Make Any Living Room Look Bigger

By Michelle Ecker on January 17, 2019

Make Any Living Room Look Bigger

As interior designers, it’s important to learn best practices for accentuating rooms of all shapes and sizes. Especially if you’re working in a metropolitan area, city apartments aren’t always going to offer you tons of space to work with- but you need to learn how to accommodate whatever you’re assigned.

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Small living room spaces can be tricky. As designers, we have to be more selective when it comes to large accents and furniture additions. It’s easy to add too many elements to a small living room space and leave it feeling cramped and overfilled. So how can we simplify? Getting started, here are some fantastic tricks for opening up space in a small living room:

  • Create Movement

Is the living room in question connected to a nearby space such as the kitchen or dining room? Ask if your clients are comfortable with some slight renovations. Opening up an unnecessary doorway or wall to combine adjacent rooms in a more open layout is a great way to make cramped, compartmentalized small rooms seem larger. Here’s a great example that was featured in Houzz. This space feels large and breathable- imagine how much more claustrophobic it would feel if instead a narrow doorway separated that kitchen from the dining room, and a large wall was there instead?

  • Install Shelves

When it comes to adding accents, anything that takes up floor space is going to leave your room feeling a little more cramped- and consequently a little smaller. A great way to circumnavigate this is by taking advantage of wall space. If you install a nice series of shelves like the one pictured below (viathecuriousnatalia), you’re giving yourself more room to add decor and art without taking up more space where foot traffic could otherwise go.

  • Paint Wisely

This is probably the most simple update you can make to visually “grow” the size of any room. An interior design trick as old as time, it still rings true that white and pale hues effectively make rooms appear larger. To use design terms, every single element of a room has weight- even the non tangible elements.

Darker colored accents and objects are visually ‘heavier’ than lighter ones. So if you’re trying to make a room seem more open, breathable and light, opt for lighter shades -like this great example from studio mcgee. This living room space is super tucked away in a small corner. By using bright white accents and lighter shades, the designer was able to make even this small space seem light and airy.