How to Make a Room Feel Larger

A 10×12 room can feel very, very different depending on what’s in it and how the things in that room relate to each other. Since I’m often working with city-based clients with limited square footage looking to make their home feel spacious, I’m constantly using these 5 interior designer tricks in different ways.

“After” Rhoda Goldman Plaza for Gwen McClure by Dean Birinyi


  1. Purchase furniture with legs. When a piece of furniture without legs sits on the floor, our eyes stop at that piece of furniture and perceive the room starting and stopping there. Furniture that’s raised off the floor with legs lets your eye see beneath it, and that creates an illusion of more space.
  2. Include furniture with glass surfaces. Glass table tops are the most obvious choice here, but white glass (glass that has been painted white on back) or frosted glass work too. Both have a lightness to them and reflect light better than opaque surfaces, like wood.
  3. Embrace monotones. Monotone spaces can be tricky because they can be boring. But a monotone color scheme with punches of color and a lot of texture can create a spectacular, spacious-feeling room. Try adding texture with area rugs, interesting woods, furniture with high/low details, highly-textured pillows, decor items in clay, metal, porcelain, or color. Adding artwork and plants is essential.
  4. Add some reflective surfaces. Bronze, brass or chrome are all options that reflect light and appear lighter in scale. It doesn’t need to be flashy – think bronze on table legs or side tables.
  5. Allow for breathing room. Sometimes there’s just too much in the room. Make sure you’ve allowed for adequate space for getting from one piece of furniture to the next. And in and out of the room itself!


As an interior designer, organizer and move manager focused on the San Francisco area, I often help with challenges unique to small spaces. You can see how I use many of these techniques in this mini story. Or see how I can help you organizedesign and move

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