How To Enlarge A Space With Wallpaper

Geometric green wallpaper in a bathroom setting

Small spaces can be both a blessing and a challenge. While they often exude cosiness, they can also feel confined and claustrophobic, especially when not designed thoughtfully. So, if you have a compact room and are looking to not just improve your walls but also add a sense of spaciousness, you might be pondering: How can wallpaper make my room look bigger?

This piece delves deep into the world of wallpapers and their impact on smaller spaces. From colour choices and patterns to strategic placements, we’ll unravel the secrets behind using wallpaper to create an illusion of space. We’ll also address some common queries homeowners have, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make your space not just beautiful but also seemingly boundless.


Why Should You Add Wallpaper to a Smaller Space

  • Custom Wallpapers: The days of being confined to having to choose a wallpaper off the shelf or out of large fabric-style books are over. With the advent of custom-printed wallpaper, you can now choose the exact scale and colour that you need to help open up your space. The world is your oyster in terms of choice. Whether it’s a minimalist pattern for your study or a vibrant floral design for the bedroom, there’s a wallpaper to suit every small space.
  • Durability: Small spaces like guest loos often had to steer clear of wallpaper due to fear of them getting damaged or wet. The advent of more durable substrates means you can choose to put wallpaper in any area of your home, restaurant or hotel. There are wallpapers that are scratch and waterproof, so you no longer need to worry about things like cleaning and longevity.
  • Effortless Application and Renewal: The notion of wallpapering might evoke memories of cumbersome processes from decades past. However, with advancements in design and technology, today’s wallpapers are not only easy to install but also to remove. For a small space, this is a wonderful opportunity to refresh the space more frequently—fewer walls, less wallpaper required and therefore less cost.

With these compelling reasons, it’s clear that wallpaper is not just an aesthetic choice but also a practical one, especially for smaller spaces that demand impactful design solutions.

Luxury landscape wallpaper in a small bathroom setting

Don't be afraid of the dark or light

The ambience of a room is not just about the decor and furniture; the wall colour plays a pivotal role in setting the mood. In the realm of wallpaper, colour does more than just aesthetic appeal; it influences how expansive or confined a space feels.

When deliberating wallpaper colours for a smaller room, it used to be essential to prioritise lighter shades. The rationale was simple: lighter colours reflect more light, making spaces appear larger and airier. But things have changed since then and many interior designers opt for very dark colours in small spaces to add impact and drama.

Remember, choosing the right colour is not just about making the room seem bigger; it’s also about ensuring it aligns with your decor and resonates with the mood you want to set.

Read more: Budget Wallpaper vs. Luxury Wallpaper

Choose a Larger Pattern

The design and pattern of your wallpaper can dramatically transform the perception of space in a room. While many factors contribute to the overall feel, the pattern size, in particular, plays a substantial role when working with smaller spaces.

For petite rooms, larger patterns such as bold florals or geometric designs can be surprisingly effective. These patterns, with their broader designs, reduce visual clutter and can make the walls appear to recede, creating a sense of depth. On the other hand, smaller, more intricate patterns might make the space seem busy and confined.

A widely recognised approach to visually enlarging a room is the use of vertical stripes in wallpaper. These stripes can elongate the appearance of walls, providing the illusion of higher ceilings and a more spacious setting.

Bespoke pink wallpaper with a bird inspired design creating space in a small room

Use the Same Wallpaper Throughout

While there’s a growing trend of accent walls and varied designs, when it comes to smaller spaces, consistency is crucial. Here’s why:

  • Wallpapering an entire room or just an accent wall is entirely up to individual preference. However, when it comes to smaller rooms, introducing varied wallpaper designs can lead to a fragmented appearance, making the space feel tight and disjointed.
  • By sticking to a single wallpaper design throughout the room, you create a cohesive look. This uniformity not only enhances the aesthetics but also provides an uninterrupted visual flow, making the room appear larger and more integrated.

In essence, when selecting wallpaper for smaller rooms, think unity. One consistent design can make all the difference in achieving a spacious and harmonious ambience.

What about the ceiling?

The growing trend to wrap all the walls of a small space in the same design has led to it being taken a step further and including the ceiling as the 5th wall. The impact of this is a full immersion experience which can make the space feel more expansive.

Wrapping the whole space in one design also allows your small space to become a talking point. Guests who enter a loo designed this way will always emerge going, “Wow, I love that loo, it’s so interesting”.

Luxury botanical wallpaper in a home with a small amount of space, the wallpaper enlarges the appearance

Which colours should you use in a small space?

While it’s essential to know the general colour guidelines, it doesn’t mean you’re limited to them. Here are some wallpaper colours to consider for enlarging your space:

  • White: The ultimate neutral white can brighten up any room and make it feel spacious.
  • Off-White: A softer take on pure white, off-white provides warmth without compromising on the sense of space.
  • Gray: A versatile shade that can be both warm and cool, grey offers a contemporary feel.
  • Sage Green: This muted green shade is calming and can make a room feel open and serene.
  • Lavender: A light purple hue that is both soothing and space-enhancing.
  • Light Blue: Evoking the sky and sea, light blue can make a room feel boundless.
  • Pink: Soft pinks can add a touch of warmth while still keeping the room spacious.
  • Soft Yellow: While yellows are generally warm, a soft yellow can brighten up a room without making it feel tight.

When selecting wallpaper colours or ranges, it’s also beneficial to refer to specific wallpaper designs available in these shades, ensuring the pattern and colour work in tandem to achieve the desired spacious effect.

A rose wallpaper in a smaller space hotel bathroom


Making a small space feel expansive and inviting isn’t solely about the furniture or decor; it’s also about the walls that surround it. Wallpaper, with its myriad of colours, patterns, and textures, offers a powerful tool to transform the perception of a room’s size. Whether you’re leaning towards light hues, bold patterns, or even ceiling wallpapers, the right choice can significantly amplify the sense of space.

But beyond the aesthetics, it’s about creating an environment where you feel comfortable and at ease. So, as you embark on your wallpaper journey, remember to not just think about the visual expansion but also about what makes the space truly yours. In the end, it’s about blending design with personal touch, making every inch of the room a reflection of you.


Does Chevron Prints Improve a Small Room’s Appearance?

Absolutely! Chevron prints, with their V-shaped pattern, introduce a sense of depth and direction to a room. Similar to vertical stripes, chevron patterns can elongate walls, making them appear taller than they actually are. Additionally, the dynamic design adds a captivating focal point, drawing the eye and diverting attention from the room’s size. With a variety of colours available, chevrons can add a vibrant touch to even the most neutral rooms.

Can an oversized floral wallpaper make the space look larger?

Yes, the age old adage that oversized items in small spaces dont work are over. Despite not being able to stand back and view these wallpapers at a distance, their oversized impact bring a drama to the space that actually adds to the sense of space rather than shrink it.


Would a chinoiserie wallpaper help with a small space?

Chinoiserie wallpapers have their roots in Chinese paintings and often tell a beautiful narrative and are wonderful to work with in small spaces because they add interest and intrigue.