Big things come in small packages: Make a small home feel larger


In today’s real estate market, money that could once buy you a mansion is barely enough for a tiny home in some areas. As a result, families are having to get creative with small spaces.

If you’re renovating, there are plenty of smart ways to turn a shoe-box into a palace, and they don’t have to cost a fortune. The key is to focus on making your home efficient and functional, where every piece has a purpose. It reduces clutter and makes your house feel more like a home.

Here are 14 tips for making a small home feel larger.

Knock down walls

Open-plan spaces automatically appear larger, and creating an open space starts with knocking down walls. Obviously, you can’t get rid of load-bearing walls, but if a wall isn’t necessary, consider losing it.

Eliminate dead space

Dead spaces are ‘pass-through’ areas like foyers and hallways. They don’t really serve a purpose and they take up space. Eliminating these features can make the surrounding rooms larger and more functional.

Hide clutter with built-in storage

A place for everything, and everything in its place: this is your small-house renovation mantra. Adding built-in storage makes it easier to keep things tidy, plus it can hide clutter. Install drawers, cabinets, and storage space that you’ll actually use, not huge deep cabinets that will become junk drawers. Don’t forget to make a space for rubbish bins.

Maximise opportunities for natural light

Let there be light! If you can, opt for larger windows and glass doors that let in more natural light. Consider adding skylights where possible to brighten things up even more.

Trick your eye with mirrors

One large, well-placed mirror can make a room look bigger than it is. It’s all a matter of perspective, and it’s a cost-effective way to make a quick, simple improvement.

Choose dual-purpose furniture

Smaller spaces mean less room for furniture, so make the most out of the pieces you have. Perhaps that’s a breakfast bar that doubles as a workspace, a couch that can become a guest bed, or a bunk bed over a desk in a child’s room.

Create vaulted ceilings

It’s a major change, but one that can make a big difference—vaulting a ceiling actually does make a room larger. It may not be space that you can use, but visually it is a positive change.

Install smaller appliances

Good things come in small packages. It may be time to bite the bullet and swap your appliances for smaller versions: that’s your stove, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and refrigerator. In fact, you could even consider getting rid of your dishwasher, but that may be a step too far for some households!

Take off doors

Doors are essential for bedrooms or bathrooms, but have a look around to see where they may not be necessary. Is there a door to your kitchen or living room? Removing it or replacing it with a pocket door could be a space-opener.

Balance your paint colours

Contrary to popular belief, white is not the only colour for small spaces. In fact, painting a room all white can make it look impersonal and boxy, not to mention making it feel like a hospital.

Choose warm neutral shades that complement each other and use them throughout the house to make it feel larger. For example, try off-white, grey, smoke, and navy blue.

Paint walls and trim the same colour

Lengthen your walls by painting them the same colour as your trim. This stretches out the vertical space and makes it feel roomier. The exception to this rule is when you’re using a darker colour; in this case you can add a pop of white along the window and wall trim to brighten the room.

Wrap-around headboard for the bedroom

A wrap-around headboard adds a touch of luxury to a small bedroom. You’ll feel like you’re walking into a boutique hotel every time you go to bed, even if it’s the size of a shoe-box.


Lighting has a serious impact in a house of any size, but especially small ones. Consider LED lighting and track lighting as opposed to external light fixtures. This type of lighting is more efficient and has a clean look.

Mount your television on the wall

TVs are larger, thinner, and lighter than ever, putting bulky wall units out of fashion. Mounting your television on the wall eliminates the need for additional furniture like a TV stand. Just make sure it’s sturdy, because a shattered TV is less than ideal!

A smart renovation combines three elements: your house, your budget, and your goals. A family who entertains often will have different renovation goals than one who doesn’t; someone who works from home may need different features than someone who doesn’t, and so on.

Set clear priorities, keep these smart renovation tips in mind, and good luck!

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