I have heard myself saying to several different new clients within the past 6 months-“Small can be great!” As one example, you can probably afford the very expensive back splash tile if you are using it in a smaller sized kitchen or bath remodel; and you need less furniture to furnish a smaller great room.
That said, there are tried and true tips that can give you a larger feeling space—mirrors, lighting, clutter control to name 3 top ones. A guest post about how to make small spaces feel larger is shown below. The author is from the U.K where overall spaces tend to be smaller than in the United States where the mantra seems to be-bigger is better.
How To Make A Small Living Space Feel Bigger
Whatever your current living situation, if your house, apartment or shared accommodation isn’t quite as palatial as you’d like it to be there are lots of different ways to adapt your space to make it feel bigger.
It is possible to transform the rooms you occupy at home with a few simple tricks of the eye, making them appear lighter, airier and much more spacious. Here are some ways to decorate and organise your home to give the impression of much more space than you might have.
Use Of Mirrors
Whether you place them above the mantelpiece, incorporate them into your wardrobe door or even prop them up against the wall, mirrors can dramatically alter your perception of a room and also help to reflect light, giving a greater sense of space. Entire mirrored walls are often used in bars and restaurants to make them seem twice the size they actually are, so why not emulate this at home?
(Image credit: Sam Agnew)
For maximum effect:
- opt for large mirrors
- position them opposite windows or doorways where light enters
- don’t be afraid to have more than one in the room- in fact, the more mirrors the brighter the room!
Pick A Light, Bright Colour Scheme
Dark colours, if on every wall, can have the undesired effect of making small rooms appear even smaller. To maximise every inch of available space, choose from a light colour palette of neutrals and pastels.
(Image credit: Mazzali)
There is no need to forgo the dark, bold colours that you love, as these can still look great and add character if used in small doses. Perhaps have a feature wall painted in your accent colour and pick soft furnishings to match.
Choose A Light Floor Colour
Choosing anything other than a light floor colour is certain to highlight the small size of a room by drawing the eye downwards to the exact dimensions of the floor space. Opting for a neutral colour which flows uninterrupted up to walls of a similar colour will open up the space and draw the eye up and out to the rest of the room.
Size Does Matter
Unlike mirrors, which can be as big as you like (in fact the bigger the better!), overly large paintings, ornaments, rugs and pieces of furniture dominate small spaces and serve to highlight the size of a small room. Opt for chairs and tables which aren’t too chunky, those with a lighter ‘footprint’ will take up less floor space.
The size of furniture and decorative items should be in keeping with the size of the room, so buy for the space you have rather than the space you’d like to have!
Hide The Clutter With Clever Storage
Cramming lots of paintings, pictures and ornaments into a small room will only serve to highlight how cramped everything looks. To maintain a calm, unfussy environment keep surfaces as clear as possible by storing all non-decorative items away.
(Image credit: PoshSurfside.com)
Built in storage will aid in de-cluttering and saving space. Think about incorporating:
- cabinets built in to alcoves
- wardrobes built along walls
- bench seating which contains drawers and storage space
Let There Be Light
Clever lighting can create the illusion of more space by making the most of every square foot available. If you don’t have large or south facing windows then create light with strategically placed lamps and mirrors. One large central light creates a clinical look which leaves corners and other nooks and crannies in shadow. Light such areas with up-lights, spotlights or lamps.
(Image credit: Doug)
Make use of other reflective materials, such as glass and metals, to increase light. Why not place lamps upon mirrored trays for maximum light reflection, for example?
Knock through to create an open plan living space
If the structure of your house is such that you occupy a series of small box rooms, the simplest way to transform it into a living space which feels much larger is to knock through adjoining walls.
(Image credit: Jeremy Levine)
An open plan living space increases space, adds light and unites the social spaces in your home. Being able to see how large your floor plan actually is and move around it with ease is one of the best ways to make a small space feel larger.
Adopting a less is more approach when it comes to decoration and aiming to maximise available light with neutral colours and reflective surfaces are the best ways to make small rooms appear larger.
About The Author
Hi there, my name is Loren, I love being creative with living spaces. I live in a small but very cosy apartment, I love my creature comforts and I don’t like clutter! I work at Sofasofa.co.uk, who sell comfy sofas, sofa beds and other bits and bobs.
S Interior Design loves to create what we call ‘fabric stories’ for rooms we are designing.
Referencing our prior post on Design Inspiration Boards for two guest rooms we are re-designing, here are some of the wonderful fabric stories we are working with.
I am fortunate to be working on some fun guest room design projects for a well-traveled client. Her idea for the guest room design in her spacious home is to have each of the (4) guest spaces reflect a favorite and/or meaningful place she has spent time. To help define the look and feel for the rooms, S Interior Design is creating mood boards to help her visualize the end result.
Here are 2 of those boards.
Always remember ‘A PICTURE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS’
Are you considering doing some painting around your house or office in the coming year? Here are ideas to consider based on 2013 Color ‘discussions’ by some of the leading paint companies.
In a sentence–“Look for a lot of variety and contrast to be popular in 2013.”
Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards, Benjamin Moore, Behr and Pantone all have published their predictions for what the popular paint colors and combinations of colors will be in the coming year.
Benjamin Moore: Intersection– Flow, Cycle, Animate, Connect
Sherwin Williams: Opposites Attract–Midnight mystery, Honed Vitality, Vintage Moxie, High Voltage
Dunn Edwards: A New Renaissance Influences Palette and Textures–Simply Re-invented, Simply Re-newal, Simply Re-imagined and Simply Re-vival.
Pantone According to the PANTONE VIEW home + interiors 2013 book, there are nine color palettes predicted to dominate interior design and furniture trends in 2013. A mix of muted palettes serve as the new classics while rainbow-inspired colors provoke bolder style statements. Note: From the Casa Sugar Blog
Before you begin your painting, it is always a good idea to try your color choices on several walls in the room. Different walls have different levels of light reflection and the colors will look a bit different in different spaces due to the levels and types of light they will have. We recommend at least a 3′-0″ x 3′-0″ square on the wall. If the wall already has paint color on it, we also recommend priming before putting the new paint color up.
Of course S Interior Design is always available to help in the Phoenix metro area!
I have said it many times — the children always come first. When there is a design budget and prioritization needs to occur, 9 times out of 10 the design of the children’s rooms will come before the master bedroom design.
We are fortunate to live in a time where there are fabulous design options available to help us make our little one’s rooms look great. One of our new discoveries is Pink Taffy Designs. They have a great on-line children’s boutique where you can find everything from bedding to clothing for your little ones.
They are having a contest to win a set of their hand crafted wall letters. You can use the letters to spell out your child’s name, or a word of choice. They also make great gifts for new parents.
Here is the link to click on to enter the contest. Hurry though, it is only available a few more weeks.