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How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

A bigger, brighter room is just a few easy tips away.

From living in studio apartments to expanding families and hoarding habits, many of us struggle with a lack of space in the home. Making a room look bigger seems like an impossible task when you can barely move without running into something! 

However, we’re here to let you know that every space has the potential to look great while functioning in the way you need it to. Straight from the minds of expert designers, these small room ideas deliver that spacious feeling you’re looking for.

Clever space planning

Looking for small room layout ideas? To determine how to make a small room look bigger, the first step is to make use of every inch of space. Stand back and take a good look at the room. 

Note any clutter that you really don’t need, or even particularly like, and remove it. If you can’t, is there a wall, a chimney breast alcove or an awkward nook that could house inbuilt storage or a functional space?

Top Tips

Open up under-stair cupboards to create a workstation, reading nook or a bigger storage area. Emphasising vertical space draws the eye up and creates the illusion of height. Try vertical shelving to free up floor space and display or store items without the need for extra furniture. Speaking of which, furniture can make all the difference towards clever space planning.


Choose multifunctional pieces like coffee tables with shelves, side tables with drawers, expandable tables, convertible sofas and stacking or folding chairs. For larger items, consider furniture that sits low to the ground to enhance a feeling of openness. It’s best to avoid bulky sofas and chairs with arms that take up a surprising amount of space. Opt for sleek, streamlined pieces, especially if it’s a struggle to create pathways between furniture in your room.


Small Room Colour Ideas: Best Shades for Small Spaces


Creating colour schemes is always fun and you might be surprised to know you’re not limited with colours for small rooms.

  • Pale neutrals are the obvious choice to encourage the illusion of space. For a cool, stylish look, opt for light greys like Polished Pebble
  • To imbue a sense of warmth with the light and airy feel of white, try Timeless. When you pair pale neutral walls with furniture in a similar colour palette, you’ll create the impression of open and seamless space.

Alternatively, painting a room in dark colours creates the perception of depth, therefore hiding the fact it’s so small. To test your ideas, download the Dulux Visualizer app and see them in real-time at the touch of a screen.

  • Consider a feature wall in deep Monument Grey with accent colours of purple or yellow.
  • Rich blue tones, like Sapphire Salute, provide a soothing appeal and depth. 


Let in the light


Letting in the light is one of the easiest options for making a small room look bigger. Take full advantage of the natural light available by ensuring your window treatments allow for maximum sunlight to flood the room. If you don’t have this option, a few clever tips and tricks can help enhance light throughout your space.

In terms of artificial light, it’s best to use multiple sources around the room, rather than only one overhead light in the centre. Consider floor and table lamps to illuminate dark corners. Wall lights are excellent for lighting up awkward recesses and making fixtures appear wider when placed on either side. To highlight vertical space, hang a long pendant light from the ceiling to draw the eye up and down.

Paint Options


Using revolutionary Lumitec technology, Dulux Light + Space Matt reflects up to twice as much light around a room, making even the smallest spaces appear larger. Another option is Dulux Silk, with a light sheen that also reflects light. To further increase the lighting effect consider placing a large mirror in the room, which also acts as an extra window.

Inspiration from the Experts

Ready to put our small space ideas into practice? Read on for design tips from 27-year-old account manager Kate, who has transformed her small London flat into a creative haven.

A maximalist celebration of colour and personality, Kate’s new-build, open-plan flat in Bromley-by-Bow is the opposite of minimalist. 




Proving it’s not only period properties that can be characterful, Kate has created a neutral backdrop for her quirky taste. Using Tranquil Dawn with bright accents of Coral Flair and Sun Flare, she has zoned areas such as her coffee station and dining space.

“I don’t just use the table for entertaining,” she says. “With a tiny kitchen, it acts as another surface for cake baking; and a desk when I work from home. My mum suggested having benches instead of chairs, which saves a lot of space.”

In true London spirit, Kate has made her small space work hard for her big personality, using a lick of paint and plenty of ideas to make a home that’s as clever as it is creative. “Open-plan living certainly has its perks: I can cook and watch Netflix at the same time; and I’m never too far from the fridge!”

Her more-is-more approach to decorating also means she can re-think the space if she gets bored. “Having lots of things means I can keep changing up the look and feel of my interiors as there’s lots to play with. I love shuffling things about. It’s important to keep things fresh.”



Unlike most urban flats, Kate’s also features a tiny (but mighty!) balcony with sweeping views of London. “It’s one of the main reasons I chose to live here,” she says. “During the summer, the doors are always open, which merges the indoor and outdoor spaces. My friends and I chat out there for hours – the sunsets among the skyscrapers are spectacular.”

We hope you now feel inspired to transform a small room in your home. Don’t forget to browse the rest of the Dulux blogs for even more decorating tips and advice. 

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