On one hand, a large room with hardly any furniture can give off the impression of being cold, drab, and uncomfortable. On the other hand, an empty room can give you the feeling of being a small insect in a big world. One solution is to fill up the space by just buying more furniture and stuff you don't need. Unfortunately, this can be a bit pricey. What can you do if don't have the money to spend or you have too much space to fill? There are many decorative ideas to fill up a room without having to spend too much money.
Use Colored Paint
An effective way to make your room look full is to paint your room with deep, rich, warm colors. You might want to paint your ceiling anything other than white - maybe a warm gold or a lighter shade of the wall color. If you've got a really high ceiling, paint it the same deep color as the walls. This will help bring it down visually. You might also consider wainscoting. Just add some molding details to break up large expanses of walls to give them a raised panel look. Then you can paint the sections in different colors.
Add a Design
If you are creative and artistic, you might add a design to the walls, either a pattern or a mural. Even if you are not artistic, you can use stencils to add an imaginative piece of work to the wall. The decorative painting on the wall creates depth and illusion to the room while decreasing room space. When deciding to paint a mural or a pattern on your wall, make sure that it goes with the room you are in. If it's for the family or living room, remember that it's the room where everyone spends their time and where guests are entertained. Create something that is comforting for everyone.
Think Big With Art
Your artwork and wall decor should be large-scale, or at least create large groupings of smaller art. One way to use up a lot of wall space is to frame a big area with picture molding, wallpaper inside the trim, and then hang a piece of artwork inside. It not only expands a normal size picture into a large one, but it will give importance to the piece and create a focal point. You can also take different size photos of family, friends, or of yourself, frame them or hang them directly on the wall to create your own little photo gallery. Another idea is to use hanging tapestries for the wall. They tend to be very large and less costly than artwork.
Add Plants and Flowers
You can get large plants, which are good for taking up a lot of space and add a nice touch to most rooms for a lot less than the cost of furniture. Look for tall floor plants, as well as smaller ones that trail, that you can put on plant stands. Buy an inexpensive, decorative pot to go with the large plant. What kind of plants you buy, either real or fake, will depend on if you are willing to take the time to care for your plants.
Divide and Conquer With Screens
Screens are nice, large items that don't have to cost very much. You can make them out of many different things, such as old doors, windows or just plywood panels upholstered with batting and fabric. You can divide space up into different gathering areas, or place them in the corner to create a private space of serenity and elegance. In addition to dividing up space, you can use area rugs if you prefer them to screens. Area rugs can be used as a transition from one area of the room to the next area.
Put Thought Into Your Furniture
Use the furniture to create flowing, intimate conversation. You don't want to put a sofa in one end of the room and then leave a huge space for the next one. This will cause your guests to feel uncomfortable and conversation will be limited. Take advantage of your large space and arrange your furniture out in the middle of the room. For example, don't place your sofa and chairs up against the walls, but rather float them out in the middle of the room, or at least at a 45-degree angle. Don't forget that lots of accent pillows of different sizes piled on the floor and throws draped over them can accentuate and fill your room up. Make sure to use as many tables as you can - one on each end of the sofa, small ones next to chairs, sofa tables behind your sofa, big coffee tables, a chess table, etc.
Accessorize With Found Items
Accessorize the heck out of everything. Even with a limited budget, there are places you can go and buy items to decorate your house. Remember that someone else's trash is another's treasure! You can find inexpensive but wonderful decor at flea markets, garage sales, and yard sales. Dollar stores are a great place to get small accessories such as candle holders, fake flowers, picture frames, etc. Just beware not to go overboard trying to fill up space. You don't want to end up with junk cluttered all over your large room.
For more information on interior decor, visit our Decorating and Painting page.