How to make your house look bigger and brighter

Let the light in 

I want to share some tips and tricks I have used to make my house look much lighter, airy and bigger. 
The biggest struggle for me was making my small bungalow look bigger. 
My home looks big in pictures but it's actually smaller in real life.  I have used lots of tricks to make it look much bigger and brighter. 


My house is a dormer style bungalow, I have a side entrance so my hall and entrance lacks natural light. I make sure not to block any windows or clutter areas where there is natural light with clutter etc so the light can pour in. 

In my living room I have a lovely large bay window, however, I only get the sunshine in this room in the morning and then the sun moves to the back of the house. 
I make sure not to block this window and I just have cream wooden style blinds on the windows, I don't have curtains either in this room.
Lay your room out with light in mind, putting a sofa in front of a window might give you floor space but it might block loads of natural light from your room.  


Now I know some people will be saying 'but Dainty your house is full of clutter' yes! but it is pretty shabby chic clutter. You will also notice that the trinkets and knick knacks I have in each of the rooms are in light neutral colors. 

I love collecting tea cups and china but they are all in bright neutral colors and tie in with the decor. 

A good declutter and clear out of junk will instantly make your room tidier and brighter. I love books but a big bookcase full of clutter will instantly darken a room. Display them neatly and have fun doing little displays on the shelves. 

My kitchen can become a clutter ground. I always clear off my kitchen table each day as it is a pet hate of mine to come down each morning from breakfast to a table of clutter. So I am ruthless and I throw out everything unless it's cute of course lol. 

Paint and paper

Those of you who follow me know I have painted everything in the house. This was the biggest thing in transforming my home.  I painted the skirting boards, doors, kitchen presses and furniture all in a color palette that compliments each other. 
Changing my skirting and doors white added much more light to the darker areas of the house like the hall and landing. 
My kitchen cabinets were ugly orange pine but once I got my paintbrush to them my kitchen was transformed into the bright cottage kitchen I always wanted. 
You can have a read of my kitchen makeover post here.

I also used some stripe wallpaper in my master bedroom and on my landing to draw the eye up and make the ceilings look bigger. 
You can get really creative with wallpaper and use it in ways to make a room lighter. 
I used the 'Lille" by Laura Ashley paper, This has a stripe in the paper that has a fleck to it, this sheen reflects the light and adds more brightness to the room.

I have lots of furniture painted in lighter colors, I know this isn't practical for everyone especially families but maybe try some other colors like light gray or sage green instead. 

I also keep my walls neutral, I play around with wallpaper to add color and print. 


I am a mirror addict! I think my house looks like a mirror shop with all the mirrors. These are an amazing way to reflect light in a room. Even smaller mirrors on tables or mantle pieces add light. 
I have a large mirror in my hall to make it look bigger as my hall is teeny tiny. I also have one on the top of my stairs to reflect the light down the stairs.

Get the builders in

Sometimes you need to get a little bit more drastic and get the builders in. 

The room in the pic below is my hardest one to light as it only has a window in the front but all the light comes in the back. 

After Christmas, I am going to get a window added to this room. My neighbor has done this last year and the light was amazing, I hadn't even thought of getting this done but once I saw the difference it made in my neighbors home I started saving the pennies. 

If you have a kitchen or a room that you can get a window added in then this can massively transform a room. 
Keep a peep on the blog next year as I will be sharing some pics when I get the window added in.

Lighting and bulbs

You can add more light into your home with extra lamps or floor lights. If you have a dark corner in your home why not try a nice lamp? You could get a tall one and direct the light upwards. 
You could also get in an electrician and get some spotlights added into areas like your kitchen or living room. 

In my craft room, the lighting can be poor so I use daylight light bulbs which I got off amazon. These are amazing for workspaces, I find them a bit harsh elsewhere in the home especially in relaxing areas but these are perfect for workspaces. 
Some mornings I am up early before work to sew and these daylight light bulbs have been a lifesaver. I couldn't hack the yellow toned light bulbs anymore. 

I hope you found these tips useful and please share your tips too and make sure to send me some pics of your homes! I love seeing everyone's home transformations. 

Leave your links in the comments section below for the chats. 

Chat soon, 



  1. Just love how you style your house Catherine pictures are always amazing. Well done girl

    1. Aw thanks so much for reading Tara x glad ya like it x

  2. I'm finally getting to do up my very own house where in the procress of redecorating every room.. these tips are brilliant as it's a small 2 bed cottage.

    1. Aw, your two bed cottage is going to be gorgeous! Enjoy the decorating, it is so rewarding watching it all come together x

  3. You're an inspiration. Very good advice on keeping small rooms light and bright. Ideas were popping into my mind while reading your chatty and happy blog.

  4. Love your style!! What is the wallpaper in your living Room over the fireplace??

    1. Hi Penny, That wallpaper is Laura Ashley Beatrice cyclamen. I love it x


© The dainty dress diaries | All rights reserved.
The Dainty Dress Diaries ©