Easy Trick to Make Rooms Feel Bigger

May 28, 2021

This quick "hack" opens up your spaces and makes them feel so much bigger! I realized years ago that there were plenty of doors in our house that we never closed. I started to ask myself, can I just...remove them? Am I even allowed to do that? 

The answer is yes...yes you are. ;) This is a great trick that will give you more space even if you're renting a home. Just take care when removing the door and store it under a bed so it won't get damaged. 

**I recommend keeping bedroom doors up for safety reasons. This is why we sleep with our doors closed.

I've done this so many times over the years, I even had a few doors removed when we built our house. There's only one door I've taken down since we moved in -- on the water closet in our master bath:
floating wood shelves over toilet

It's not a big space to begin with, so taking the door down made a HUGE difference. 

I don't have a full before pic but this gives you an idea how much space it took up: 

water closet with door

Since we have a door to the main bath, we didn't feel it was necessary to keep this one. We haven't missed it once! 

I removed the door from our old mud room to the rest of the house and it made a HUGE difference in there: 
black and yellow laundry
This was a door we didn't close once...so it was an easy decision. 

Obviously a lot more than that happened in this room over the years, but you can see that the line of sight is so much nicer!: 
mud room with light blue walls white beadboard

I feel like I gain ten square feet of space in our house every time I do it! 

Removing the door was a given on the book nook I created as well: 
book nook created from linen closet

Bedroom closets are a great place to remove a door -- especially if you can only access them through a bathroom. (They won't be seen by anyone but you!) 

I removed the door on our old closet and we loved it: 
removing door in closet
after removing door in closet
You don't physically gain that much space, but visually it makes all the difference in the world!

We removed the door to the basement in our last house just a few years after moving in: 
removing door from staircase
I don't have a before picture, but just imagine the door swinging open to the right...after I took it down we really did gain space in the family room.

I remembered that for our new home and didn't have one added to our basement stairs: 
blue and white pinstripe wallpaper foyer

I also kept the doorway between our mud room and the kitchen open as well: 
kitchen and mud room transition

It's all up to your preference and how you live in your spaces!

Our upstairs bath is segmented into two smaller rooms, so I had the door removed and the opening framed out instead. Otherwise the door would have been open all of the time and blocking the natural light from a window. 

**If you are building a home, keep in mind you can have pocket doors installed instead! Those require structural changes you need to make early in the process, so they are difficult to add after the fact. 

I know you're thinking...what do I do with the holes after the door is down? You can just live with them if they don't bother you. (I still haven't covered the frame in our master bathroom!) 

covering holes in door frame

Are there doors in your home you never use? Remove one and see how you like it! All it takes to remove a door is a Phillips screwdriver, and perhaps a flat head screwdriver to pry the hinges off. 

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  1. That's a good idea- I guess I shouldn't complain about all the pocket doors in our house, huh?

  2. Looks great....I am all for clearing out extra "stuff!"

  3. Great post!! A real "no duh" moment for me. It really was cool to see the difference just removing some doors makes. I actually love the bare doorway to your basement. We don't have a basement, and if we did, an open doorway would be an open invitation for my toddler to fling herself down head first (or be pushed by her sister). But I love the look! :)

    Question: For the Goodwill party, can we post a find/makeover from the Salvation Army? B/c I have an AWESOME makeover I'm almost done with. :)

  4. I have NEVER thought of that. I guess I always figured doors were permanent fixtures. You've literally opened "doors" in my brain here!

  5. Well I'll be...:)
    Very good ideas Sarah!
    Love all the molding and paint colors in the last photos.

    Happy Memorial Weekend!
    ~Melissa :)

  6. We just did that today (sort of). We had this piece of furniture in the living room that was too BIG. It kind of overpowered and took away from the focal point-the fireplace! So, we headed to IKEA to find something to replace it, but didn't find anything good. When we got home, we got the idea to switch it with a piece we had in the play room upstairs. It worked great! So, we did remove, but we also replaced. My husband will be so glad you said that we don't need something in every spot. That's his decorating mantra, and he's always trying to convince me!

  7. I like keeping the doors but if you feel like gaining space go for it! I have visit one of my friends parents house and literaly there were NO doors in their house! Not even in the bathroom. (Only front and back doors). I do too love removing stuff!

  8. Okay, first of all, if you can read that Japanese up there in the comments, you are my hero.

    Second, I agree on the doors. On our other house, we just did not have the square footage to have unnecessary doors. So we took off some and put them in the banisters in the garage. It made such a huge difference.

    Love it without that little table too.

  9. What's up with that second comment?????

    We took our door to our basement off also.....love, love, love how open it feels without it. Makes a great table over a pair of sawhorses for garage sales too! We always need extra tables!

  10. I am totally with you on this one! I love the open feel created by removing things..doors in particular! Now if only my hubby agreed.....lol.

  11. I think removing the doors made a huge difference too!

  12. I do the doors thing too. I love how open the room feels once you do that. Of course, when we put our house up for sale, my hubby went around and put all the doors that we had taken down back up. Then when we decided not to move, I had hubby take them back down.

    Hubby's not much of a fan of the removing doors thing. Not sure why. ;)

  13. My dad still says "No Doy." He's funny. He doesn't let any of the stupid stuff from my childhood go.

    I still envy your laundry room every day. My husband won't budge on getting rid of the million wire hangers hanging from the wire shelf.

  14. What a great idea. I feel so crowded in this little house sometimes, I really need to figure out what I can do without. I would love to be entered in the contest also. Thanks for the great suggestions. Hugs, Marty

  15. For a year I lived in a house that had those awful metal bifold doors on the closets - the doors leftover from...early 70's? Or whenever. First thing I did in my bedroom was rip those suckers down and put a big muslin curtain up - it gave me TONS more space!

    The "you don't need something everywhere" is a concept train that I am jumping on!

  16. So, my eye was drawn to that moulding arch on the right wall. Forgive me if you've already posted about it, but was that there or did you add it? If you did it I'd love the details on that project.

    (P.S. You're right about the table. So much better without it.)

  17. Great post!!! We live in a small home and it drives me crazy when it starts to feel like we have too much stuff, so like you i start removing things. I dont have any doors to remove, but i will remove furniture.

  18. I just took the sliding doors off my closet and hung curtains! What a difference!

  19. I am all about no doors! There used to be double doors between our living room and dining room. GONE!

    There is a door between my entry way and kitchen...but it is a pocket door, so I don't have to remove it, but I have only closed it once in the 5 years we have lived here.

    My closet has no door.

    I might have to try the furniture removal!

  20. Ah, this is exactly my theory of home decor - it has to feel right. If it doesn't, eliminate it! Love, love, love... keep up the good work.

  21. I totally agree with lkjoijl up there. He's a wise man.

    And only you would have the cutest laundry room in the world!

  22. It's always bugged me a little that we don't have a door going into our master bedroom closet. It's right off the bathroom. After reading your post, I realize it's quite perfect! The door would never be closed, anyways!

  23. Our kitchen has no door, and all of the other doors are always left open. Almost everyone who comes to visit us comments on how bright our flat is, considering it is not very big. If we didn't need doors in the other rooms(my husband is a musician, it gets noisy!) I would have taken them all off by now!

  24. Sarah, Two things: What on earth does all that beautiful Asian writing translate to? AND I'm all about removing things, as well as swapping them out for what I have in other rooms. Thrifty and nifty. (That was pathetic, I know!)

  25. What a difference it made removing those doors! I have a room I just might do that to. I'm sure my DH will roll his eyes at me, but your pictures are proof-positive that it'll look great.

    I removed an accent piece of furniture earlier this week. It made such a huge difference and totally opened up the space. Maybe I'll post about it on my blog. I'll have to clean the hairy dust balls out of the corner, first. :-)

  26. Meant to add that I'm beyond excited for the Goodwill party! Great idea; thanks for hosting.

  27. Interesting idea! I usually add something or re-make something when I want a change. I don't think I've ever tried removing something, but it's something I'll think about from now on. It seems to have made a huge difference in your laundry room. Thanks for the idea!


  28. great ideas!!! I should totally do that to my laundry room and we are finishing our basement and have that SAME layout with the door and family room and such - I should so take that off too!!!!

  29. I'm another one who removed the sliding closet doors and put up curtains. I love flinging them open wide when I dress in the morning. (The sliding doors always blocked one area of another inside.) I'm all about less stuff, too. I'm not one to buy something cuz it's a great deal and make it fit; I have more than enough and am trying to unburden myself of so much stuff.

  30. Who would have thought a door would have made such a difference? Love it! Linda

  31. Ummm... I'm a newbie. Can you/someone tell me what a Goodwill Party is?? :-)


  32. Good changes - I probably wouldn't have thought to remove doors of all things, but it makes total sense :)

  33. A.Freakin'.Men.
    My sister likes a picture on every wall.
    I say, just because there is space, doesn't mean you have to fill it up.
    Space is good.

  34. I just plain love reading your blog!

  35. Great ideas! Make your home work for you - that's my motto!!!

  36. are you going to make me go to goodwill again?!?!
    i'm not sure if i can do it...

    can i do estate sale or garage sale instead?

  37. Hmmm...you've got me thinking. My summer project is to destash...simplify...
    We have only 3 days of school left and then the work begins. Thanks for the inspiration. Have a great Memorial Day ~Natalie

  38. what a GREAT idea! I think my laundry room door should go too!

  39. I'm a door remover too! In fact, I have a miniature master bathroom, so I removed the door and hung a curtain! It's a little bit weird, but now if hubby walks in while I'm standing at the sink, I don't get smashed. :P

  40. My mom just removed some doors leading into her kitchen. She couldn't be a happier woman! Maybe that's the thing to do! Remove your doors and your room will look less cluttered and more open!? There is one small table in my house that has a basket that collects our mail. I hate it, want to get rid of it...but I wont let myself because of the mail. But when I find some where else to put them ail that table is out of here!!!

  41. I just took down my over the kitchen cabinet stuff. Until winter when I need the clutter to feel cozy.

    I am about to remove my linen closet door and make it all pretty inside like they did in BHG (I think it was that mag).

    I am glad you are around. You have really good ideas for inspiration.

  42. Hubby & I have been debating the future existence of several of our doors! The worst one is actually in our master bath... which kinda seems important, which is why we haven't pulled the trigger. Oh how I wish it could be a pocket door instead. And as for less is more in general, I found after repainting a particular wall in our living room that I didn't want to re-hang any art and I love the cleaner look.

  43. I love these changes! I removed two folding style wooden doors going into my family room from the foyer about 15 years ago and I've never missed them. I did save themm since they were really nice doors...make a great screen all connected together. They live in the basement for now. :-) A friend of mine has a French door going down to her basement...still a door but it looks so much more open. Great post!

  44. so agree with, when all else fails, remove the piece. Just did it with a table in the hallway that was a collect all piece - and now it has opened up the hallway and there is no more clutter. Just had to be done. Now I need to go around the house and look for extra, no need doors!

  45. I so agree! Lose the doors and get rid of a piece of furniture to make an impact. We use shower curtains in place of doors in the kids' room and playroom and it really softens things and adds a ton of space.

  46. Great blog. I enjoy your ideas, you are very creative and inspire me to do more for less!

  47. I love taking doors off in the house. Currently there are three sitting in the garage instead of taking up space in the house. Doors that were never closed but took up wall space.
    It really does open up a room.
    Loving your blog, thanks for all the ideas.

  48. We just took DD's closet doors (bi-fold) off the hinges, and it opened her room up SO much! She loves the extra space and I love the clean look!!

  49. Wow! It seems lots of people take their doors off and we're not the only ones. Taking the closet door off our master closet was one of the best things. We have a tiny room and it took up a valuable corner. Now we even have a chair in there - not that you can sit on it for Hubs' clothes, but still.

    Love Tins and Treasures' term "destash"!

  50. I'm a big fan of door removal, especially when we were renting. Here in England they seem to be big fans of closing off each and every room with a door, but DH and I are originally from South Africa and are more used to an open plan feel. Each time we moved into a rented property we would immediately remove the kitchen door, stashing it behind the couch, replacing it when we moved out again. You're right, it makes a huge difference!

  51. I used to have that same metal and glass table (I think it was from Pier One). Anyway, I never thought things looked right on it either. Funny...

    Love your blog. Just discovered it recently. I'm a much better blog reader than blogger! :)

  52. I've removed 2 doors as well & am thinking about removing the laundry room door. Definitely gives the appearance of more space!

  53. I sorta wish we had pocket doors more and more... My grandparents used to have them in their home years ago- and I thought they were fabulous. I was thinking pocket french doors on the master bath (for instance) that open to both sides,or one side at a time. And you could frost the glass of course. But while you're frosting it you could put a vinyl sticker on it that said "The Loo" or something cutesy like that-so when you removed it the whole glass is frosted except the word(s) you had the sticker for! I'm dying to do that =)

  54. We removed our bi-fold closet doors in the master bedroom to install supa-cool closet organizers (from Target, the wood kind...gorgeous!). Anyway, that was back in May. We decided that we really like it without the doors and we're going to leave it that way!

  55. Woo! You're brave. Great post but boy my eye started to twitch and my shoulders tensed as I read. I was having total husband flashbacks! "We don't need it", "NO! Please don't get rid of that table, I love that table!"

    Simplify. I love how it looks but am ny (just watched Pirates of the Caribbean) incapable of living with it for too long before...I must fill that spot! =)


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