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Design Secrets: How Wallpapers Can Make Tiny Rooms Look Spacious

Maximizing the space in a small room can be challenging, but with the right wallpaper, you can create the illusion of a larger, more open area. According to Desert Poppy Paper, a premier wallpaper company, the right patterns, colors, and installation techniques can transform a cramped room into a spacious sanctuary. Here are some expert tips on how to make a small room look bigger using wallpapers.

Choose Light and Bright Colors

Light colors can make a room feel more open and airy. Soft shades of white, cream, pastels, and light gray can reflect more light, creating a brighter atmosphere. These colors help to blur the boundaries of the room, making it appear more expansive. Dark colors, on the other hand, can make a space feel enclosed and smaller, so it's best to avoid them in small rooms.

Incorporating light colors doesn't mean your room has to be bland. Opt for wallpapers with subtle patterns or textures in these light shades. This adds depth and interest without overwhelming the space. For example, a light-colored wallpaper with a delicate floral or geometric pattern can enhance the room's dimensions while maintaining a fresh and inviting look.

Embrace Vertical Stripes

Vertical stripes are a classic trick to make a room appear taller. They draw the eye upward, creating the illusion of height. This technique works particularly well in rooms with low ceilings. Opt for wallpapers with vertical stripes in contrasting colors to enhance the effect. Thin stripes can create a subtle, elegant look, while wider stripes make a bold statement.

When using striped wallpaper, balance it with plain or minimalistic decor. Too many patterns can clutter the space, defeating the purpose of making it look bigger. Keep furniture and accessories simple to let the stripes stand out and do their job. Vertical stripes are versatile and can work with various design styles, from modern to traditional.

Incorporate Horizontal Patterns

Horizontal patterns can make a narrow room appear wider by drawing the eye across the space. This technique is particularly effective in hallways or small living rooms where you want to create a sense of breadth. Choose wallpapers with horizontal stripes or patterns that flow horizontally to visually expand the walls. Light or neutral colors work best to keep the look fresh and open.

To maximize the effect, balance horizontal patterns with vertical elements in the room, such as tall bookshelves or curtains. This combination prevents the space from feeling too flat and adds visual interest. Horizontal patterns can also be combined with other design elements like mirrors or reflective surfaces to further enhance the room's perceived width.

Opt for Large-Scale Patterns

Contrary to what some might believe, large-scale patterns can actually make a small room feel more spacious. Large motifs, like oversized florals or geometric shapes, can trick the eye into perceiving more space. These patterns create a sense of expansiveness that smaller, busier designs might fail to achieve.

Choose wallpapers with a light background and bold, but not overwhelming, designs to make the most of large-scale patterns. This approach keeps the room from feeling too busy. Large patterns can serve as a focal point, drawing attention to one wall while keeping the rest of the decor understated. This balance helps to maintain the illusion of a larger space.

Create a Feature Wall

A feature wall can add depth and dimension to a small room. By covering just one wall with a striking wallpaper, you can create a focal point that draws the eye and adds interest without overwhelming the space. This technique works well in bedrooms behind the headboard, in living rooms behind the sofa, or in dining areas.

When creating a feature wall, choose a wallpaper that complements the room's color scheme and style. The feature wall should stand out but also harmonize with the other walls. Neutral or light-colored wallpapers with subtle patterns on the remaining walls can enhance the effect. This approach creates a balanced look that maximizes the room's perceived size.

Use Reflective Surfaces

Reflective surfaces, such as metallic or glossy wallpapers, can amplify light and create the illusion of more space. These types of wallpapers bounce light around the room, making it feel brighter and more open. Silver, gold, and other metallic finishes can add a touch of glamour while serving a functional purpose.

Pair reflective wallpapers with mirrors and other shiny decor elements to enhance the effect—place mirrors opposite windows to reflect natural light and further brighten the room. Glossy wallpapers can be used on a feature wall or throughout the entire room, depending on the desired level of impact. This strategy is particularly effective in small, dark rooms where light is limited.


With thoughtful choices and creative techniques, wallpapers can significantly enhance the sense of space in a small room. Using light colors, vertical stripes, large-scale patterns, feature walls, and reflective surfaces can transform a cramped area into a more open and inviting space. By implementing these tips, you can make your small room feel larger and more comfortable.

Remember, the key to success lies in balancing patterns and colors to avoid overwhelming the space. Combining these wallpaper techniques with well-chosen furniture and decor can further enhance the room's sense of openness. Don't be afraid to experiment with different styles to find what works best for your space. Ready to start your transformation? Explore these wallpaper ideas and see the difference they can make!

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