Small spaces, when designed properly, can feel cosy and zen. However, when you have to cram in all your wordily belonging into a 5 by 5 room, the result can be claustrophobic and cramped. Fear not, making a small space look more spacious is not impossible. The key lies in tricking the eye into perceiving more space using scale, light and movement.
Big Is Not Always Better
When furnishing a small space it is all about proportions. If a piece of furniture brushes up against the boundaries of a room (either up, down or sideways) it is too large. In order to make a room feel bigger, make sure that there is always some space between the side of your furniture and the walls.
Also, keep in mind the proportions of the furnishings. A large overstuffed sofa and a sleek modern one will give you the same seating space but the former will take up too much more floor room. If you must have a large statement piece, consider a large mirror or painting – something you can hang on the wall rather than something that will use floor-space.
Leave Some Headroom
Furniture with a lower profile, provides a sense of space. The more room between the celling and your furniture, the airier the room will feel. Think 1950’s chic and loft beds.
Show Some Leg
Streamlined furniture allows for more natural light and air to flow through the room, providing a sense of movement and space. It creates the illusion of openness. Mid-century furniture again in this case is great for this effect. Think long, thinner legs.
It’s All Smoke And Mirrors…
If you need to make a room look bigger, there are few decorative items that are more effective than mirrors. A mirror will reflect light, making a room brighter, which immediately makes a space look bigger. It also will reflect the view, which will trick the eye into perceiving more space.
Forget About The Curtains
The right decision on window treatment can make a room look much bigger. Using curtains will naturally block the external view and add an “extra thing” to the room making it feel more cluttered. Instead, why not use a lightweight mesh or cloth blinds or shutters. If you must have curtains make sure that the rail allows for the curtains to fully clear the window when opened to make the most of your view. On a similar note, you might want to avoid rugs as well. Once again, a rug will add an extra item to your room making it feel cluttered. If you really want to have a rug though, consider one that is not too large and with a simple design.
Make It White
Using white on your walls, ceiling and floor will make a space look airy and cloud-like. When you use white on all surfaces, the border between them is less perceptible, creating a sense of openness. White is also great at reflecting light and as mentioned above, the lighter a room is, the more ample it will feel.
Make It Vertical
Use decorative items that will emphasise the vertical dimensions of a room. Think tall shelves, a bare hanging designer bulb or simple hanging light fixture or vertical wooden slabs. Any of these will make the room feel taller and by proxy it will feel bigger. It also adds a sense of movement which also makes the room feel more open.
Make It Horizontal
Anything that causes your eye to travel around a room in an intentional and orderly fashion will make it feel larger. The same concept used in the section above applies horizontally. If your room has enough height, why not emphasise its length.
Creating a clear path through the room will provide visitors a sense of openness. If every inch of floorspace has something on it, moving around the room may be difficult creating the illusion of it being cluttered.
Keep It Simple
A small space benefits form curating your furnishings. The more pieces you place in the room, the more cluttered it will feel. Avoid having too many knickknacks. However, if you do have many decorative items, you can group them in a way that they read as an installation. The same applies with art. Concentrate your pieces in one or two walls and avoid complicated patterns or overwhelming colours.
If you are thinking about any renovation work, why not give us a call at 020 71186155 or make an appointment to come talk to us at our office in Hammersmith. We are always keen to speak about construction and design.