Size Matters – How to Create the Illusion of Space in Your Home

For most homes, tips on how to make a room look bigger are always welcome. Whether you live in a one bedroomed apartment or palatial country pile more space (or even the illusion of it) can improve wellbeing, comfort and even save you money.

General Tips for the Whole Home

Lots of ideas can work across every room in your home, so try applying these anywhere you want to look and feel bigger. 

messy coffee table

Use Colour 

Colours that make a room look larger and brighter can be introduced in lots of different ways. And it’s not always about light colours: it is as much about how and where you apply it to create optical illusions or enhance features. There are specialist paints that reflect back daylight to enhance any available (try Dulux’s Light+Space which can reflect up to double the amount of light back into a room compared to normal paint: Dulux.co.uk) but simple tricks with standard paint can also work. Vertical stripes add height, and when it comes to choosing ceiling paint try a shade lighter than the walls; ceilings don’t have to be in the standard white. Consider great paint colours for small rooms including shades from the cooler end of the spectrum such as pale blues or fresh tones, like a cool yellow or green.

Declutter & Decant 

Storage ideas for small spaces should be planned once you’ve finished clearing clutter. The best de-cluttering tips don’t make you feel rushed or stressed about what you are parting with but also enable lasting solutions. Start with the obvious items for culling, then place items you are unsure about in a box out of sight for a month; if you miss them before the deadline, keep them and if not you’ll know you can part with them. For those items that make the cut remember that smaller accessories can feel fussy; group them in colour or type to keep things feeling less bitty, such as a collection of photo frames or various size vases in shades of blue.

Lighten Up 

It’s transparently obvious that using wall mirrors to make a room look larger will work, but also using mirrored consuls, side tables or clear furniture such as Lucite or a glass desk or coffee table will bounce around light and stop shapes feeling too solid.

Window treatments to make a room look bigger need to be considered for both light and form. If privacy is an option use the lightest fabric weight you can, so you can leave them closed but benefit from the maximum light. Verticals blinds can increase the sense of height if ceilings are low, while roller blinds can sit neatly inside your window frame feeling less bulky than heavy swathes of curtain fabric.

Things to Consider Room by Room

In the Bedroom

A bedroom is a great place to incorporate a uniting colour scheme, applied in varying shades. This can be used by layering linen, blankets and throws, and on the walls. The trick here is to ensure it’s not just one shade. Make sure the tones match but don’t do use the same intensity everywhere or it will become overwhelming: a primrose yellow on the walls can be great with a bright yellow cushion on a chair, adding a depth but feeling coherent. Small bedroom paint ideas can also include paint effects such as creating a false dado rail to add a sense of height by splitting the wall into two bands of colour.

Furniture for small bedrooms should include drawers under the beds, keeping the clutter to a minimum and making the room feel restful. If you can’t accommodate a wardrobe, try a rail with luxurious lengthy curtains that can hide away visual fuss; easy to open if cupboard doors might bump into other furniture.

In the Living Room

Small room window treatments

Furniture for small spaces needs to work harder to make the room function. Hidden storage can help as can small sofas, or even a snug love seat for two. Coffee tables for small spaces might seem almost an impossibility but if you look for one with drawers it can take gadgets like remotes, chargers and other paraphernalia that can make the room look cluttered and smaller. For larger items such as blankets for overnight guests or film night, an old trunk is a great alternative.

Keep electrical goods and technology in cupboards to stop them dominating or even using a projector that can be ceiling-mounted and projected onto a blank wall.

And don’t go to the edge: Pulling furniture away from walls, even by a few inches, will stop the room looking as if furniture is crowding a room. Large rugs in a room are recommended rather than leaving an edging of floor and sofas, beds or chests of drawers.

In the Kitchen/Dining Room 

Small kitchen design ideas start with a smart layout. If you also plan to eat here there are ways to incorporate dining tables for small spaces; try a table with drop leaves so if you aren’t dining at them day to day you have more space to cook. Benches take up less space than chairs and can be pushed under the table when not in use. If you want it to feel like a separate dining area add in a rug under the table (machine washable if you have toddlers of course). Think beyond the obvious cupboards by considering unusual solutions such as wrap-around shelving just under ceiling level for cookbooks or platters that are used less frequently. This keeps them accessible and also draws the eye up which creates more height to a room too. And look down; large tiles make a room look bigger so when choosing flooring play with scale. A large repeat pattern or wide floorboards will also work well to create a sense of more space.

When looking for the right window coverings to make a room look bigger, check out our latest Designer Roller Blind collection.

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