6 ways to make your home feel bigger – without making structural changes

From styling tips and tricks to lighting ideas...

While spending a lot of time at home during lockdown, you may have found yourself at times wishing you lived in a bigger house (or was that just us?).

Adding an extension to your house or knocking down internal walls sounds like a great way to enlarge its square footage but it’s expensive, time consuming and, sometimes, impossible.

Related: Couple quoted £1000 for under stair storage build their own - for just £175

But don't worry, there are a number of clever - and cheaper - ways you can make your home look bigger than it really is.

6 easy ways to make your home look bigger

Matthew Currington at The Lighting Superstore (opens in new tab) has put together a helpful guide to make your home more spacious and bright, without needing any structural changes.

1. The ‘cantaloupe’ rule

room with wooden vanity and transparent flower vase on it

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mark Bolton)

Start by clearing the clutter. The theory is that any trinket below the size of a cantaloupe melon is additional clutter for a space, and will leave a room feeling small and overcrowded. If your home is filled with small knick-knacks, maybe try swapping these out for fewer, larger statement pieces to keep a personal touch.

Large vases, bigger picture frames and statement clocks are all stylish, simple ways to decorate without compromising your sought-after spacious feel.

2. Little lights everywhere

dining room with wooden dining table and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/ James French)

One overhead lighting fixture can shallow out the space of a room, as the light will likely be unable to reach the corners of the space effectively.

A simple solution to combat this issue is smaller light fixtures dotted around the room. They will not only illuminate all the space but also create more depth to your home.

A simple touch lamp (opens in new tab) is the perfect feature to maximise the space of a room. Thanks to its diffused output spreading the light evenly, making the walls appear further away rather than highlighted.

3. Create a room within a room

open plan living and dining area

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

If you have more of an open-plan space to work with, rugs can be the perfect way to make markers around the area. Not only do they trick the eye into thinking the floor space is bigger, but they also make rooms functional for more than one purpose.

Smaller rugs dotted around draw the eyes focus, so the uncovered areas appear bigger to the peripheral vision. Whereas a large statement rug can diminish the space by taking up so much room that the rest of the area is almost invisible.

Use your furniture wisely and mark out the spaces of the room, along with your rugs. First things first, draw up a floor plan to ensure the best possible placement.

4. Aim high with shelves and pictures

bedroom with wooden furniture and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mel Yates)

Placing shelves, picture frames and paintings higher on the walls can expand the space by making a room feel much taller. If features are positioned upwards in the space, this is where the eye will naturally go.

If a room feels taller, it inevitably feels less confined. When shelves and wall fixtures are positioned low, this will drag the ceiling down, making it feel boxed-in and more cramped.

Taller ceilings make the home feel far more grandiose, so this tip will not only help to extend the room space, but will also give you a chic, luxurious feel.

5. Create magic with mirrors

living room with round mirror in floral wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dan Duchar)

The oldest trick in the book is sometimes the best. Adding mirrors to a room can be the easiest, and often cheapest, way to maximise the space.

Similar to using light colours on the walls, reflective surfaces act as an extender of space. Choose the mirror space carefully to get the best possible results, such as placing the mirrors opposite the room's windows. This will reflect the light around the room.

Placing mirrors behind objects like credenzas and bar areas will reflect the objects atop and deceptively appear to have a whole other section behind them.

6. Lighten up the colour scheme

bedroom with wall lamps and twin bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jason Ingram/Ideal Home)

Dark paint like navy is in style, but these flat, dark shades can shrink a space. Painting the floors and ceilings in a matching lighter shade is inevitably going to soften the edges of the room. Making it appear much wider and higher.

Using a feature wall can be a great way of keeping light shades without compromising style. However going too dark can be stunting to the room’s potential.

Related: Bedroom feature wall ideas – accent wall ideas that work for every decor style

Top tip: The latest trend is painting your white wall with little darker brush strokes for a simple wallpaper looking style, which will ‘lengthen’ the room if the strokes all go in the same direction.