There are a lot of ways to make a space appear larger than it actually is by utilizing just a few of the techniques below.
Using Monochromatic Colours To Create A Feeling Of Space
- Palettes of lighter softer colours, neutral colours or colours of the same shade will keep a room looking open and airy.
- Keep the colour contrast to a minimum between the walls and the ceiling. A shade of white is the most common colour to paint ceilings, but if the wall colour is light enough you can consider using the same colour on the ceiling.
- Carry the same colour family throughout an entire home to create harmony and flow. Different colours in every room can make a house feel cut up.
- Repeat a pattern in one room to the next adjoining room. Or echo the colour of one room into another with accents such as throw pillows or lampshades. This pulls your eye through to the other room.
- Choosing a colour that mimics what is outside your windows to give the room a sense of expanding to the outside.
The lighter colouring of the walls and the monochromatic colour scheme of the decor makes this room feel light, airy and spacious.
By painting the walls, baseboards and trim work in the same colour it tricks your eye. If the baseboards were done in a contrasting colour such as white it would create a perimeter around the room and emphasize the small floor space. By having a consistent colour on the wall and baseboard it doesn’t break up the wall and helps to minimize the fact that the ceilings are only eight feet in height.
Scale, Placement And Colour Of Furniture
- It’s better to use fewer larger well-appointed pieces of furniture. Having a large number of smaller pieces can make a room look cluttered.
- If possible allow for space between your furniture pieces and the walls to create a sense of openness.
- Furniture in colours close to the wall colour gives the illusion of a bigger room, furniture colours that contrast with the walls breaks up the space making it feel smaller.
- Choose sofas and other furniture on legs. This creates more of an open feeling than furniture that sits directly on the floor. Other good options are open armed seating, slatted backed dining chairs and glass tables to keep a room feeling airy.
- Choose furnishings in shades and patterns that compliment each other instead of ones that compete in colour. Furniture in solid colours is better in a smaller space. Create interest using textures instead of patterns. If you do use patterns in fabrics keep them subdued and on a smaller scale.
- Try to place furniture so that there is a spot for your eye to move along the longest distance of the room.
- If you’re designing a new kitchen or renovating take the upper kitchen cabinets right up to the ceiling to give the illusion of more height.
- Use multi function pieces to help minimize the number of items such as beds with drawers, sofa beds, expandable dining tables, nested tables and storage chests as coffee tables.
- Use an appropriate size area rug. Too small of a rug will make a small space feel even smaller. A rug in a light colour will reflect and bounce around more light. In some cases it might be best to skip the rug altogether so that the eye sees continuity throughout the flooring.
The large scale bed, dresser and end tables work in this small bedroom because they are the only furniture pieces. A few accessories in a similar colour keep the room feeling uncluttered. The walls and carpet in a similar colour make them drop into the background and keep your eyes focused on the furnishings instead of the size of the space.
Well Placed Mirrors Reflect Light And Depth
- Hang a large framed mirror to create the illusion of depth in a small room.
- Prop an oversize mirror against the wall for a dramatic effect, especially if it’s a floor to ceiling height. It will reflect a large portion of the room making it feel more spacious.
- Angle mirrors toward a focal point to give a sense of depth or place it near a window to reflect a view of outside.
- Placing mirrors on walls across from each other creates a look of space going beyond the walls.
- Group a bunch of mirrors together with the same colour frames to keep it looking uncluttered. Or layer smaller mirrors on top of larger ones to reflect light and create a sense of depth.
- Mirrored cabinet fronts help to reflect light around small spaces.
- Place a mirror along the counter top in a small kitchen.
Using Light To Create A Sense Of Space
- Natural light is one of the best ways to open up a space, when it’s not possible to compensate with artificial light.
- Let your eye extend beyond the room and outside a window. Leave them bare if privacy is not a concern or use simple shades or blinds that can be pulled out of the way during the day.
- Curtains stop the eye for looking through the window and can add yet another element to a small room that makes it feel cluttered. If you do hang curtains place the rod higher than the window and up close to the ceiling. To make the window feel taller. Extend the width of the curtains past a small window to make it feel wider. Keep the curtain colour the same as the walls to keep the eye moving along the wall.
- If the view out of your window is not appealing bring attention to something else by placing a beautiful plant or decorative display piece in the window.
Clearing Clutter And Allowing A Room To Breathe
- Nothing will make a space feel smaller than a bunch of items that are fighting for attention all over the room.
- Create a focal point or feature area that the eye will be drawn to and arrange the furniture to help draw the focus to that area. Keep the rest of the room décor to a minimum.
- A large piece of artwork or photo works well in a small space to create a sense of grandness.
- In rooms with low ceilings draw the eye up with vertical lines or a set of artwork or photos arranged towards the ceiling.
- Let the room breathe by placing well chosen accessories. Take advantage of key display areas such as the coffee table, end tables and fireplace instead of areas all over the room.
- Allow small entry ways, foyers or hallways to feel welcoming by using narrow console tables and keeping it light weight visually.
- Don’t block pathways or have areas where people have to squeeze through. Allow the eye to flow freely through the room. The further you can look into a room the bigger it will feel.