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5 Designer Techniques to Make a Living Room Look Taller

How to Visually Open up a Living Space

© 2010 by Alyssa Davis; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

Open up a living room with light-colored paint

It doesn’t take much for a small, drab room to feel like a cramped, uninviting space quickly. Without much space to work with, it can be difficult to dress the room up properly in order to maximize the potential and beauty in it. Here are five designer techniques to make a living room look taller and more inviting for everyone who enters.

  1. Use paint to enlarge the room. Lighter shades will make the living room feel more open and spacious, and really create a taller and broader feel overall. You do not have to use gray or tan to achieve this effect, though, and can use a broad range of light colors or pastels to create a tall living room without spending a lot of money.

    Combine the light shades with a white ceiling for maximum effect. To introduce bright colors, introduce them in window coverings, furniture, and area rugs and accents instead of wall or ceiling colors. Molding and/or trim should match the wall or ceiling, with lighter or white colors to heighten the room.

  2. Add accessories that maximize natural light sources. If you don’t have a large window to help make the room feel taller and brighter, use accessories that reflect what natural light you have, or brighten artificial light’s effectiveness.

    Great accessories for this are mirrors, glass cabinet doors, and similarly reflective surfaces. Mirrors that are very tall, such as floor-to-ceiling mirrors, are perfect accessories for making the living room feel taller instantly.

    Window treatments can also make a huge difference, and you can swing this on a budget if you forgo the expensive decorator and do the job yourself. offers blinds, shades and window treatments in a wide range of style, fabric and texture!

  3. Use furniture that matches the size of the room. If your furniture is bulky and oversized, the room will look and feel much smaller. Use delicate pieces, with slender backs or thin designs, to make a living room look taller and broader.

    Combine these with light colors and bright accents, and you will soon feel like your living room is much wider and more spacious than it really is. Storage may seem like it would be an issue, but maximize storage potential with ottoman storage, narrow floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and similar designs that combine functionality with space saving technology without sacrificing beauty.

  4. Consider a ceiling mural. If you don’t want a plain white ceiling, but also don’t want to go to the trouble of installing a suspended acoustical ceiling and hanging ceiling tiles, use simple creativity to paint a bright mural on the ceiling.

    A sky motif is popular, since the bright white in the clouds, contrasted with the pale sky blue, makes the room feel taller and wider. If you bring the color of the walls onto the ceiling just a few inches all the way around the room, it will also add height to the room visually, making it appear taller than it actually is.

  5. Ban clutter. Minimize the amount of things hanging on the walls, stacked on the floor, and surrounding the furniture in the room. In a small room, only have the bare essentials in plain sight, and use furniture that is multi-purpose.

    Cabinets with drawers or shelves are great options, since you can still showcase prized items without taking up a lot of space. The more you have crammed into every crevice, the smaller the room will feel. Personal touches here and there will maximize the room’s potential and make it feel much larger.

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About the author:

Learn more about decorating with metal wall art hangings and butterflies metal wall decor from our exclusive designer and staff writer, Alyssa Davis.

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