When it comes to interior space, it’s more about perception than actual square footage. Even if you have a small living space, you can create the illusion of a larger room by using a few simple room rearrangement tricks. Of course, the actual room space doesn’t change, but the area will appear more spacious to the human eye.
Space Out Furniture
It’s tempting to cram furniture together when you have limited space. It’s a natural tendency to place furniture side-by-side to the point where they make physical contact. The same goes for smaller décor items. However, floating your furniture is the way to go. The presence of “breathing” space on all sides of the furniture creates the appearance of more space.
Use Light Paint Colors
Stick with neutrals for a light and airy feel. Some homeowners prefer darker colors for making a bold statement. However, dark paint is notorious for making walls and ceiling appear closer than they really are. If you insist on using dark colors, then limit it to a single wall, which can be the designated accent space. Good neutral colors for an open vibe include cream, blue, pale gray, and eggshell white.
If using light and neutral hues make the space feel too bland, then consider contrast in the form of leather accessories.
Be Liberal with Mirrors
Don’t be afraid to place plenty of mirrors in lieu of other wall hangings. Mirrors reflect and bounce light off the walls, giving the effect of a larger-appearing room. Try to include at least two large mirrors. You don’t need to overdo it with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, but definitely strive for ones bigger than your typical bathroom mirror. If the room has a sliding closet, then consider using a mirror that covers the entire sliding door.
Use Multi-Functional Furniture
Multi-functional furniture physically creates more space. Having a single furniture with a dual purpose is always helpful. Consider ottomans or couches with hidden storage departments. This also helps you store away clutter. Excess items with no functional or decorative use are always a space waster. You can also add a table with cubby spaces below.
Use Furniture with Legs
Bigger furniture pieces, such as sofas and cabinetry should have fairly lengthy legs. This creates more space below. In effect, this draws the eyes upward, creating the illusion of more space. Don’t nullify this effect by stuffing items below.
Let in the Light
Allow in as much natural lighting as possible and avoid bulky drapes and valences that subdue sunlight. Natural light works well with light paint colors, which we alluded to earlier. Consider adding slatted blinds for the windows or thin sheer lace curtains. The latter provides enough privacy while still allowing enough light through.
Organize by Color
We said earlier that clutter is a no-no for small spaces. The opposite of clutter is organization, which means you want to keep the space looking as orderly as possible. One way to do this is by organizing décor by color. This just makes everything look neater, thereby less cluttered.
Going for stripes is a bit of a bold and risky decorative move. It’s usually a design scheme you would relegate to a child’s bedroom. However, a striped design, both vertical and horizontal, are useful for making spaces look bigger. Vertical stripes draw the eye upwards, while horizontal stripes make the room appear wider or more stretched out. If you go this route, then we recommend a tone-on-tone color scheme. That is, the same color of different shades.
Use Light-Color Flooring
Just as you should use a light paint for the walls, you should also go light with the floor plan. Of course, we realize renovating the entire floor is too much of a makeover for some homeowners. If this is the case, then consider embellishing the floor with a light-colored rug.
Obviously, you can’t do this with the sofa or couch, but consider a glass table or desk with a clear acrylic surface. Aside from making the room appear more open, clear furniture is also a great staple for contemporary home designs. While incorporating antiques with clear furniture is trending right now, I wouldn’t advise it for smaller places, if the goal is to create bigger-looking interiors.
Remember, it’s all about perception. By strategically decorating the room, you can trick the mind into believing the interior is larger than it really is.
Hannah Hutchinson is an interior designer based in London, currently blogging for Westland London. She’s always chasing new ideas and likes thinking outside the box when it comes to incorporating fresh ideas to her clients’ new homes.