Make Small Rooms Look Larger with These 4 Tips

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on May 24, 2017

“Tiny homes” are a fact of life in the real estate world these days. They aren’t all the rage as some would have you think, but many Americans want to live a minimalist lifestyle.

But you don’t have to live in a dollhouse to know the challenges of trying to furnish and live in tiny rooms. Just ask any homeowner who lives in an older home; they are keenly aware of “small-room syndrome.”

When you’re staging your Southern Maryland home for sale, one of the most important aspects is decluttering in an effort to make rooms, closets, and cupboards appear larger. With strategic staging, even the tiniest space can look roomier.

Lighten and brighten

Dark rooms are small and cramped, like a cave. Adding light will help, so opt for smaller lamps spread throughout the room. The lamps will draw eyes around the room, making the space seem larger. If the room is so small that it doesn’t have furniture to hold lamps, use wall sconces and floor lamps to lighten dark corners.

One trick designers use is track lighting. It makes the room less cluttered and adds light across the room. Use small lights in your track lighting; large lights can overwhelm a small space.


A coat of paint is a bit of a miracle cure for many things that ail a home. Paint can freshen up a room, and when you choose the color strategically, it can help the room appear larger than it is.

Search the Internet to see which colors make a room look bigger, and you’ll see that most people swear by white. As a matter of fact, though, nothing could be further from the truth, according to professional designers. They’re taught that “light colors advance and dark colors recede,” and visual perception tests back this up, dark colors will actually make the room seem larger.

 “Now, if I’m in a room and all the walls seem to be closer to me, I would say that makes the room ‘feel’ smaller,” argue the experts at Sherwin Williams. “Accordingly, the gray walls would seem to be farther away, giving the impression of more space between myself and the walls – to wit: a bigger room.”

Now, that’s for the walls.

You also want the ceiling to appear higher to add to the “this-room-isn’t-as-small-as-it-appears” illusion. The ceiling should be darker than the walls, according to Laurel Bern with Laurel Bern Interiors.

Choose accessories carefully

Add too many accessories, and a small space will appear cluttered. Be ruthless when you rid the room of excess accessories. In fact, remove everything and then, “add back only the things that you love,” suggests Lori May, owner of Lori May Interiors.

Hang the most interesting piece or artwork on the wall furthest from the door. “By drawing the eye to a distant spot that has a striking visual element, you expand the perceived depth of field,” Jeffrey Blum of SixZero6 Design in New York City tells Forbes’ Bethany Lyttle. “It gives the space a way-over-there feeling.”

Another trick with photographs and artwork is to hang them lower than you normally would. “It gives the impression of a taller ceiling,” say the experts at Amara, a luxury home fashion retailer.

Furniture placement

Too much furniture and overly large and heavy furniture will make a small room feel cramped, but even smaller furniture won’t do the trick if it’s not placed strategically. Pull the sofa out so that it is 3 to 4 inches from the wall. “Leaving space creates the illusion a wall is further away than it actually is,” suggests the Amara designers.

Tall bookcases or shelves hung all the way to the ceiling also create an illusion of more room by emphasizing the vertical space. “Higher placement of design features helps create the feeling of volume in the room,” says Houzz contributor Neila Deen.

La Plata MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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