7 Decorating Mistakes that Make Your Home Feel Smaller

By Jennifer Parris

Whether you live in a 3000 square foot home or a cozy 300 square foot tiny house, having extra space is important. After all, no one wants to feel like the walls are closing in on them. But despite your best efforts, you might be making decorating mistakes that actually make your home feel smaller. These design tips can help you feel like you’re not living in cramped quarters. 

Furniture That’s Too Big Or Too Much

By far, the biggest culprit of making a perfectly-sized room appear smaller is the furniture. Bulky furniture definitely might feel comfortable to sink into, but it might also be eating up precious floor space. To avoid accidentally making your room feel smaller, look for furniture that fits the space. If you already have a sofa that you’re simply in love with, see what other pieces in your room need to stay–and which ones can be moved to another room. That way, you’ll keep the furniture you love without sacrificing space. 

Dark Wall Color

In theory, that perfect shade of plum would have looked gorgeous on your dining room walls. But once it was on, all it did was make the room look like a cave. Think twice about the colors that call your name in the home improvement store, and be realistic about whether they’re  going to make your space shrink in size. You can always opt for a lighter shade of the same color you fell in love with! 

Too Many Decorations

Your home is a testament to your many travels–but do you really need to have so many knickknacks on display? Although it might seem like an objet d‘art objet d’e arte to you, to others it might look like a cluttered collection of stuff. That’s why you should pare down your possessions to what really deserves to be displayed. It will help your space look bigger, and give your possessions the spotlight they deserve. 

Low Lighting

You love lamps, and enjoy how they can make a room feel intimate. But intimate can sometimes be code for cramped, so you’ll really need to rethink your illumination needs for each room. You might find that lamps, which can be a low light source, are making your space seem a whole lot smaller than it really is. You may need to invest in sconces, a chandelier or recessed lighting so that your room reflects its actual size. 

A Proliferation Of Plants

Sure, plants can purify the air, but they can also make your home feel smaller, too, depending on how many of them you have. While it’s always a good idea to have a plant (or a few) in various rooms in your home (they’re great in bathrooms!), you don’t want to decrease floor size simply because your living room is now resembling a forest or jungle. Pick and choose the plants based on the size of your space as well as its light needs, and your room will feel zen…and not cluttered. 

A Wrong-Sized Rug

When used correctly, a rug can help tie a room together. But when the rug is the wrong size (i.e. either too big or too small), it can make your space seem off. So look for a rug that allows each piece of furniture (i.e. a sofa, loveseat, or chairs) to touch it. It will create cohesiveness and also allow for your room to feel just the right size. 

Too Many Pillows

Hands down, pillows are one of the easiest ways to accessorize. And because they can be bought fairly inexpensively, there’s the temptation to put them on every piece of furniture in the room. Although the pillows can make a piece look pretty, too many of them in one room can create a crowded effect, and thereby make the entire space feel tighter. You’ll find that your space will pack a bigger punch with fewer (and not more) pillows. 

Making your space seem large and luxurious is the goal of practically every homeowner. So think of ways in which you can conserve space through design, and your home will appear both  beautiful and larger.