Mai Pham
November 29, 2023

Art plays an integral role in shaping the aesthetics and ambiance of a living room, and clever use of it can create an illusion of space, making a room feel larger than it actually is. This guide explores the art of using art to enhance the perceived size of a living room. It is not just about the beauty and individuality that artworks bring; it’s also about the visual tricks they can play on our perception. By using art strategically, you can transform a compact living room into a seemingly spacious sanctuary.

How art influences the perception of space

Art influences the perception of space through various elements such as size, color, and placement. Large artworks on the wall can draw the eye upwards and outwards, creating a sense of expansiveness. Light colors or images depicting distant horizons can push the walls out, visually enlarging a room. Furthermore, the strategic placement of art can redirect attention, drawing the eye towards wider or taller parts of the room. Essentially, the right piece of art can act as a visual escape, giving the illusion of added depth and dimension to a space.

Types of Art That Can Make a Living Room Look Bigger

make the living room look bigger

Large-scale art pieces

Large-scale art pieces, particularly those with a landscape orientation, have a broadening effect that can make a living room appear more extensive. By drawing the eye horizontally, they give the impression of a wider space. Their size alone can make a room look larger by comparison, and if they have a minimalist aesthetic or depict a panoramic perspective, they can add to this effect. When choosing large-scale art, it is advisable to avoid overwhelming patterns and overly vibrant colors that might crowd a room visually. Instead, opt for serene landscapes, abstract pieces with plenty of white space, or other images that invite the viewer to ‘enter,’ further enhancing the illusion of depth and space.

Mirror art

Mirror art is another brilliant solution to make a living room appear larger. It’s not the traditional artwork one might consider, but mirrors can function as art and at the same time, visually double your space. Mirrors reflect light and the room itself, creating an optical illusion of space. Artistic mirrors or mirror collage installations can serve as a focal point, all the while expanding the perceived depth of the room. For maximum impact, consider placing a mirror across from a window to reflect natural light or across from a beloved piece of art to double its impact.

Bright and bold art

Bright and bold art pieces can also contribute to the perception of a larger living room. Artworks that feature strong, bold colors or high contrast can draw the eye and create points of interest, leading the viewer’s gaze around the room. This can give the illusion of a more expansive space. It’s important, however, to balance this with the overall design scheme of the room. A piece of art with daring colors can stand out and create a focal point, but too many competing elements can make the space feel cluttered and small. So, when choosing bright and bold art, consider the color palette of your room and select a piece that complements it while still adding a visual pop.

Art with depth and perspective

Art that incorporates depth and perspective can significantly enhance the illusion of space in a living room. Pieces that feature perspective drawing techniques, such as one-point or two-point perspective, can create a sense of depth and distance, tricking the eye into perceiving more space than there really is. Similarly, artworks depicting open skies, distant horizons, or deep forests can provide a visual ‘window,’ extending the perceived boundaries of the room. When strategically placed, these types of art can draw the viewer’s eye into the artwork and beyond, making the living room feel larger and more open.

Choosing the Right Art for Your Living Room

Factors to consider: Room size, colors, style of decor

When choosing the right art to make your living room look bigger, several factors must be taken into account including the size of the room, the color scheme, and the style of decor.

For smaller rooms, artwork with a depth of field, light colors, or expansive scenes can create an illusion of more space. Complement the room’s color scheme with art to ensure cohesiveness and avoid a cluttered look. Match the style of the artwork to the room’s decor, whether it is minimalist, traditional, eclectic, or modern, to maintain a seamless aesthetic.

Remember, the goal is to enhance the feeling of space without overwhelming the room. In this endeavor, the size, color, and subject of the artwork will play crucial roles.

Where to find suitable art

Suitable art pieces that can make your living room look bigger are available from a variety of sources. Art galleries, both online and brick-and-mortar, offer a vast selection of works from various artists, styles, and periods. Online platforms like Etsy, Saatchi Art, or Society6 can provide you with a plethora of options from artists all over the world. Local art fairs and flea markets are also excellent places to find unique pieces.

Additionally, consider supporting local artists by purchasing directly from them. They often offer a range of styles and sizes, and you may find a piece that perfectly fits your space and aesthetic.

Regardless of where you choose to source your art, remember that the key is to select pieces that resonate with you, reflect your style, and contribute to creating a sense of spaciousness in your living room.

How to Position Art To Make The Living Room Look Bigger

what do you put on living room walls

Positioning art strategically can significantly impact how big a living room appears.

A common technique is to hang large-scale artwork slightly lower than usual. This approach draws the eye down and across, accentuating the width of the room.

Positioning art pieces in clusters can also create an optical illusion of a bigger space. However, ensure that the groupings are correctly spaced to avoid a cluttered look.

You can also consider placing art on shelves or ledges; this allows for flexibility to switch and rearrange pieces, providing the room with a dynamic and depth-enhancing aspect.

Mirrors, when positioned opposite windows, can reflect light and create an illusion of extended space.

When it comes to art with depth or perspective, hang them at eye level to draw the viewer’s gaze into and beyond the artwork.

Lastly, don’t overlook corners and smaller walls, a vertical arrangement or a corner installation can expand the height and depth perception of the living room.

Read in detail here: How to Hang Your Wall Art to Make the Living Room Look Bigger: 10 Tips 


In conclusion, the art you choose and how you position it can greatly influence the perception of space in your living room. Art that embodies depth, bright colors, and interesting perspectives, like landscapes or mirror art, can all contribute to the illusion of a larger space. The strategic placement of these pieces, whether they are grouped, positioned lower, or placed on ledges and in corners, can further enhance this effect. Keep in mind the size of the room, the color scheme, and style of décor when selecting art to ensure a cohesive look. Remember, the goal is not just to decorate, but to create a visually pleasing environment that feels open, spacious, and welcoming. With the right art and positioning, even the smallest living room can feel expansive and inviting.

About the Author

I am a working mother who more than often prefer to come home and rest rather than doing house chores. I am passionate about simplifying house chores to live and enjoy life more.

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