Live large with these smart decorating tips.

Some living spaces simply aren’t endowed with generous dimensions. But it’s surprisingly easy to trick the eye into believing any room has space to spare. Here’s how:

1. Go Big

It seems counterintuitive, but outfitting a room with fewer — and larger-sized — furnishings reduces visual clutter, making the space feel more open. Instead of a sofa and chairs, for example, opt for one larger sectional.

The same goes for artwork. The spacious dimensions of one slightly oversized piece will extend to the rest of the room.

2. Create Spaces

Even when you can’t add square footage, you can create spaces. Just arrange your furnishings to make more than one seating area.

Image via archirooms.com
Image via archirooms.com

A minimally furnished reading corner or desk space could sit alongside a TV “room” anchored by a sofa and area rug. Use a floor lamp, ceiling-mounted pendant light, or mini chandelier to bring focus and definition to each space, without cramping tabletops.

3. Go Monochromatic

A rainbow of colors might fill a space with cheer, but it doesn’t leave much breathing room for the eye. Instead, stick with slightly varying tones of one hue for a clean, open feel.

Image via bhg.com
Image via bhg.com

Pale, neutral colors reflect light, visually expanding a space, while bold, bright hues serve as a focal point, forcing what little square footage you have to fade into the background.

4. Get Vertical

Even if you’re dealing with standard ceiling heights, bringing the focus upward helps you forget about limited floor space.

Try a single ceiling-height shelf, running the length of the wall or centered above a window, media cabinet, or headboard. Choose an unadoraned style that feels airy and doesn’t extend too far from the wall. A simple strip of crown molding — painted the same color as the ceiling — is another easy way to accentuate a room’s verticality.

5. Drape a Wall

Dealing with a drive-through-size window? The magic of drapery can expand the room’s horizons.

Choose a curtain rod that extends a foot or more beyond the window on each side — even extending the entire length of a slim wall. Install the rod just below the ceiling line, rather than just above the window frame, and pair with floor-length curtains.

6. Show Some Leg

A small room is not the place for a skirted sofa or chest that sits directly on the floor. You have to take advantage of every square inch of visual space, even that little sliver of floor beneath furniture, so opt for styles with exposed legs.

7. Create Breathing Room

When floor space is a premium, the natural instinct is to maximize open areas by keeping furniture tight to the wall. But sacrificing mere inches can pay off big.

Just angle a dresser or cabinet in the corner, or place a thin console table between the back of a couch and the wall. Suddenly, your room looks like it has space to spare. So, how do you take rooms from small to spacious? Tell us your design tricks!