Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Karen Warman from Resene

How Can I Make a Small Space Seem Bigger?
Magicians use optical illusions all the time to trick the eyes. Coming up with design strategies for organising a room's layout, decor and colour scheme is no different - you can use these simple steps to make a small space, such as a studio or tiny office, seem much larger.

Let There Be Light
Cool colours, such as greens and blues, tend to recede, which makes a room feel more spacious. Try Resene Breathless or Resene Cut Glass to use the power of light tones for creating space

Soft creamy shades also work well as they are light enough to make the room feel airy but have a slight warm so the room still has character. Try Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream, Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta, and Resene Rice Cake.

How To Make Small Space Seem Bigger Colour Resene EnsuiteTrick The Trims
Paint your wall trim and joinery in a hue slightly lighter than the rest of the walls and ceiling, because this tricks the eye into thinking the wall is further back. As a result, your room looks much more spacious.

Walking On Sunshine

Wherever possible, try and let in as much natural light as you can. Large windows, sliding glass doors or skylights can all help transform a tiny space into seeming bigger.

Hoarding Horrors

Clutter is your worst enemy when it comes to making a space look bigger. Don't let things pile up in every nook and cranny, as this will only make an already area seem more minute. Grab a basket or a bin, and de-clutter like a pro so your space is minimalist, only keeping the bare necessities.

Take a Stripe in Your Stride

Many fashion gurus will tell you that wearing clothes with vertical stripes can elongate your figure to make you look taller. The same applies for horizontal stripes - find a rug or carpet with long, horizontal stripes and lay it down on your ground to stretch out the room, or use a striped effect on a feature wall to make it seem wider or taller.
How To Make Small Space Seem Bigger Colour Resene Horizontal Stripes
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Who is the largest of them all? Your room is, if you put a big mirror up on one of the walls. This age-old trick reflects the room to visually 'double' its size. Bonus points if you can place it opposite a window, as the light will bounce around the entire room to extend the space.

Soaring Heights

Draw the eye upwards to your ceiling - it makes the room feel bigger. Achieve this effect by painting it in a complementary or contrasting colour to the walls.

See Right Through Me

Choosing tables and chairs made of glass, lucite or clear plastic have the benefit of being translucent, so they don't fill up the space visually. Such items can make a room appear airy and open. Similarly, adding sheer fabric curtains or drapes in the same colour as your wall paint can unify your walls and windows to look bigger.
How To Make Small Space Seem Bigger Colour Resene DiningMatchy Matchy
Upholstery on your big couches can match your wall's paint colour for a seamless blend, extending the size of the room.

Floored by Beauty

In many ways, your floor and ceiling are like the fifth and sixth wall of the room. Don't use dark flooring such as charcoal grey carpets or deep brown wood, rather, lighten the ground so it too contributes to creating the spacious illusion. Toss on a white furry rug that covers the length of the room or stain wooden floors in Resene Colorwood Whitewash.

See your Resene ColorShop or the Habitat by Resene website,, for more colour and design ideas.

Karen Warman

All images courtesy of Resene




Download 0