How to Use Wallpaper to Make a Room Look Bigger

Most people desire more visual space in their homes, and wallpaper can be used to great effect to create an illusion of size. The design, pattern, and even the color of your wallpaper can make a huge difference to the feel of a space by directing the eye in strategic ways.

Whether you want to expand your horizons by redesigning a small laundry room or seek to enlarge the feel of your already spacious living room, these wallpaper ideas can help you make a room look bigger almost instantly.

Patterned Wallpaper Designs

There are several wallpaper designs and patterns that add a feeling of depth and spaciousness to a room. Some of the options include:

  1. Stripes
  2. Chevron
  3. Large patterns
  4. Oversized flowers
  5. Geometric shapes and patterns
  6. Scenic murals
  7. 3D wallpaper designs

Stripes - Vertical Stripes vs. Horizontal Stripes

Vertically striped wallpaper helps a room look taller. Vertical stripes draw the eyes upward, making the room appear larger than it is. Vertical stripes can be used in thin or wide variations and can be used on an accent wall or to paper the entire room.

Horizontal stripes going from one end of the wall to the other can help make the room look wider than it is, creating the appearance of a larger room. Like vertical stripes, horizontal stripes come in thin and thick varieties.

A cautionary note: Wallpapers with plaid designs (both vertical and horizontal lines) can cause a room to feel crowded and busy. To keep a sense of largeness in your room, stick with stripes that are either all vertical or all horizontal for the best results.

Chevron Wallpapers

Chevron is an inverted V pattern where the ends of the Vs’ legs meet at the point of the next V to create a zig-zag pattern. Chevron wallpaper comes in many colors and widths. A calming blue chevron wallpaper is perfect for enlarging the feel of a nursery or bedroom.

Chevron wallpaper helps a room look bigger in a similar way to stripes. When applied vertically to the walls, a chevron pattern helps create visual interest while drawing the eye outward and upward toward the ceiling.

According to the history of the chevron insignia, chevron designs have been seen on ancient pottery and textiles. It has also been used on coats of arms, military and naval uniforms, and in decorations in areas under Norman influence. With such historical significance, chevron is a great choice for wallpaper that will make a room look grander in general.

Wallpapers With Large Patterns

Large patterns can make a room appear larger than busy patterns when the pattern is placed strategically in the room. Some wallpapers can even be placed on the ceiling to help draw attention upwards.

If you are looking to use a large pattern in your space, make sure to choose wallpapers that are appropriately scaled to the size of the room. Also, if you are not sure how to hang patterned wallpaper, make sure to have the right tools, including a smoothing tool, plumb line, and utility knife.

Wallpapers Using Oversized Flowers

Do you love drama and making a statement? Or maybe you just love looking at beautiful blooms! Wallpapers featuring oversized flowers are a fun element in interior design that can help a small room open up.

Whether you choose a large moody peony wallpaper pattern or watercolor rose bouquets, using larger patterns with oversized flowers can help draw the eyes upward or across the room, giving small spaces an airier feel. If the pattern has a 12-inch repeat or more, it will be easier on the eyes and more appropriate for small rooms. These oversized floral wallpaper patterns are also a good choice for accent walls.

Geometric Shapes and Patterns for Small Rooms

Geometric patterns can make a room look bigger by creating the illusion of space. Choose patterns that have a lot of negative space. This helps the room look wider and gives the walls a sense of expansiveness. Be sure to choose a pattern that repeats itself across the wallpaper as well as up and down.

Scenic Murals for Small Rooms

Wallpapers with scenic murals are another great idea that can be used to make a room look larger. Murals, like other large patterns and shapes, create an illusion of space that extends into the distance. Nature scenes can transport you into the great outdoors, adding a sense of depth to any space.

3D Wallpaper

3D wallpaper helps make the room look and feel larger by creating depth and the illusion of distance. So, dare to go ahead and have fun with a 3D wallpaper as long as it includes depth and layers.

Wallpaper Colors for a Small Space

When it's time to choose wallpaper for a small space, it is important to consider which colors to use. In general, you may want to begin with light colors. While not an exhaustive list, some good groups of colors to start with include:

  1. Bright and happy colors
  2. Pastel colors
  3. Similar colors in light tones

Wallpaper in Bright and Happy Colors

Bright colors are known to be more reflective than darker tones. Bright and happy colors amplify the room's natural light instead of absorbing so much of the available light. Bright colors such as light green or sky blue help create a happy atmosphere and can make a space seem bigger. A Just Peachy wallpaper in a light peach color would be fun as a kitchen accent wall.

Wallpaper in Pastel Colors

Installing wallpaper in pastel colors can add a sense of space to a room. Light-colored wallpapers in pastel purple, blue, pink, or yellow can set a calm tone. You can try using the wallpaper on a focal wall if you are concerned about overwhelming the space.

Wallpaper in Similar Colors

Using wallpaper with similar colors for your home decor is a way to help your room appear larger. Light colors in different tones such as off-white with gold or soft blonde can complement one another nicely. You may want to use natural, minimalist decor to coordinate with your wallpaper colors.

Additional Tips to Make a Room Appear Bigger

In addition to choosing wallpaper with colors and patterns that help give your room a larger appearance, there are some other things you can do to give the illusion of space:

  • Limit clutter in the room. 
  • Strategically place mirrors on walls opposite wallpaper to help reflect light around the room. 
  • Maximize natural light in the room with open airy window treatments. 
  • Coordinate your furniture and decor with your wallpaper colors.

By following these tips, you can create a harmonious and unified feel that makes the room look more cohesive and open. 

Choose Your Wallpaper Strategically

No matter how small or large a space is, strategically chosen wallpaper can add the illusion of height, width, and depth for a more spacious feel. Go for large repeating patterns, 3D prints, and murals, preferably in light, complementary colors.

To enhance the spacious feel of the room, add mirrors, light window treatments, and coordinated furnishings. With the right decor, your space should soon look and feel larger!

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