7 visual tricks to make a small room feel larger

Tiny room, tiny furniture? Not so fast. “If you have a small space and a small sofa, tiny table and bitty chair, it’ll look like a dollhouse,” says Kate Watson-Smyth, the British blogger behind Mad About the House and author of the forthcoming small-space design book “Home: The Way We Live Now.”

Instead, be strategic. You might choose the largest mattress size your small boudoir will hold, but pick a soaring headboard to create the illusion of ceiling height, and forgo a footboard. Wall-mounted, bedside sconces will eliminate the need to cram in nightstands and lamps. “The scale becomes key,” Watson-Smyth says. “The more you stuff into a room, the more it’ll seem to close in on you.” In your petite living room, you might go for a full-length sofa, not a love seat, but be sure it has a low profile. The greater the distance between the top of the sofa and the ceiling, the taller and larger your room will feel.

Along the same lines, think leggy and light. A sofa with visible feet will slim down a space more than a skirted sectional. A glass-topped dining table or Lucite end table “creates air in the room and makes everything feel less cluttered,” Powell says.