Ideas to make a small room look bigger abound, but which home decorating and painting tips really work? Which ones are myths? Can you paint a small room to look more spacious? You bet!

Home Decorating 101: Reflect

Dark colors absorb light; bright colors reflect it. In the same vein, ‘full’ colors draw the attention to the wall and can make the room feel claustrophobic; lighter, softer versions of the same hues direct the attention away from the confining nature of the space. Before even picking out the decor — small living room owners must take note – carefully considering the color of the walls and ceiling pays huge dividends.

Spacious Highlights

A narrow chair rail that goes the entire length of one wall adds an optical illusion that makes the room seem wider. Thin mouldings – painted lighter than the walls and ceiling – emphasize this effect. Remember that these home decorating ideas only work if the horizontal highlights are thin or narrow. As a counterpoint, TLC urges the homeowner to opt for wide floorboards since they make the area appear bigger from the ground up.

Ideas to Make a Small Room Look Bigger: Listen to Home Stagers!

Home Stagers warn those in search of furniture for small rooms to eschew the common mistake of buying small items. Instead they claim that the décor, small living room notwithstanding, benefits from a couple of oversized items. At the heart of this advice is the optical illusion that causes the eye to focus on the bigger furniture and therefore assumes that the room is bigger as well. Remember: do not place furniture in such a way that it obstructs natural light.

Restraint is a key element in this instance. Do not go overboard with adding plenty of Flintstone furniture while undertaking home decorating outings at the store. In addition, the color scheme of any furniture for small rooms should harmonize with the walls and ceiling. This allows the tables and chairs to ‘blend’ into the wall and give a more spacious impression of the room.

Décor: Small Living Room, Big Mirror?

Mirrors are your friend and home decorating with them is quite simple. A narrow but tall mirror visually extends the room upward. When combined with the horizontal aspects discussed earlier, it provides a useful tool for a visually pleasing detail. Mirrors also reflect light, which is a huge plus in a miniscule room.

Follow these ideas to make a small room look bigger, and the odds are good that home decorating will be a snap and not eat up a huge chunk of the budget. Do not be afraid to ‘try out’ furniture for small rooms by inquiring about return policies in case the items just don’t match up to the desired effect.