For Real: This Is How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

Updated 08/22/17

In the age of and eco-friendly , it’s not surprising that our living areas are getting smaller. While some homes can be easily fixed with , other spaces like studio apartments and small rooms still remain a challenge in the decorating department. We’ve already come up with tons of , but do you know how to make a small room seem bigger without doing renovations?

The answer: Add mirrors. It’s a trick interior designers swear by, and it works like a charm. In fact, it’s probably the one thing you should splurge on when decorating a small area—not only does it double up the space, but it also gives the impression of double the furniture and accessories. But before you run to the shops in search of the perfect mirror, follow these invaluable tips for decorating with mirrors.

Fake a Room's Length

small space decorating tips
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Amber Interiors

In this cleverly designed walk-in closet by , the back wall is entirely covered by a mirror—giving the impression of infinity in the space. The patterned runner extends all the way to the edge of the mirror, enhancing the continuity effect. While this can be a labor-intensive project, the end result is well worth the effort.

Nalbandian Anatolian Runner $1675

Shift the Focus Elsewhere

decorating small spaces
Brittany Ambridge

Accessorize mirrors by leaning artwork in similar frames against it. The repetition of black frames will blur the lines of the mirror’s edges, making the reflection just another beautiful artwork to look at. By the same token, it’ll be harder to figure out where the mirror starts and the room begins, resulting in a larger-looking space.

Elvia Perrin Oculus $78

Opt for a Round Mirror

How to make a small space look bigger — mirrors
Courtesy of ASH NYC

We learned that above any other type of mirrors, the  makes the greatest impact, and NYC-based design firm is no stranger to the practice, having styled dozens of high-end real estate projects with these statement-making pieces. In fact, the round mirror is one of the firm}s signature design tricks. Try it for yourself—if New York developers swear by it, it must be effective.

Consort Round Metal Framed Mirror $2000

Go Big or Go Home

Small Space Decorating Tips — Mirrors
Fantastik Frank

The round mirror also works well to break up rectangular shapes, like in this hallway, where a console shelf is flanked by bookcases. The items on the console are reflected in the mirror, creating a layered effect. When it comes to choosing a round mirror, bigger is usually better, as it will reflect more light and space.

CB2 Infinity 36” Round Wall Mirror $229

Trick the Eye With Pattern

Decorating Small Spaces With Mirrors
David Foessel ; DESIGN: Septembre Architecture

You might think this bathroom in a tiny Parisian apartment designed by  leads to another room at the far end of the house, but the back wall is, in fact, a mirror—making the bathroom look twice as large and visually lengthening the whole apartment. To achieve this, choose a patterned tile to act as a trompe l’œil. This is a great trick to accentuate architectural features.

Mercola Tile Comet Penny Round White Porcelain Mosaic Tile $15

Only Reflect Beautiful Things

How to make a small space feel larger
Courtesy of Space Exploration

Have a stunning chandelier you’re dying to show off? Reflect it in a mirror, like cleverly did in this New York City space. If it’s positioned effectively in the room, it’ll appear as though there are two chandeliers, effectively doubling your investment. The most important rule to live by when decorating with mirrors is to ensure that what it’s reflecting is pleasant to look at. In other words, don’t let it reflect clutter, an unsightly TV, or a bad view.

CB2 Croft Brass Mirror $129

Build a Wall of Mirrors

Decorating With Mirrors
Sharrin Rees ; DESIGN: Smart Design Studio

Installing a mirror as a wall can enhance a small space. In this bathroom by , one was used to separate the shower stall, effectively doubling the space in appearance. Large wall-to-wall mirrors are excellent to achieve this effect. This also works well to maximize natural light in a small space that might otherwise feel a little dark.

Room & Board Soho Wall & Leaning Mirror $949

Use a Mirror as a Backsplash

Small Space Decorating Ideas
Kevin O'Hara

In the , an antiqued mirror was installed as the kitchen backsplash. This trick works fantastically in small galley kitchens, where they can make a space look twice as big. Want to achieve the same effect with a bookcase? Simply install mirrors in the back of your built-ins.

Ann Sacks Mirror Field Tile

Ann Sacks (price upon request)

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