Using colour to make your room look bigger

Unfortunately, many modern homes are a little one the small side. That means that the smaller rooms can represent some interesting challenges when it comes to decorating. In an ideal world there are few of us who wouldn’t say yes to larger rooms. Still, whilst this isn’t always possible there are some interior design tricks that you can use to help make your rooms seem bigger. 

Choosing your colour

One of the biggest choices you make when decorating a room is what colours to use. How you decorate is a reflection of you and your personality, in fact many people can’t wait to stamp their own personality on their new home by decorating – I know I do! 

The paint colour that you choose can have a huge impact on how small, or large, a room feels. If your room is already filled with light and you use darker colours, it can feel smaller. Conversely f you use a stark white shade on a room that is flooded with natural light, it may help to create the illusion that the room is larger. However, it will also give you a very clinical looking room with no personality. 

There are a number of variants to consider when choosing a colour for a small room. These include the direction that the windows face, how much natural light you get, and of course which room you are wanting to make bigger. 


These are the obvious option for a smaller room. Done well they can certainly help to add the illusion of space, but it is still important to consider your shades. Neutrals with an underlying tone of yellow, like taupe, or red, such as a pale blush pink shade will work much better. They will add warmth, light and the illusion of space. 

Word of advice – Do not mix in too many other colours in the room as this will make it busy and that cluttered feeling can make a room look smaller. 


Whilst I’ve already mentioned white, and the fact that it can make a room look stark, it can work well if used properly. For a contemporary look, use white to create space and then another shade to help create a warmer feel, greys (my favourite!) and soft black are great choices to achieve this. I would avoid using black itself as this will be too much of a contrast. If you are not keen on white, then opt for an off white shade or a very pale grey. 

Choose the right finish

Paint is about more than the shade that you pick so you should also consider the finish that you need. An eggshell or satin finish is a good choice. These are great at reflecting light and making your room appear larger. 

One final thought…

Whilst the colour that you use in a room can have a huge impact on making it feel larger, so too can the materials in the room. Reflective surfaces will help to bounce the light around your room. This will create the illusion of a lighter brighter space. This is why interior designers often use strategically placed mirrors

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