We’ve talked a lot about making small spaces feel bigger, but what if you’ve got the opposite problem? Large spaces present unique challenges—whether it’s high ceilings, over-sized rooms, or so much open space your living room feels cold, cavernous and uninviting. Just as with small spaces, making large spaces feel cozy, welcoming, and comfortable is possible. It takes a little creativity with room arrangement, the right accessories, and some eye-fooling tricks.
Don’t: create a cluttered space of lots of small pieces.
Do: invest in large pieces that can anchor your room. Use smaller pieces as accents. Go ahead, be bold. Your large space can handle it.
Don’t: feel confined to creating one space in your large room.
Do: consider dividing your space into functional zones. Identify the possible areas for your space—maybe a conversational area, a dining area, a reading nook, a media area, etc. Choose what works for you, then visually divide them with furniture arrangements, area rugs, curtains, potted plants, screens, or even architectural elements like ceiling beams, half walls and pillars.
Don’t: let your ceilings feel like they go on forever.
Do: use tall furniture, large-scale art, bookshelves, and even large potted plants to create a sense of scale and avoid feeling dwarfed by the tall ceilings. Short pieces make the ceilings feel too tall, while taller pieces fill up the space and create drama.
Don’t: leave a dance floor in the middle of your room.
Do: pull seating away from walls, create practical zones, and arrange furniture around area rugs to avoid having a large, empty space in the center. Use focal points like a fireplace, great view, or even a big-screen TV to arrange your seating. Keep coffee tables at a practical distance from your furniture—too much space around them will create an empty feeling.
What to do with that empty wall space? Try a leaning shelf or mirror. Add a console or buffet, or even benches. Or place a pair of occasional chairs with a small table, then pull the chairs closer when hosting a large group.
Don’t: use bright overhead lighting.
Do: stick with area lighting to keep the focus on the space you’re using. Warm, deep colors absorb the light and create a sense of intimacy.
Don’t: forget to create a cozy space.
Do: use pillows and throws to make seating areas feel warm and inviting. In a large space, a big basket filled with cushy throws can make the room feel more homey and less industrial.