How to make your home look bigger and brighter

Hi everyone, 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 larger in pictures but it’s actually smaller in real life.  I have used lots of tricks to make it look much bigger and brighter and today I am going to share them with you.How to make your home look bigger and brighter

Living room decor, cottage shabby chic style


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. Due to my odd shaped entrance and layout, I find it hard to get lots of natural light into the rooms.

In my living room I have a 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 with large pieces of furniture. I have my windows dresses in cream wooden binds. I went for a cream shade to reflect the light. The darker coloured blinds made the room look smaller.

When doing your room layout, keep the light in mind. Do you get sunshine in the morning or afternoon? Is the room cool or warm toned? That way you can pick shades of paint to compliment the natural light and also place furniture strategically so you don’t block windows. Putting a sofa in front of a window might give you floor space but it might block loads of natural light from your room. If you want some tips on picking the perfect sofa then check out this post here.


I adore collecting cute trinkets. Some might call it clutter but I love to collect things that I can display and use as pieces of decor in my home. I love collecting tea cups, china and trinkets from my travels but I pick pieces that are all in bright neutral colours and tie in with my style of decor. However, A good declutter and clear out of junk will instantly make your room tidier and brighter. Have fun displaying your treasure within your home and if things are feeling too cluttered then why not store some items in baskets or cabinets. I recently decluttered my craft room and changed up my Ikea unit to store and hide my craft items. Instantly the room felt cleaner and bigger once I decluttered and used better storage for the items I kept. You can catch that post here and I will link to the video below. I am also in the middle of decluttering some other areas of the home and I will share the before and after on the blog soon.

Living room decor, cottage style shabby chic decor Living room decor, shabby chic cottage decor.

Paint and paper

Those of you who have followed me for a while 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 colour palette that compliments each other. Painting my skirting boards and doors white added much more light to the darker areas of the house especially in the hall and landing area of my home.

My kitchen cabinets were once 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 have lots of furniture painted in lighter colours, this suits my style of decor but you can get really creative and use bold colours in your home too. I found that lots of dark tones of furniture in my small rooms made my space look much smaller.

There is a trend for bold colours in your home at the moment. My rooms are really small and lack natural light so I try and avoid these dark colours and keep my walls neutral. I then add colour with my accessories and furniture. If you are a fan of the bold colours but also have small rooms then why not use cushions, throws, frames and fabrics to add colour to your room without taking the plunge and painting your walls dark.

When it comes to the wallpaper you can get really creative and use it in ways to make the home look bigger. I have used the ‘Lille” by Laura Ashley wallpaper in my master bedroom and on my landing to draw the eye up and make the ceilings look bigger. You can use stripe wallpaper strategically to give a room the illusion of a larger ceiling or space. You can also use wallpapers with different sized patterns to make a space look larger. Don’t forget to always get a sample before taking the plunge with wallpaper and paints.

For more information on how to paint furniture, check out this video below. 

Kitchen decor, hand painted kitchen


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 hallway is teeny tiny. I also have one on the top of my stairs to reflect the light down the stairs.

Hallway decor

Get the builders in

Sometimes you need to get a little bit more drastic and get the builders in. Last year I got a velux window added to my master bedroom as I had always struggled to light this room. Even though I had painted it nice and bright, added light-reflective wallpaper and styled it with light-toned decor items it was still dull. By adding a velux window I got loads more light into this room and I can also sleep below the stars. If you have a kitchen or a room that you can get a window added in then this can massively transform a room.

Bedroom decor, shabby chic cottage decor


You can add more light to 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 a daylight light bulb 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.

Bedroom decor

I hope you found these tips useful and please share your tips too in the comment section below. What has been the best thing you have done in your home to make the space brighter and appear more spacious.

Thanks so much for reading,

Chat soon,




  1. Mandy Higgins
    October 15, 2019 / 8:27 pm

    Hi Catherine,

    I would love to know more about the velux window you had added to your bedroom. Was it a big job to have done and was it expensive? I would really love to add a velux window to my landing as i live in a terraced house and have no landing window making it extremely dark.

  2. Claire
    March 6, 2019 / 3:26 pm

    Hello, Love your style! Been re-reading some of your post to pluck up the courage to paint my UPVC front door. What colour is your bathroom door please, I think that’s exactly what I’m looking for. Also do you think a 500ml tin will be enough for the inside and out? (also has a large window). Thanks

  3. Tricia
    January 13, 2019 / 10:14 pm

    Hi Catherine, no, I was joking meaning I wanted to paint the actual tv!!!!! Ha, ha! Your home is so pretty and feminine. I love verything about it. Its my kind of style.

  4. daintydressdiaries
    January 13, 2019 / 4:47 pm

    Thanks so much for reading Tricia! Yea, change up your tv unit, that would be a fun January project! x

  5. daintydressdiaries
    January 13, 2019 / 4:46 pm

    Aw thanks Patricia, so sorry to hear you had to sell up because of neighbours. Thanks for reading! x

  6. Patricia Goodwin
    January 13, 2019 / 9:55 am

    Hi Catherine

    you did a great job it was lovely looking at all your prodjects I had a house exactly the same as yours just that it was in mayo it was just me and my two cats and all the wildlife you can get in Ireland but I loved that it was small it was always a cozy little house unfortunately I had to sell up as I had neighbors from hell beside me for fours years and know one would do anything I miss my garden so much so enjoy your beautiful house and be very proud of yourself you work hard for what you’ve got💕

  7. Tricia
    January 13, 2019 / 2:42 am

    Hi Catherine! I live in Australia where we have lots of natural light but even so yes, you’ re right in keeping things light such as painting skirting boards white, white or off white paint for walls all make such a massive difference.
    My only dark piece is my tv..I feel like chalk painting it white!! I also am considering buying the Ikea white sofas.
    Thanks for your great blog and YouTube!
    Tricia 😊

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