Make a small space spacious
Submitted by Laura Shepherd on 30/04/2021 - Senior Marketing Manager
How to make a room seem more spacious
It’s not how much space you have, but rather how you use it that matters! If you’re limited on space, re-consider your decor and furniture choices, you’d be surprised by how big of a difference small tweaks can make! Try these tips to make the most out of a few square feet of space…
Use Colour Wisely.
A monochromatic colour scheme can work wonders in a small space. Bright colours and patterns feel chaotic and cluttered, and while dark colours can feel cosier, they can create a cramped living space.
For smaller rooms, choose light and neutral colours. These shades will produce the illusion of a larger room. Try creating a backdrop of whites and creams and add visual interest with tapestries or wall art in soft sea salt greys or add an accent wall in a neutral-but-contrasting shade.
Lighten up the linens.
Chunky blankets and throws are great in an expansive, open-concept space, but they can make a tiny room feel cluttered! Instead of heavy linens and curtains, opt for light and breezy materials like linen, silk, or cotton gauze, which create a sense of airiness in a room.
Dark and heavy fabrics like velvet, satin, polyester, or densely woven cotton absorb light and weigh down the room. Neutral, light-coloured fabrics are preferable to dark or patterned fabrics.
Get the right rugs.
The key to creating space with a rug is getting the right size — nothing will shrink a room like a rug that’s much too small. As a rule of thumb, choose a rug wide enough to “cover” the floor’s surface — spanning the front legs of your sofa and chairs (or the front edge of all the large furniture pieces in a room). Leave about eight to 18 inches of open floor space between the rug and the wall to frame the room and create a walkway. Like everything else, choose a lighter colour to enlarge the space even more.
Let there be (plenty of) light.
Light always makes a room bigger and brighter — especially natural light. Avoid blocking the windows to maximize outdoor lighting. Hanging sconces or prints on either side of your bed allows more open space on your nightstands and draws the eye upward. When choosing a lamp, look for one with a slim, clear, or open stand that has a light-coloured lampshade or no shade at all.
Make space with mirrors.
Mirrors are one of the easiest ways to trick the eye into thinking a room is more spacious than it really is. Hang mirrors on the walls (put one across from a window to reflect the light!) and consider glass or light-coloured furniture in the living room or nightstands in the bedroom.
Declutter your décor.
Simplicity is the best policy. While you don’t need to become a full-blown minimalist, you should borrow a few guidelines. Too many things in a room, whether that’s furniture, pillows, small decorative objects, or furniture, will only make a room feel more cluttered.
Pare down unused items and excess knickknacks to create more open space on the shelves, walls, and surfaces.
Stow messes away with shelves and storage.
If you’re lucky enough to have built-in shelves, take full advantage. Floor-to-ceiling shelves offer plenty of storage but don’t take up precious space — plus, they draw the eye up, giving the illusion of a larger room.
If you don’t have built-in shelves, you can create a similar effect by installing floating shelves or tall bookcases. Painting them the same colour as the walls will help, too. Maximize double-duty and hidden-storage hacks: file cabinets under a desk for more space in your home office, an ottoman or coffee table that can store and conceal your workout equipment, off-season clothing in bins under the bed, etc.
Re-think your furniture.
Avoid bulky, oversized furniture in a small room. Furniture that is lower to the ground creates more space above it, opening the room. Likewise, furniture with legs rather than pieces that sit directly on the ground creates a sense of openness, too.
Furniture for a small living room.
The careful inclusion of one or two accent pieces in a small space can add depth and character without feeling cluttered or over-furnished. Choose a feature such as an accent chair or sofa and consider nesting tables to provide tables when you need them. Don’t try to fit a sofa into all the available space. If a sofa is squashed into a room, it will be make the room seem smaller. Opt for smaller 2-seat sofa with an accent chair which allows you space to move around it. No one wants to have to climb on the sofa to close a blind or open a window. A statement lamp or bright piece of artwork or rug can brighten dark corners and turn an odd space into a feature.
Furniture for small bedrooms.
When decorating or furnishing a small bedroom, opt for light airy colours. Softer pastel hues such as sorbet-pinks, greys or off-whites which will help to ensure the room feels bigger. When it comes to storage in a small bedroom, wardrobes, divan beds with storage and shelving are your friends.
Books can be stored at head-height on shelves and wardrobes can tidy away any clutter. Add colour to the room by adding blinds and lamps with colours that compliment each other.