For those of us accustomed to small, narrow rooms, no space to move around, and having to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. Over the past few years, I’ve learned to fit my life in a five-by-five box, so to speak: I’ve mastered the art of downsizing as much as possible without sacrificing comfort. I’ve picked up a few decorating tricks along the way, and using them in my room made a huge difference in how I use it. And the best part? I was try them all on a low budget! Check out the 9 totally doable tips to make any room seem much bigger — and yes, even your bathroom!

1- Eliminate all furniture you don’t use.

A crucial first step in making your small room look bigger is removing all the furniture you don’t actually use. Even the smallest stool can take up valuable floor space. And yes, that means also getting rid of that chair you’re convinced you’ll sit in to read one day, but that is actually used as a dumping ground for laundry. Once you declutter your room, chances are you’ll realize that there’s a lot more space in your room than you thought!

2- Hang long, light-colored or sheer curtains, or forgo them altogether.

If you want to make your room look larger, you may want to forgo hanging up curtains. Drapes can make your space feel more enclosed, and dark-colored ones can absorb light. If you must hang up curtains for privacy, opt for sheer or light-colored ones that hang well above the top of the window to make your ceilings seem higher.

3- Strategically place mirrors.

Hang or prop up mirrors opposite of your windows. They can reflect light and disperse it around your room, making it look bigger and brighter. Mirrors may even reflect the view outside, which can make your space feel more open.

4- Invest in multifunctional furniture.

If there’s room in your budget for replacing furniture, it may be a good idea to make some swaps. For a small living room, try a coffee table that transforms into a desk, for example, or even a smaller dining table that can extend in the event that you have more guests. Combining two pieces of furniture in one can save you a ton of space!

5- Buy floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

If you want your ceilings to look higher and save on space at the same time, invest in a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. This piece of furniture can house anything from books to knickknacks, leaving more space for other items you want to keep. Like long curtains, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf can make it seem like your ceilings are higher than they actually are.

6- Get clear furniture.

Clear furniture, like glass coffee tables, may allow you to see more of the floor and the walls. They can help the room feel more open, and items appearing behind them will seem further away, creating additional depth in a room.

7- Show some leg.

The legs of your furniture, that is. Exposed furniture legs, especially on larger items, can trick your eye by allowing you to see more floor space. They may also draw the eye upward, creating the illusion of light.

8- Pull furniture away from the walls.

This may be counterintuitive, but pulling furniture away from the walls is must when trying to make a small room seem bigger. This may create the illusion of spaciousness. The space doesn’t have to be be huge — just a few inches can do the trick! It doesn’t have to be empty space, either: place a console behind a sofa, for example, and it can also serve as great way to display smaller items like figurines or vases.

9- If you have to pick a pattern, pick stripes.

Stripes can help elongate a space, so you may want to pick a carpet or a light-colored wallpaper with that pattern. The most effective way to use stripes in your smaller room is to orient them to that they go the length of the room that is the longest.

Having a small room doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. There are so many ways you can make the most out of that room, and it doesn’t stop at these tips!

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