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How to Give the Illusion of More Space in Your Home

by DecorMatters|updated Jul 19, 2022

Feeling cramped in a small place not only makes it difficult to organize your belongings, but it can also affect your mental health, mood, and ability to relax. In fact, research shows that tiny spaces can cause claustrophobia and increase your stress levels. So, during the COVID-19 pandemic, where social distancing has caused people to stay at home for weeks, feeling like you can move freely in your home is extra important.

What's great is you don't need excessive amounts of physical space for your home to feel spacious. Really, size can be an optical illusion - these design ideas for small spaces are simple tricks and additions that make a big difference to how you (and your guests) will perceive the dimensions of a room, hallway, or general layout.

Mirrors Are a Great way to Create the Illusion of More Space

Mirrors are an inexpensive way to immediately give the illusion of more space in your home. The bigger the mirror, the more space you can make. 

Use mirrors as part of your room design ideas for small spaces

📷 iconjane

Mirrors give the illusion of more space in any room

📷 Celeste Escarcega

Because mirrors reflect light, they help add more depth to corners and tight spaces, while also seeming to enlarge them. A good tip is to place mirrors near windows with plenty of natural light, as this will prevent the illusion of space from seeming artificial.

Mirrors paired with natural light open up a room

📷 GypsyTan

Make ceiling-to-floor mirrors part of Your design ideas for small spaces

📷 Liz Roth

Another idea is to use ceiling-to-floor mirrors in your home. These are particularly stylish, and when placed on a blank wall, the mirror can look like another doorway and build layers to your home.

Conscious Coloring Will Create The Illusion of More Space in Your Home

Color is key when it comes to creating space. Just as mirrors reflect light, dark colors absorb light and make a room appear smaller. To counter this, white walls are timeless and make any space feel larger, plus they can act as a canvas for accent pieces or tones. You can use our room layout planner app to play around with colors before you buy any paint.

Use a design app to try out different color schemes

📷 Ashley Rose

Learn how to create the illusion of more space in your home by using the proper color schemes

📷 Shira Caplan

Soft and bright colors create the illusion of more space in any room

📷 Amy Kim

For the optimal effect, soft tones of blue and green are perfect. Plus, painting the borders of your walls a slightly lighter color than the base will enhance the sensation of space even more. That said, monochrome is also great because its simplicity and metallic coloring don’t overwhelm a space - allowing the brain to focus on the open parts of the room.

Furniture Design Plays a Roll In How You Can Create More Space In Your Home

The objects in your home are part of a larger picture that influences the size of a room. It's best to avoid putting large furniture items in small spots - this will only emphasize the lack of space and appear cramped.

Furniture that maximizes the space in a room

📷 Sarah

Instead, minimalism is a trusted rule of thumb. Less is more when it comes to furniture, and will help you make aesthetic decisions that keep your room feeling light and uncluttered.

Wood furniture paired with bright color scheme

📷 vic.bruno

Wooden furniture is always a chic choice and pairs well with the color schemes mentioned in the previous section. The natural qualities of wood also add to the sense of openness. Once you've settled on the right furniture, ensure that things like coffee tables, chairs, sofas, and tables are slightly raised from the ground. This technique will mean light emerging from underneath the pieces won't be blocked and close-off the room.

Flooring Plays a Big Part in Successful Design Ideas For Small Spaces

To elongate the dimensions of a room, the base of it should be continuous. Different patterns can cut a room into separate sections and look too 'busy' to be spacious. The most powerful interior design ideas stem from using the same flooring throughout a home to create a flowing effect.

Kitchen Design Ideas for Small Spaces

📷 Jessica Brigham

That said, floor renovations can be pricey, so classic alternatives include hardwood in the living room, white tiling in the kitchen, and cream carpets in the bedrooms. Just be conscious not to use rugs as these break up the flooring theme.

The way the flooring is installed should be taken into consideration too. If you opt for laminate or tiled floors, pieces that are placed parallel to the longest wall in the room will give the biggest illusion of more space.

Virtual Renovations Can Help You Choose The Best Room Designs

Virtual Room Design App

These home decor ideas prove that you don't have to live in a mansion to enjoy large amounts of space.

In the same way that architects adopt small fixes to alter how people interact with space in public areas, you can do the same in your home. And, if you're not ready to commit to the changes just yet, the DecorMatters room design app allows you to experiment with virtual renovations and design ideas for small spaces. Play with mirrors, color schemes, furniture, and flooring in the design app to boost your house design and how you feel in your home.

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