5 Window-Related Tactics to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

If your home includes one or more small rooms, you may be constantly looking for tricks to make those spaces feel cozy rather than cramped. While you can use a number of techniques to achieve the illusion of openness, you should start with your windows.

Your windows and how you cover them can dramatically change the appearance of a small space. To create rooms that look bigger and more welcoming, try these five tactics.

1. Go Long

Often, small rooms feel tight because they have low ceiling clearance. One of your first concerns when making a room feel larger is to emphasize the vertical dimensions of the space. Start by swapping out horizontally focused window treatments for vertical ones.

For an air of elegance and sophistication, install decorative drapes that hang from a rod above the window frame all the way down to the floor. You can also replace Venetian blinds with vertical blinds or shades to maintain window functionality. For fun and flair in personal spaces like children’s rooms, consider window treatments with vertical patterns, such as zigzags or stripes.

2. Invite More Light

Natural light can fool the eye into seeing more space. If privacy is not an issue in your small room, keep the blinds open whenever you entertain to let natural light brighten up the space. If you’re trying make a bathroom or first floor bedroom seem bigger, consider sheer drapes to increase privacy without making the room darker.

If you’re ready for a more permanent solution, consider replacing your current windows with bigger ones. Bay and bow windows work great for living areas, while sidelights next to your door can expand your entryway. Consult with a windows contractor to find the right solution to bring natural light into your home.

3. Make a Match

When decorating a small space, you want to use a simple, light color palette. Elements that disrupt the flow of the room make the space appear cluttered. One of the ways to encourage visual flow is by creating a monochromatic background.

Paint your walls, trim, and window frames the same color so that no one element stands out above the others. Then, choose window treatments the same color as your paint job for a bright, chic look. While you can use a variety of colors, pale hues work best in small spaces, so consider white, off-white, beige, and pastels first.

4. Reflect the View

A mirror can be one of the most important tools in your arsenal when broadening a small room, but placement is key. Bring your outdoor view inside and create the illusion of bigger room dimensions by placing the mirror opposite a window. This position has the additional benefit of bouncing more natural light around the room.

For the most seamless image, use a mirror that either has a frame the same color as your walls and window treatments or a mirror without a frame.

5. Retire the Blinds

If even long, flowing, or vertically shaped window treatments make your small room feel too cramped, consider eliminating window treatments entirely. Open windows give the room a minimalist charm and maximize natural light.

This step works particularly well when your windows have interesting architectural details that provide visual interest and decoration without boxing the room in. If you are in the market for new windows, look for unique designs that can stand up on their own without the accent of window treatments. Windows with muntin bars, multiple panels, and traditional casements can give a simple room character.


Use these guidelines to brighten and broaden even the smallest rooms in your home.

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