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What Colors Make Room Bigger

Decorating a small space can be a challenge. There are many design techniques that can be utilized to make a small room look and feel larger.

One of the most effective tools to achieve this goal is the strategic use of color. Colorful accents and wall treatments can be used to draw the eye and redirect focus. Depending on their intensity, colors can be used to create a room that looks Small, spacious, or somewhere in between.

The Power of Perception

Perception is the most powerful tool in the pursuit of making a room look bigger. Light colors reflect and disperse the available light, consequently making the room more spacious. For this reason, it is important to think about the basics of color theory and color wheel concepts when selecting a color scheme.

Certain colors tend to recede, while other colors advance and create a dynamic that can visually expand or restrict a space. Cool colors, such as Blues, Greens, and purples have the ability to make a room appear larger, airy and more open.

Cool tones are most effective when used to paint all four walls the same hue. They are also great for creating an accent wall that visually pushes back and allows the space to be opened up. By adding multiple cool colored accent pieces such as furniture, paintings, or throw pillows, the room will continue to feel light and spacious.

Additionally, cool colors evoke a sense of calm and serenity, making them great for bedrooms and bathrooms.

Warm Colors

Even though warm colors, such as reds and oranges, tend to move the eye forward, they are still effective when used to decorate small spaces. Instead of using louder, brighter hues, try sticking to warmer pastels and muted tones.

Rather than using these colors on all of the walls or throughout the entire room, opt for a single accent wall or focal piece. When used correctly, warm colors can add character to a room and give it a feeling of coziness. This can be especially useful for living room décor and creating an inviting atmosphere.

Neutrals continue to be a favorite for those who enjoy a minimalist look. While neutrals provide a great backdrop for furniture and decorations, they also serve the purpose of stretching a room visually.

Beige, cream, and white have the ability to appear achromatic and neutralize the space. However, neutralizing doesn’t mean blandness. Bold neutrals like black or even greys/grays can be used as wall color or an accent.

Monochromatic schemes using tones within the same family can be equally effective when creating a room that looks bigger.

Accessorizing with Color

Draw the eye to key focal points and accessories in the room by adding complementary accents and decorations. Drawing away from the wall, and instead picking up on colorful accents like wall-hanging art, rugs, and furnishings can be done by pairing the elements of a room.

Choose the base and accent colors wisely, as they will work together to realize the depth of the space. For example, cool and light shades may be used to open up a room, while brighter and colorful accent pieces can be used as pop of interest, without shrinking the room further.

Create Visual Tricks

A great way to make a room look bigger without actually remodeling is by utilizing the furniture in creative ways. Objects such as floor length curtains or mirrors placed opposite or next to a window add depth and the illusion of a longer, wider room.

When opting for furniture pieces, stay away from bulky items, and try incorporating narrow furnishings, like a storage bench or slimline nightstands. Mirrored furniture is also a very popular choice, not only because it looks visually pleasing in any space, but also because it serves a double purpose of allowing more light to enter a room and bounce off of the mirrored surface.

Colorful Contrast

Contrasting styles, patterned walls, and wallpapers are common tools used to maximize a room’s potential. Actually, contrary to what one might believe, a patterned wallpaper can open up a room and make it look bigger. When selecting a pattern, keep in mind that darker hues will actually reduce the size of the space, while lighter tones will open it up.

Wallpapers with intricate patterns that combine two or three colors add depth and break up what would otherwise be a flat space.

Be Considerate of the Flow

When decorating a small space, the flow of the room is essential. It’s important to maintain continuity between furniture pieces, accent pieces, and wall colors. This creates the idea of linearity and cohesiveness within the space.

Furthermore, rugs can also be used to unify the elements of a room and bring together multiple patterns and shades. If the living room blends into the kitchen, for example, use an area rug to transition the two rooms and maintain the idea of openness.

The Benefits of Natural Light

Natural light is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to open up a cramped space. The transparency of the light will reflect off of the walls and create the sense of a larger area. If possible, take advantage of the natural light by opting for thin drapes and light-colored window treatments.

Additionally, try placing mirrors opposite of or next to a window to receive more light and create a wider, more spacious effect.

Creating a Sense of Height

Ceiling treatments are one of the most efficient tools for making a room look bigger. To create a sense of height, try opting for horizontal stripes on the walls or install a running board around the walls and attach a crown molding.

A light-colored ceiling can do wonders for a room by providing an airy feel and brightening up the space. While painting the ceiling white may seem a bit bland, adding an accent color to the molding or a subtle wallpaper to the ceiling can make a big difference.

Taking Advantage of Vertical Space

Vertical space is the primary focus when dealing with small rooms. Taking full advantage of the walls can extend the length of a room significantly.

Floor to ceiling shelves and cabinets are great for storage and can help provide a sense of height that pulls the eye upward, thereby creating the illusion of a bigger space.

Adding Depth to the Room

Adding depth to a room is one of the most effective ways of making a small space look bigger. Long sheer curtains, metal accents, and woodsy elements can be used to add new layers to a room.

Introducing subtle, luxurious touches such as sleek metal hardware in furniture pieces and porcelain décor pieces can also be beneficial for mimicking a larger area.


Using colors in a smart and imaginative manner can have a major impact on a room’s overall appearance. Bold hues and brighter tones are great for popping up focal points, while lighter and softer tones are perfect for creating a wide and airy space. With a little imagination and thoughtful consideration, anyone can turn a small and cramped space into an area that is big and inviting.

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