Furniture Layout Tips to Make Your Room Look Bigger

A living room with white furniture and a fireplace.

Everyone dreams of an expansive home with endless space. Unfortunately, only a few enjoy that luxury, with most people living in houses below 2,500 square feet.

This often means that you have to find ways to make do with smaller rooms while finding ways to make your rooms appear larger. Otherwise, the entire home may feel cramped out and too small for your family.

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to make a space appear bigger than it is. The following are seven straightforward furniture layout ideas to make a living room look bigger.

Scale down the proportions

The first step is to overlook large furniture pieces for smaller pieces that don’t require space. Smaller furniture pieces create a sense of roominess even in a tiny room because they leave plenty of space for the eyes to roam. For instance, a sleek sofa offers the same seating space as an overstuffed cousin without taking up as much space.

Keep a low profile

The first step to making a living room look bigger and brighter is to adopt a low-profile layout. For instance, furniture that is lower to the ground creates a feeling of openness because it leaves more room above. Low-to-the-ground mid-century-style furniture is particularly very effective. You can also consider 19th century furniture if you’d like to create a more romantic and ornate living room.

Choose streamlined furniture

Choose streamlined furniture

Creating the illusion of space is all about creating a sense of openness and movement. So, with that in mind, it’s best to go for streamlined furniture over rugged or textured pieces. Why? Because streamlined furniture, with clean lines, creates a sense of endlessness. They make people feel like the room is large enough. Similarly, streamlined furniture allows light and air to freely travel above and below, allowing the pieces to “float” in space.

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Use contrasts and light colors to give the illusion of depth

You probably already know that light colors make the room appear bigger while dark colors make spaces appear smaller. The reason is that light or bright colors are more reflective. They reflect light throughout the space, making the area look open and airy. So, you should strongly consider light colors for your small living room. Paint the walls light and consider bright colors such as sky blue and grey for sofas and accessories.

Cut out the clutter

Believe it or not, keeping your room tidy and organized can greatly impact the illusion of space. A tiny, poorly organized space littered with clutter at every corner looks even smaller than it is in real life. On the other hand, tidying up and storing away the items you don’t immediately need can free up plenty of room. This applies to chairs, sofas, and other furniture too. You want to keep them to a minimum.

Use a few large decorative items instead of multiple smaller ones

Lots of small knick-knacks tend to feel like clutter all of a sudden, which can make the room appear smaller. So, it’s much better to have a few large decorating items. Alternatively, another way to get around this problem is to apply the triangular rule and symmetry when styling coffee tables and cabinets in the living room and limit décor groupings to 3-5.

Create a focal point

A living room layout without a focal point creates unnecessary chaos because everything fights to stand out. So, identify one area where you want to draw the most attention and make it your focal point. For example, a fireplace is one of the most effective focal points in a living room. However, a large, beautiful painting or art can work just as well. Arrange the furniture so that focus is drawn to the selected area.

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Use mirrors to boost the sense of space

Use mirrors to boost the sense of space

Mirrors work like magic. They reflect light and spread it throughout the space because the bouncing reflections are reflected on the walls. The result is a room that looks bigger and more open than it is. One trick to consider is using a larger-than-standard mirror and angling to point at your focal point. This creates the illusion of depth. You also want to add smaller mirrors pointing towards natural and artificial light sources for a brighter room in the day and night.

Be creating with furniture choices

You must be a little creative to make a living room look bigger and brighter. For instance, consider multifunctional furniture instead of standard pieces. A chest, for instance, can double up as a coffee. This allows you to hit two birds with one stone. You can also consider a sofa bed rather than a standard sofa. Expandable tables, folding tables, and nesting tables are other solutions to consider.


There are plenty of ways to make a living room look bigger and brighter. It all boils down to being a little more organized and creative.

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