10 Room Design Ideas to Make Small Spaces Look Bigger

Not all spaces are created equal. That’s one of the complications when it comes to furnishing and decorating rooms and houses in general. When you are working with small, limited spaces, no matter how grand and ambitious your room design ideas are, it can be difficult, and sometimes feel impossible to pull them off. 

You want your space to be practical and stylish, not cramped, and stuffy – which can be a tall order when you’re living in a home or apartment with limited space. But, while it might take a little more planning and forethought, even the smallest homes can be styled and furnished to feel much larger.

It might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need is a great strategy, high quality furniture, and of course, our tips and tricks.

Keep reading to learn how you can any space look and feel larger!

1. Let there be light!

A room always feels larger if it’s well-lit, whether you’re using artificial or natural lighting. Letting the sunlight pass through the windows or setting up several lamps and light fixtures can provide a sense of warmth and a cozier atmosphere to your space.

While natural lighting is a better option to brighten up your room, it’s something that not everybody can have. Especially for those who live in spaces with limited or nonexistent windows.

Good thing, though, you can always make up for this lack of sunlight by adding several light sources to a room. Often, we rely solely on the overhead lighting in our homes, and while this can work in some spaces, it doesn’t always light up the room evenly, and can lead corners and areas looking much darker and shadowy than others.

So, aside from the overhead bulbs, setting up table lamps on side tables, floor lamps, and sconces can help spread the light throughout the home, and really open up your space.

2. Take your last curtain call

Another way of maximizing natural light is by ditching your heavy curtains in favour of lighter materials or by taking them off entirely. Doing this will allow more light from the outside to come into your room.

Not only will you get more light into your space, but you’ll also give yourself a chance to steal glimpses of the outside world, which can also trick your eyes (and brain) into thinking a space is larger than it is.

Now, if you need privacy for your home or perhaps the vistas from your windows are not super pleasant, you can opt for window coverings such as blinds or lighter curtains. Our recommendation is to choose something light in colour and weight. Fabrics such as mesh, linen, and cloth offer significant levels of privacy without blocking the natural light.

3. Keep the floor clear

Floating furniture pieces are getting popular now more than ever. Floating work desks, shelves, and the like, are on the rise because of their space-saving designs and functionality.

These kinds of furniture are normally attached to the wall with sturdy mounts, so there’s no need for legs, leaving the space below clear and available for storage.

For example, instead of buying a traditional cabinet, you can mount a floating cabinet on the wall and use the space below for your work desk or lounge chairs.

The same goes with your lighting setup. Instead of using floor lamps, you can brighten up your room’s corners with a sleek and elegant pendant lamp, instead!

4. Emphasise the vertical

Floating furniture not only takes advantage of your vertical space, but it also emphasises the openness of your home. By drawing the eye up, you’re showing a whole other world of space that you may not notice when everything is around the same sort of eye level.

While you can’t use this overhead space in the same way you use your floor space, don’t underestimate how important it is! Drawing the eye up can make a room feel so spacious! 

In addition to floating furniture, tall bookshelves, ladder shelving units, floor lamps, and tall indoor plants are great ways to elongate your area!

5. Legs eleven

In small spaces, it’s all about creating a feeling of openness to give an illusion of more space. And this is where leggy furniture comes in.

When sofas, beds, and chairs have their legs hidden by skirts or do not have any legs at all, it can make an area feel closed off and boxy.

Whereas, when furniture has legs, it allows light and air to flow all around it, including under it, which lets the light touch more floor space and keeps the area feeling light, bright and open.

6. Invest in dual-purpose furniture

Another great way to save not only some space but also some money is to look for furniture with storage capabilities. You want to take advantage of every millimetre available to you in your space, and luckily, there are so many incredible furniture designs that allow you to do this.

From bedsides with additional storage to bed frames with drawers underneath for your clothes, and ottomans with space inside for blankets, who wouldn’t fancy such cleverly made pieces, right?

Discover some of our other favourite space saving furniture ideas here.

7. Give your furniture some space

At first, this might sound confusing. We’re trying to make the most of your space, right? Well, when it comes to maximising every square foot of a room, we don’t mean tucking every piece of furniture so tightly together so you can add more pieces. You’ve got to give your pieces some room to breathe. After all, your lovely furniture needs to practice social distancing, too!

Similar to the way leggy furniture creates a flow of air and light, having your furniture comfortably spaced out and not cramped together (or right up against the wall) has a similar effect.

This technique is another trickery of the eye that gives you a sense of bigger space than you actually have.

8. Mirrors don't lie. Or do they?

While everything that you see in a mirror is just a reflection of everything that’s inside your room, you could say that mirrors actually do lie. Because it can trick your eyes into thinking that you have a larger space than what you really have.

It’s for this reason that using mirrors has probably been the oldest and most used trick in every interior designer’s playbook. This technique has been used for ages that you can’t talk about small spaces without mentioning bespoke mirrors in the conversation.

If you are lucky enough to have a window that provides some nice natural light into your space, consider adding a mirror perpendicular to that window – this can make a space feel open and almost give the appearance of another window in your room.

Be creative with how you use your mirrors, you can mount the mirror on the wall, lean it up against the wall or even on top of another pieces of furniture.

9. And then there's the rug....

Trust us, choosing the right rug for your small space is as important as choosing the perfect furniture. A rug can define a space, give the illusion of more space, and really pull a room together.

When shopping for this accessory, you must find just the right size. Too big and it can swamp a room, too small and it can make your furniture feel disproportionate.

The most important thing you can do before buying a rug, is measure, measure, and measure again.

10. Lastly, keep things simple

The key to successfully designing a small space is by keeping things simple. Putting so many pieces in one place and using too many patterns can only make a room look and feel cluttered.

One trick that most designers use to simplify a space is choosing soft and lighter hues. These warm colour palettes can give little spaces a cozy and intimate vibe that still feels airy and open.

And when you are decorating your space, it can be tempting to show off all your favourite things, but if you’ve got limited space, practicing restraint will help keep your space feeling open and larger.

Shop space-saving designer furniture at SLH

Whether you’re designing your little space from scratch or renovating it, we’re pretty sure you’re going to need one or more pieces to complete the look. So, once you’ve finalized your design, the only thing that’s left to do is to bring it to life!

If you’re on the hunt for bespoke, high-quality, and sustainable pieces, look no further because you’re already in the right place. Go check out our great collection of indoor and outdoor furniture here!

We deliver Australia-wide with express shipping options for those who are in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney.

If you happen to be in Sydney right now, you can go see our handcrafted furniture pieces up close and personal in our showroom. It’s open 7 days a week with no appointment required. Just walk in and marvel at our great collection!