How to Make Your Room Look Bigger

6 steps to increase size by fooling the eye and pleasing the mind

Ever want a bigger apartment or house, but can't afford a place with more space? Sometimes you just need to make some changes to the rooms you already have in order to maximize the square footage in your home. Or, with some smoke and mirrors (well, not smoke) you can make your room appear bigger. It's not hard to make your home look more spacious by re-arranging the furniture, changing the decor and employing some simple techniques that trick the eye.

Step 1: Keep the room tidy

It might seem obvious, but any kind of clutter in a room makes it look smaller. Keep clothing in closets, glasses and dishes in the cupboards and books and music on their respective shelves for a streamlined look that opens up the room. With fewer items to distract the eye, floors, tables and counter-tops will appear to take up less space.

Step 2: Choose small pieces of furniture

Big sofas and over-sized desks can make a room feel cramped. And keep in mind, furniture that's low to the ground will give the illusion of high ceilings. Tall bookshelves can make head-room seem limited. Consider purchasing furniture with two functions, such as a coffee table with drawers.

Step 3: Keep furniture out of the way

It's important not to break up the open space in the middle of a room. Pushing furniture to the walls will open up pathways through the room, and will maintain a single large open area in its center.

Step 4: Use mirrors

A few well-placed mirrors add the illusion of depth to a room. Mirrors make a room look less closed-in, and they appear to add light sources to a room since they reflect light. Brighter rooms tend to look more spacious.

Step 5: Use natural light

If the room you're trying to improve has windows, open up the curtains and blinds. If there is a lot of foliage outside the window, consider trimming it back to let in as much natural light as possible. If your room doesn't have windows, try daylight-balanced light bulbs for the illusion of sunlight.

Step 6: Paint with light colors

According to Debra Gould, a redecorating expert who specializes in helping homeowners increase the value of their houses, a room's color scheme has more impact on the overall appearance of the room than any other single factor. Light-colored paints like sky blue, pale yellow or mint green can make a room look more cheerful, bigger and brighter. Light colors reflect light to help illuminate a room. Also, consider painting items of furniture to match the walls. It will give the illusion that they take up less space, and they'll reflect more light back into the room.

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