Unless you’re building from the ground up, there’s little you can do to change a small room to a large room. Yes, you do have the option of knocking down some walls and creating a seamless, flowing, open floor plan. But again, unless you were there for the foundation, you might not be structurally able to accommodate such a wish. The good news is there are some things you can do to create the illusion of a bigger space without actually changing the layout of your home. The best news, most of these updates can be done over a weekend and it isn’t just about painting accent walls and patterns. Read on for some tips and tricks on how to maximize the minimal space you’ve got.

Eyes Up

Sometimes rooms feel smaller than they are because there’s so much stuff on the floor. And who ever looks up at the ceiling anyway? But did you know that by adding more design elements up top you’re forcing the eye to travel upwards, therein giving the idea of a taller (and so, a larger) space. It’s totally true. How does one accomplish this task?

Wallpaper or Paint on the ceiling draws the eye up. Wallpaper allows you more options in patterns and textures, but if you’ve got a textured – or popcorn – ceiling this option is off the table. Painting a bright bold color will do the same trick with a little less work. If your walls are plain white or a neutral, you have a world of color options open to you. If your walls are already painted, you can create a complimentary color by mixing two parts white paint with one part of the wall’s paint color.

Installing Shelves up near the ceiling also raises sightlines. Not only that, but you’ve now got more storage space for books and decorative pieces that doesn’t clutter up your coffee table or bookcase.

Ditch the Overhead Lighting in favor of small desk and tall floor lamps. Overhead lighting is great for a flood of space, but it places light only in the center of the room, leaving corners dark and uninviting. Open it up with smaller light sources around the room to fill your space.

Get Rid Of That Clutter

The Kon-Marie method is taking the US by storm, especially with the debut of Netflix’s Tidying Up. Having too much clutter is the number one cause for spaces feeling cramped and small, especially if they’re actually a but cramped and small. There are a few ways you can achieve this without tossing too much of your joyful possessions.

Secret Storage pieces like coffee tables with retractable tops that cover a large storage space beneath, or an ottoman that opens up for all your blankets or workout equipment help reduce clutter instantly. Wherever you can create extra storage without adding furniture is a plus. For smaller bedrooms, bed frames that come with drawer storage underneath are perfect for eliminating the need for a chest of drawers. If you can’t spring for a fancy new frame yet, get risers for your frame that provide the same amount of space for bins (keep it simple with some Rubbermaid plastic tubs or spruce it up with canvas bins with trendy designs).   

The Cantaloupe Rule is standard for keeping rooms free of crowding. What is that? Well, any decorative piece smaller than a cantaloupe is too small and lends to the cluttered feel. Stick to larger pieces that take up a little more space, preventing you from filling the same amount of space with more small things.

Make That Statement

The concept of decluttering your space isn’t just limited to horizontal, flat surfaces. Your walls can become cluttered too, making the room feel even smaller than it is.

Hang large pieces of artwork or photography to broaden the space instead of a collage of small things and frames. Use these pieces to implement an intense splash of color.

Mirrors aren’t just great for feng shui. When placed strategically around the room to where they catch each other’s reflections creates a mind bending illusion of infinite space.

Color And Pattern Schemes

Finally, your color pallette. If you want a small space to seem bigger how you play with color and patterns is an easy route to take.

Bright Colors Everywhere from floors to ceilings will create the feel of a larger space. Instead of dark wood floors (while beautiful and bold in their own way) that suck up light, go for a light gray or pine shade. Bamboo click and lock flooring is sustainable and comes in a variety of colors. Keeping your walls a lighter neutral color allows you to play the colors in your accent pieces whether they’re large statement pieces of furniture or vibrant works of art.

One Color in Many Shades is another way to tie everything up in harmony that doesn’t cramp the space. And because every element is its own hue, you’re less likely to clash and more likely to compliment the entire space in unity.

Stripes on rugs, pillows, or even walls are another illusion you can utilize to make a room feel bigger than it actually is.

If you’re stuck with a space that can’t be made bigger all is not lost. Any of these tips and tricks will transform your cramped space into a cozy room that’s just the right size.