How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

Space in most of our homes is at a premium. Not everyone lives in a large open-plan house with plenty of room to swing several cats, so we have to be clever with the space that we do have. A small sitting room could be considered cosy to some, while others lament the lack of space and feel that it is cluttered. So if you are the latter, and would like to create a more open and spacious illusion, there are some design tricks you could try.

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How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

Minnie Two And A Half Seat Sofa In Frost Highland Tweed,

Furnish Your Room With Scale in Mind

It might sound obvious but only use furniture that is scaled to the space that it is in. If your sofa is so large it obscures the window, the room is always going to look small. Sofas and armchairs always look smaller in the large and spacious showroom than they do once you get them home, so always measure carefully. I’d advise using a cardboard template before purchasing too, so that you know if it will fit the space. Don’t be tempted either by that comfy looking corner sofa. They are always enormous once placed in a normal room and you might get more bum space from two small sofas instead.

How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

Champagne Saxony Carpet In Denim, Carpetright.

Buy Multi-Functional Furniture

Why buy two pieces of furniture when one will do instead? Choose pieces that have more than one function and you won’t be filling your room up. A coffee table or a side table that includes storage for instance. Or an ottoman that can be used as both a coffee table and extra seating when needed. 

How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

Brew Sofa, Loaf.

Consider Your Use of Colour

It’s generally thought that a colour palette that is light and neutral will expand your space visually. That may be so. But you can also make a dark painted room look more spacious simply by painting the walls, skirting boards, window frames and door frames in the same colour. The trick is to limit the amount of visual clutter. Keeping furnishings, walls, floors and even ceilings to a limited palette will make a room appear more spacious than one that is filled with a rainbow of colours.

How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

 Freddie 3 Seat Sofa In Royal Fern,

Always Keep a Clear Pathway

Designer’s always consider ‘traffic flow’ when creating a floor plan for good reason. It’s important to be able to walk around a room unhindered. And it will make a room appear more spacious if you don’t have to navigate around large pieces of furniture. Don’t automatically place your furniture against walls either. Sometimes placing a piece at an angle or surrounded by open space, will make a room look bigger.

How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

Swoon Editions.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Never obstruct natural light. If you can, and you don’t have privacy issues, it’s best to go without heavy curtains. If you can’t live without them, make sure they are the same colour as your walls and that they always hang to the floor. Extending the curtain poles beyond the window reveal will allow you to pull the curtains back and expose as much window as possible.

Mirrors are your friend too. Hang one opposite a window and you will effectively double the daylight. Or hang one in a dark corner to brighten it up and bounce as much light around as possible.

How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

Askem Sofa In Linen, Habitat.

Reveal The Floor

The more floor that is visible, the more roomy your space will look. Buy furniture with exposed legs. Or use see-through furniture such as glass tables or lucite chairs and they will do a great job of fooling the eye into thinking there is more space than there actually is.

How to Make a Small Sitting Room Appear Bigger

Bancroft Corner Sofa, Sweetpea and Willow.

Keep it Simple

When it comes to accessories, less is more. Use a few larger decorative accents instead of many small decorative items and don’t fill up every exposed shelf in a room. Leaving some shelves empty will give your small space a more airy look.

And now that you’ve cleared the clutter, repainted, scaled down, and rearranged the furniture, it’s time to add some wow. Small rooms don’t have to be small on personality. One knock-out piece of art, an oversized pendant light, or a statement lamp should do it. And then add some plants or flowers to make your small room look lived in.


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1 Comment

  1. Reply


    June 22, 2020

    Fantastic tips! The use and placement of window treatments can really change the feel of a room, but natural light is your friend. Thanks for this helpful article!


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