By using lighting, you can make any small room appear bigger—

creating the illusion of a light, airy space—with these five simple tips and tricks.

If you’re just starting out on your own, or too much of a city dweller to even consider trading in your studio apartment for a larger space, you may be feeling, well, a bit cramped. Both physically and financially. And that’s okay—minimalist lifestyles and homes are trendy AF, anyway. They’re less stressful, less costly, and way, way less upkeep.

But if you’d like the feel of a large space on a small budget, we can help. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to move out!)

Here are five ways to use lighting to make your room look like a Kardashian’s (minus the tattooed musicians and forever-scheming momagers):

1. Extend light throughout the entire room.

When it comes to using lighting to enhance a space, a common misconception is that less is more: one lamp per room. But only having one source of light in a room draws attention to only one part of it—like a specific corner or recess riddled with dust, and dirty baseboards—instead of opening it up. So, in order to make an area look larger, you need to utilize several sources of light. Try a floor lamp on one side of the room, for example, and a table lamp on the other. By simply adding an extra light fixture or two in your small space, you’ll be surprised at how quickly, and easily, you can create a cozier, more inviting environment.

2. Add lights and mirrors.

Magic mirrors on the wall do more than just tell us who’s the fairest one of all. They’re also fantastic ways to enlarge your space, especially if you have one that’s the right size and height and paired with the right frame (small and simple work best). But what makes mirrors even more magical at making a space appear larger than it actually is? By pairing it with a light source, like behind a table lamp or near a hallway chandelier. If you place a mirror—the larger, the better—on a wall facing either a window or a lamp, the reflective light will open up the space.

3. Choose light-colored lamp shades.

To enlarge your small space, not only do you have to have the right number of lights, but they have to be the right colors, too (like our Montage Modern or Eden floor lamps). White, cream, neutral lamp shades—perhaps made of linen or silk—can give the room the illusion of natural, ambient light since white is super light-reflective. (Now, if your goal is to highlight a specific part of a wall or a corner—like a creepy clown painting that’s hanging on the wall, for example—choose a dark-colored lamp shade, so it sends the light upwards, or towards the feature you want to accentuate.)

4. Utilize vertical space with an arc light.

Adding an arc light (like our Olivia floor lamp) or two into your small studio or office is another great way to make it appear larger. By naturally drawing the eye up and down, arc lights exaggerate the room’s height, especially when they’re placed next to furniture and decorative pieces that are less tall. But don’t overdo it. When it comes to arc lights, less truly is more since they’re so often more of a statement piece than they are a light source.

5.   Maximize natural light.

Though we sell lamps, we can’t deny the number one light source to incorporate to make your room look bigger: sunlight. It’s free, natural, and healthy, so do all you can to invite, not obstruct, it into your space. Place furniture strategically around or below windows, and choose neutral, light-colored curtains in order to allow light to peek through subtly.

At the end of the day, your small space is special because it’s yours. But if you’d like to make it look the way it makes you feel—whether that’s haunted house or House of Gucci-chictry one or two (or all five!) of these simple tips and tricks.


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