painting tricks

All interior designers have their tricks. Typically they’re kept secret – but in this issue we let you in on two clever painting ideas.

Dual shading

To give added depth to your colour scheme, try using different shades of the same colour.


Go dark

Don’t be afraid to use dark colours: used in moderation in a lighter room they can create a dramatic effect. For instance, you could paint the window frame in a pale cream room black in order to create contrast.

Going for the quick sale

If you are putting your house or flat on the market – you’ll be going for a quick sale. How to achieve it? Remember that first impressions MATTER. Here are some low-cost, high-impact ideas.

Start at the front door. Paint your front door, polish up the knocker and make sure that the doorbell works. No one likes to be ignored.

Buy a couple of low-cost terracotta pots, fill them with brightly coloured geraniums and put them on either side of the front door.

Buy a bright, new, cheery doormat.



Article By Jane Barsby