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Building a Home

8 Clever Tricks to Make your Small Home feel Bigger

Published on:

3/06/19

written by:

Carrie Barker

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Do you live in a smaller home that you would like to feel more spacious? Or possibly you dream of building a custom home, but a large home isn’t a reality because of your budget and/or land size.

Whether you’re building a smaller custom home (custom homes do NOT have to be large!), or you simply want to make your current small home feel bigger, I’ve got some great tricks for you to implement ASAP!

Clever tricks to make your small home feel bigger pin

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1.  HOW TO MAKE A SMALL CUSTOM FLOOR PLAN FEEL MORE SPACIOUS

If you have your heart set on building a small custom home or possibly you want to tweak (and customize) an existing stock floor plan, there ARE ways to make a smaller floor plan feel more open and spacious! 

When creating (or tweaking) your floor plan, I recommend LOTS of windows … AS MANY windows as your budget will allow! Windows add so much natural light and this makes your house feel more light, bright, and airy!

You’ll also want to incorporate high ceilings (if this in your budget). The higher the ceiling, the larger the room feels (even if it’s a small room). A 10 ft. ceiling (or even a 9 ft. ceiling) feels WAY more spacious than an 8 ft ceiling!

I suggest 9 ft. ceilings on the second floor (although this does add material costs) … or even sloped ceilings that follow your roof line. I SO wish I had sloped ceilings in my girls’ bedrooms upstairs! Luckily we do have 9 ft. ceilings up there … it was a welcome ‘mistake’ by our draftsman!

My final suggestion is to create an open concept plan with rooms that are open to each other … this creates a sense of one big space that feels larger.

See my open concept home with lots o’ windows in MY HOME TOUR.

2.  HOW TO MAKE A NARROW ROOM APPEAR WIDER

A great way to make a narrow room appear wider is to use stripes, stripes, and more stripes!

A rug with stripes perpendicular to the narrow walls (as seen in Shira’s home below) creates a sense of a wider room.

The same principle applies to wallpaper. A wallpaper with a horizontal stripe will create the illusion of a wider room.

SHOP STRIPED RUGS AND WALLPAPER

 

3.  HOW TO MAKE A LOW CEILING APPEAR TALLER

Anything that draws the eye upward will create the illusion of a taller room! If those sloped ceilings or 10 ft. ceilings (mentioned above) aren’t in your budget, I have some tips for you!

Take your cabinets all the way up to the ceiling to bring the eye up! Many times cabinets have space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling … this makes the ceiling feel lower.

Related Post: HOW TO FILL SPACE BETWEEN CABINETS AND CEILING

The same principle applies to bookshelves. Purchase tall bookshelves or build custom bookshelves that go to the ceiling.

Another fun (and less expensive) trick is to paint or wallpaper the ceiling! Adding a darker color in the ceiling draws the eye up … as does a bold wallpaper pattern in the ceiling.

Remember how we mentioned horizontal stripes above to make a room look wider, well vertical stripes make a ceiling appear taller! You can paint vertical stripes or choose a striped wallpaper and hang it vertically.

4.  HOW TO MAKE A SMALL ROOM LOOK BIGGER WITH PAINT

This one is inexpensive and fairly easy to execute! Choose a light colored paint for your walls and keep this light color consistent throughout your main rooms and hallways. This color continuity creates the illusion of one large open space!

5.  HOW TO MAKE A SMALL ROOM LOOK LARGER WITH FURNITURE

Less is more when it comes to furnishing a small room! Opt for a couple larger pieces of furniture as opposed to several smaller pieces (e.g. choose a sectional rather than a sofa and chairs). One large piece of furniture anchors the room and creates a sense of space!

Also, furniture appears lighter if you can see exposed legs rather than a skirted fabric that goes to the floor. 

Another trick is to incorporate lucite and glass furniture because it takes up less visual space (this is easy to do with accent tables and dining chairs because lucite is so popular right now!)

SHOP LUCITE FURNITURE + EXPOSED LEG SECTIONALS

 

6.  HOW TO MAKE A SMALL ROOM LOOK BIGGER WITH MIRRORS

Mirrors are pretty magical when it comes to making a room look larger!! Seriously! Not only do mirrors bounce light around the room, but a strategically placed mirror literally creates the illusion of a space twice as big with the reflection!

I especially LOVE how Hamlet Interiors brought in the outdoors with this mirror placement! Not only does the mirror double the natural light (via the reflection), but it also doubles the nature view … and nature as design NEVER goes out of style!

7.  HOW TO MAKE A SMALL ROOM LOOK BIGGER WITH LIGHTING

Choose glass and/or open light fixtures because they take up less visual space! You can see some of my top picks below!

SHOP GLASS + OPEN LIGHT FIXTURES

 

8. HOW TO MAKE A SMALL ROOM LOOK LARGER WITH CURTAINS

Here’s another fairly easy and inexpensive trick to make a room feel larger. Hang neutral (think solid light color or sheer) curtains as close to the ceiling as possible and far wider than your window on both sides. You want as much window showing as possible to make the wall look wider … and also makes the ceiling appear taller!

The sheer curtains in the photo below are a great option to keep the room light, bright and airy! Hanging the curtain rod closer to the ceiling and wider on the sides would make this small bedroom appear even larger!

CONCLUSION

I hope you found at least one trick in this post that you can implement in your home ASAP! My personal FAV trick is using mirrors to ‘enlarge’ the space! 

If you have any other clever tricks to make your small home feel bigger, please share them in the comments below!

  1. Tasha says:

    I dream of doing most of these things to our small home.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Great post! Especially like the soffits above the kitchen cabinets. I have the same problem and this was a great solution.

  3. Kelly says:

    Wonderful ideas and this post is beautifully written. Love your clean decorating style and easy to read way of writing! Thanks!

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