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15 Genius Decorating Tricks to Make a Small Room Feel Bigger

Want to make the most of cramped quarters? These genius decorating tricks can actually make any small room feel bigger.

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Small Room Ideas: Choose a Light Color SchemePhoto: Yuganov Konstantin

Pale colours can help make a small room feel bigger

Dark colours are a no-no in small rooms. As suggested, a lighter colour palette create the illusion of more space. Dark colour schemes, although trendy and high-impact, are best used in larger areas. When dark colour schemes are used in smaller rooms, it can create a suffocating feeling as though the walls are closing in on what is already a space-challenged room. Believe it or not, these are the most popular paint colours in Canada.

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Small Room Ideas: Furniture with Legs ShowingPhoto: united photo studio/Shutterstock

“Leggy” furniture makes a small room feel bigger

Opting for furniture with legs showing opens up a small space. Compared to large furniture pieces that rest directly on the floor without legs showing, which can appear too big and bulky for a small space, furniture with legs showing draws the eye upward and creates the illusion of more light and space in a small room.

Can’t seem to create a functional floor plan? These furniture arranging hacks can help you make the most of an awkward layout.

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Small Room Ideas: Sheer Window TreatmentsPhoto: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Sheer window treatments make a small room feel bigger

Stay away from window treatments that are bulky, heavy and ornate. They may look pretty, but drapes, valances, cornices, and curtains made of heavy material subdue too much natural light. Use the window(s) in a small room to bring light into every corner. Along with light-coloured walls, the sunlight will make the room seem larger. Consider slatted window blinds, very sheer lace curtains or bamboo shades. Slatted blinds provide privacy when closed and bamboo shades offer semi-privacy when closed (but also allow sun to filter through the woven material). Get to know more secrets real estate agents wish you knew.

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Small Room Ideas: Create an IllusionPhoto: JR-stock/Shutterstock

Create the illusion of space with mirrors

Work your magic with mirrors. They are an ideal accessory for making a room appear larger. Mirrors can be installed on sliding closet doors or as a covering for an entire wall (preferably near a window). Mirrors serve two beneficial purposes: First, images, accessories, wall hangings, furniture and light from lamps or recessed lighting will be reflected into the room. Second, during the day as natural sunlight pours in through the window(s), it reflects off the mirrors making the room brighter and lighter. Check out more clever home improvement tips under $200.

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Small Room Ideas: Color-Coordinate ShelvesPhoto: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Colour co-ordinate items stored on open shelving

Got open shelving? Reduce the visual clutter and keep a small room looking organized by storing items with like colours together. Here are more clever kitchen organizing ideas you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Small Room Ideas: Add StripesPhoto: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Add stripes to make a small room feel bigger

Stripes—both vertical and horizontal—can create the illusion of more space. Vertical stripes help to draw the eye upward and horizontal stripes help to make a room seem wider. Be sure to select colours that go with the rest of your finishes and fabrics in the room.

Whatever you choose when you’re redecorating the living room, never do this to your flatscreen TV.

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Small Room Ideas: Incorporate Multifunctional FurniturePhoto: Artazum/Shutterstock

Multifunctional furniture makes the most of a small space

To utilize the space in a small room to its maximum potential, decorate with furniture that can serve a dual purpose such as a sofa with pullout storage space, an ottoman that opens for extra storage, or a steamer trunk that can also double as a coffee or end table. Furniture that can be downsized is a great way to create space, too. Remove the leaf from a dining room table until it’s needed, replace a full-size recliner with a medium-sized chair and footstool, or replace a traditional bed with a pullout sofa or a daybed that can also serve as a sofa. Check out our top 10 finds in the latest IKEA catalogue!

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Small Room Ideas: Utilize the CeilingPhoto: Yarlander/Shutterstock

Molding can help make a small room feel bigger

Create an illusion of your small room being much larger than it is by installing a band of small molding about a foot down from the ceiling around the entire room. Paint the ceiling above the molding a colour different from the wall area below the molding. Keep in mind the suggestion about using lighter colour paint. In this case, the ceiling could be white or cream with the walls a lovely pastel like pale yellow or blue. Check out 20 more painting tips the pros don’t want you to know.

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Ditch the ClutterPhoto: marekuliasz/Shutterstock

Want to make small room feel bigger? Ditch the clutter!

The adage “less is more” holds true when there’s too much stuff taking up precious space. A quick way to make a small room feel bigger is to spend a Saturday afternoon decluttering. Do this by reducing the number of decorative accessories, knick knacks or any other items you have on display that serve no functional purpose. In a small living, corral those small items that you absolutely must have handy (remote controls, for example) in an attractive storage box. Here are 40 more home organizing hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Small Room Ideas: Light-Colored FlooringPhoto: Photographee.eu

Pale-coloured flooring can make a small room feel bigger

As with walls and ceilings, light-coloured flooring can create the illusion of a larger space. If you don’t have the option of replacing dark wood floors or carpet, use light-coloured rugs to cover as much of the area as possible. Whether you use area rugs or able to install new flooring, choose colours that will complement the wall paint.

Opting for vinyl rather than hardwood? Here’s how to clean vinyl floors so they always look like new.

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Small Room Ideas: Monochromatic ColorPhoto: PlusONE/Shutterstock

Keep the palette monochromatic in a small space

If your small room already has a pale, neutral envelope (think white or off-white walls and ceilings and pale flooring), give it some character by introducing one accent colour with varying shades and/or textures. Exercising restraint in your choice of coloured toss cushions, throw blankets, area rugs and accents will allow you to make a high-impact style statement without sacrificing the feeling of space.

Redecorating from scratch? Here’s how often you need to replace everything in your home.

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Small Room Ideas: Built-In Storage CabinetPhoto: Family Handyman

Built-in storage makes the most of a small space

Sometimes the only thing lacking in a small room is storage space. When there’s no square footage in the floor plan for another shelving unit, consider a built-in cabinet that utilizes the space within the walls. You (or a contractor) can build this useful cabinet with the detailed instructions presented here, and be sure to check out these home improvement hacks, too.

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Small Room Ideas: Clear FurniturePhoto: Alex Gorins/Shutterstock

Opt for clear furniture in a small space

Opt for see-through furniture, such as a glass coffee table or clear acrylic desk. Clear furniture helps to make a small room feel more open while still providing a functional surface. Staging your home for the real estate market? Here are 12 decorating tips that will help sell your home fast.

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Small Room Ideas: Floor-to-Ceiling BookcasePhoto: Family Handyman

Floor-to-ceiling shelving also makes the most of a small space

A floor-to-ceiling bookcase showcases a small room’s height while adding a lot of space-saving vertical storage. Click here to get detailed plans for building this handsome Greek Revival-style wood bookcase.Looking for more decorating inspiration? Don’t miss this great design advice from Brian Gluckstein.

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Small Room Ideas: Plain UpholsteryPhoto: Alex Gorins/Shutterstock

Go for neutral upholstery on large furnishings

When it comes to large-scale furniture (think sofas, loveseats and headboards), it’s also a wise move to choose neutral-coloured upholstery rather than eye-catching colours with busy patterns. You can always add heaps of character with smaller (not to mention, more affordable) accents like toss cushions, throw blankets and bedding; plus, they won’t date as quickly as they would if you were to choose a trendy hue. Next, check out 10 budget-friendly decorating ideas from Sarah Richardson.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman