With more of us moving into compact living spaces, like apartments and townhouses, we need to find solutions to maximise our space to its full potential. We have all been victims of a pokey room or modest living space that makes you feel cramped and overcrowded with your possessions. So what can we do with small spaces to make them feel larger?
Itâ€™s all about finding the right balance between scale, light and movement. Here are six ways to manipulate a roomâ€™s size to make it look and feel bigger.
1. Choose furniture that’s appropriate for your space
To purchase the right sized furniture, it’s all about proportion. Choose pieces that won’t overwhelm your space or rub up against your walls and other pieces of furniture. If this occurs, then you know it’s too big for the room! To get the size right, a good idea is to measure the item before you buy it. Then, using tape, outline the furniture dimensions onto the floor and review whether the size is suitable for your space. And donâ€™t forget to measure the height too! Chairs with too high backs in small-scaled rooms look out of proportion and appear cumbersome.
2. Avoid curtains
If possible, choose window treatments that are not fabric heavy like curtains. Instead, for a more clean, streamlined approach to dressing your windows, blinds and venetian shutters are a great alternative as they are lightweight in appearance and wonâ€™t consume the space around your window.
3. Select lightweight furniture
An over-sized, bulky furniture piece will make your room feel like it’s shrunk! So take careful consideration in the style of furniture you want to introduce in your home. When dealing with compact spaces, lightweight furniture that has streamlined design will suit best. This includes furniture pieces with legs and slim frames to allow light and air to flow all around it, including underneath the base.
4. Restrain your colour palette
When colour and pattern are kept to a minimum, the room’s visual clutter is reduced and harmony is achieved. To do this, limit your colour palette to no more than three hues and select smaller patterned pieces. Alternatively, avoid colour all together and opt for a neutral palette to keep your interior looking calm and serene.
5. Minimise clutter by maximising storage
Itâ€™s an easy and simple one, but keeping the house clean and tidy will make a huge difference to the overall perception of space in your home. To achieve this, organise your belongings so that every item has a place to be stored away. But what about if I love to collect objects, I hear you say? You can still do this! Instead of displaying all your collections at the one time, rotate them throughout the year, keeping some on show and others in storage. Another great solution to reducing visual clutter is to avoid open shelving. Even if you display your items in a neat manner on shelves, it can still look very busy, particularly in small spaces. So choose storage options that allow you to conceal your possessions behind closed doors. Even if you donâ€™t have a compact home, visual clutter can give the illusion of a small space.
6. Maximise natural light
To make your room feel larger, always choose natural light over artificial lighting. You can enhance natural light in your home by hanging large mirrors in dark and pokey spaces to encourage light to reflect and bounce around the room. You can also paint your walls and ceilings in natural white (or light shades) to keep the space feeling light and airy. And for a larger project, reconsider the size of your existing windows and doorways. Is there any opportunity to renovate and remove a wall, change the style of window or enlarge a doorway?
Overall, to enhance the proportions of your home (even if it is only an illusion), less is more. You may find yourself having to edit your possessions and employ effective storage solutions. This may ultimately require you to be strict with your purchases and where possible, choose a more minimal approach to living.