I recently refreshed my living room and I’d like to share 5 tried and true ways on how to make a living room look bigger and brighter. Living room is usually the first impression when guests visit your home, so it is important to make it look nice for a welcoming experience.
Not all living rooms are created equal. Some living rooms naturally have a lot of windows and are filled with light, whereas other living rooms are lack windows and natural light. Some living rooms are big and grand, whereas others are small or in weird shapes.
Here are my five proven ways to make my living room look bigger and brighter. Having a living room which looks big and bright will definitely set your space for success because not only it will make your living room look better, but also empower you to play around with more bold decor choices without having to worry that they will darken or crowd your room.
Without further ado, here are five of my tried and true tips on making your living room look bigger and brighter.
#1 Declutter the unnecessaries – organize, remove, or hide
The first step was to declutter the space, and I can tell you immediately after this step, my living room looked a lot more open.
A lot of times because the living room is such a gathering space and probably the first room you enter from outside, it has really become a catch-all place. This is really sad because living rooms are meant to greet us with their bright and welcoming vibe when we come back home. But instead it gave me anxiety by seeing all sorts of random things cluttering the space.
However, the solution is simple. What I did is to dedicate 30 minutes to a simple declutter activity. I used three basic methods: organize, hide, or discard. For anything I don’t want to see in my living room, I either organize it to where it belongs, hide it inside a storage unit or throw it away! To make me more efficient, I played some energetic music along with this declutter activity, and I have to say that it instantly made my living room look more open and bright!
#2 Vary the scale of your furniture and decor
This is a decorating tip to make your living room look bigger and brighter at the same time.
A big mistake I have seen people make is having all large furniture or all small furniture. Furniture in the same scale can make rooms look really still and stiff. As a result when looking at the space, your eyes are not moving around. That gives your eyes the illusion that the room is flat and boring.
So instead, by varying the scale of your furniture and decor plus playing with height, you can make your living room have more visual rhythm. Your eyes will move around the room more smoothly, and it simply makes the room feel more open!
Another thing I found useful is to avoid having a big solid dark color in your space, such as a TV or a dark brown sofa. As a matter of fact, I don’t have a TV in my living room, but if you need to watch TV in your living room you can hide it in a smart way! Check out my Pinterest board on this topic for some TV hiding inspirations. Alternatively you can consider getting a Samsung frame TV so you could display art when you are not using it and it just adds so much style to the room.
#3 Be mindful of your wall paint and flooring
Walls and Floors take so much space so they are important to get right. And by walls, I also mean ceilings, because they are often counted as the fifth wall in a room! What I usually like to do is to make the walls and ceiling the same color and brightness if not brighter.
Generally, painting the ceiling in a very light color will make the ceiling look higher than it actually is and can make the space look more spacious. This tip especially comes in handy if you have a standard 8ft ceiling.
In terms of flooring, I’m always interested in medium to light tone flooring but not so much for dark flooring. Since we moved into our house, we have refinished the entire flooring from a very dark brown to a medium yellow tone which really brightens the house. Also if you want your flooring to hide the dust well, consider medium toned floors!
If you happen to have dark floors, don’t worry as you can always do a rug trick! Place a large sized rug with a lighter color to brighten up your floor. A sisal rug can be a very affordable option to cover a big area. The color and texture is so natural so it basically works for almost every space in every interior style! If you would like to add more patterns, consider layering a smaller rug on top so that you can save a lot of money but get the same coverage for the dark floors.
#4 Add plants, especially a statement plant
This is a great method to brighten up any room, and it is affordable too!
The natural color and variation of plants really enhance a space by making the space look more interesting and lively. Additionally, the organic shapes of branches and leaves add a lot of dimension and depth to the space, so that it makes your living room more dimensional and spacious.
One thing I’d like to mention is considering getting a big tall statement plant because it just makes a bigger impact, and can be a great conversation starter when hosting guests in your living room. I’m especially obsessed with indoor trees because they are so tall which makes your eyes move up thus making the space look taller than it actually is.
Some of my favorite indoor plants are ficus, fiddle leaf fig (bright light), parlor palms (low light), and or training plants like pothos which are extremely easy to care for. You can check out my post on indoor trees to get more inspiration.
#5 Paint furnitures and decors to achieve a cohesive color palette
It’s amazing what a small can of paint can do to a space. Don’t be afraid of painting if the furniture color doesn’t work for your space. If the original color doesn’t work, it can really darken your space. I recently whitewashed my fireplace with limewash and it has made a huge difference in my living room.
Previously the fireplace bricks were in a vibrant orange color which didn’t appear anywhere else in my living room and it definitely had become an eyesore. After I limewashed the bricks, the brick fireplace blends with my living room wall color so well so the whole space looks more cohesive.
The same story goes with my living room console table which served as a faux entryway. When I bought this piece of furniture it was in a black color which I consider to be a really cool!. But it’s such a big piece of black furniture and it made my room feel smaller and darker. So I decided to paint it into an oyster color and it just works so much better with the rest of my living room furniture.
In fact, I never had any regrets of all the furniture pieces I have painted so far. Of course before painting them I was always terrified but the results are always so much better. I’m glad I pulled the trigger.
5 Ways to Make A Living Room Look Bigger and Brighter
So these are the five ways that I have used to brighten up my living room and make it look bigger. I hope you found it helpful. What is your go-to way to make your living room look bigger and brighter? I would like to learn from you!
Shop my living room
Interested in what I used in my living room? Here are the sources: