1. Paint or wallpaper the ceiling. Anything that draws the eye upwards makes a room feel bigger.
2. Paint light colors on walls and floor. While dark colors make a room stand out, they also absorb light instead of reflecting it which makes the space feel smaller. Opt for lighter colored flooring as well as wall colors to make the room feel airy.
3. Pull furniture away from the wall to create the illusion of spaciousness. Pushing furniture up against the wall makes everything look and feel cramped. Even just few inches in between the wall and your bigger items can make the space look more open.
4. Make use of hidden storage and multi-purpose items. Storage ottomans are a great example. Also be sure to maximize storage furniture and you can use them in different ways. For example a cabinet in the living room could hold art supplies.
5. Hang shelves near the ceiling to draw the eye upward.
6. Use the cantaloupe rule. Sabrina Soto, a home style expert from Target says, “Decorative accents smaller than a cantaloupe crowd a room.” Instead, go for fewer decorations that are are bigger.
7. Fill the room with statement furniture. In small living rooms, use one large couch instead of multiple small pieces.
8. Bring in a striped rug. For the same reasons you may avoid vertical stripes on clothing, you’ll want to use them in your home. A striped rug will make the room feel larger. Laying the rug so that the stripes go the length of the room that is longest will maximize this effect.
9. Organize your shelves by color or type to create a look of structure. You can also intentionally arrange objects for a more streamlined feel. This works for books or anything else visible.
10.Try using a clear shower curtain in a small bathroom.
11. Leave your windows uncovered to give a room more depth. More light adds depth to the space.
12. Instead of a gallery wall, choose art pieces that are large and bold.
13. Use glass or lucite coffee table, desk or console. They are functional without taking up any visual space.
14. Remove the overhead lighting an opt for recessed lights or fewer small lamps to spread light around the room.
15.Separate rooms into smaller spaces with rugs. Especially useful in studio apartments, this creates the appearance of having more than one space in a large one.
16. Go with a monochromatic color scheme to create unity. For the wall, rug and furniture using different shades of the same color creates a visual coherence that makes the space feel open.
17. Choose furniture with exposed legs. Rather than a sofa with a skirt, try bigger pieces with exposed legs.
18. Strategically place mirrors to create the illusion of more space.
19. Remove all unnecessary clutter.
20. Break all the rules. You don’t have to have a sofa, chair and coffee table just because it is the living room. Unexpected furniture and layout will make the space itself feel more open and fun and personal.