How to Paint a Room to Make It Look Bigger


A small room can appear cramped and boring, but sometimes you have to live with what you have. You can make a room appear larger by using paint to create optical illusions that open up a room and make it feel airy and comfortable. Combined with a few other decorating tricks, you can transform a cramped room in a weekend with a minimum of cost and effort. All you need is an understanding of how colors work to choose your room-enlarging palette.

Step 1

Visit a paint or home improvement store for color samples and examples of color combinations for smaller rooms. Often it’s hard to picture what you’re trying to do, and seeing it in a photo will help you bring your ideas together.

Step 2

Choose light and airy colors such as creams, whites, soft or icy blues and pale greens and yellows for the main wall colors. These hues will expand the room and make it feel more spacious.

Step 3

Minimize decorations on walls

Consider painting the trim and borders a lighter shade than the walls. This will make them appear to “fade” backward and give the walls a more fluid look.

Step 4

Arrange your paint colors so that the darker shades are nearest the floor; if your ceilings appear low, paint them a bright white to give the illusion of height.

Step 5

Emphasize a focal point wall by painting it a different color that complements the other three walls. This will draw the eyes to that wall when people enter the room and make the room seem longer.


  • If you are renting your home, always check with the landlord before painting any room.



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