published about 1 hour ago
Whether relaxing with family, entertaining guests, or bingeing Netflix, the living room is where it all happens. A small and cramped one can put a damper on your fun — and on your home’s appeal when it hits the market — but there are simple tricks and tips you can employ to make your living room look and feel bigger.
While reducing clutter and ensuring your furniture is proportional are probably no-brainers, a lesser-known strategy is to use curtains and window treatments to trick the eye — and don’t let small windows limit you.
When you’re determining the height from which to hang your curtains, “the window frame should not dictate the length or placement,” says Kati Baker, a luxury home staging specialist and director of recruitment with Chicago-based Downtown Apartment Company. “If you mount curtains above the window frame so they cover the entire length of the wall, it will visually lengthen the room, giving the appearance that the ceiling is soaring above you.”
Baker notes that you can use the same strategy in a different direction, too, by extending the curtains beyond the sides of the frame. “Keep it monochromatic by slightly varying the shade [from the wall color] to create depth,” says Baker. “You can also add contrast by using a darker color on the ceiling to draw the eye upward.”
Lighting is another important element of leveraging window treatments to make your living room look larger. And both Baker and Asler Valero, a New York City-based interior designer, suggest hanging curtains in lightweight and airy fabrics. “Avoid using draperies with lining, because this will make it more difficult for light to come through,” says Valero, adding that, “if the room is very small, I suggest using shades and raising them all the way to allow for maximum light. This will also frame the window, playing with its dimensions.”
And if you want to amp up the spacious feeling even more, take advantage of a mirror. “Mirrors work in almost any space and reflect light, helping to make a room appear both bigger and brighter,” says Baker. “Placing one on a wall opposite a window will instantly open up a room.”
She also suggests glass tables and shelves as another way to utilize reflection. Furniture with long, slender legs will help allow light through at all levels, from floor to ceiling.