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Who amongst us doesn't hanker for a bit more space? Whether your home is big or small, we’ve got plenty of tips to create space and make your house feel more roomy, comfortable and relaxed.
Mirrors are one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to introduce entirely new dimensions of light and space to any small room. Why not install a mirrored sliding wardrobe in that not-so-big guest bedroom? Or a large mirror on the wall opposite a window to bring the outside in? Likewise, in your dining room, place a large decorative mirror above a buffet table to reflect light throughout the space, while adding some drama and opulence at the same time.
Not only do cool colours like blue, green and violet let in more light to a small room, but they're also a great way to create a fresh, new, contemporary ambience. If you’re finding those antique ivory walls in your living room a little dull, for example, consider repainting them a cool white-grey. Even better, team this with a fresh monochrome colour palette for furniture and fittings, and your room is guaranteed to appear much larger to the naked eye.
Plus, if you’re already planning to do one room, why not paint the whole lot? By keeping your colour palette consistent from room to room, your eye will follow them more easily through the house, making each one – and your house in general, feel larger.
White ceilings, dark floors.
If you’re keen to make a room feel taller and more spacious, think about adding some colour to your walls, keeping ceilings white and concentrating darker colours beneath eye level – that is, towards the floor. For a more subtle impact, use a one-colour scheme and paint (or wallpaper) your ceiling and walls in lighter and darker shades, respectively, to create a warm contrast. In a small room, a dark floor rug can provide enough contrast to add aesthetic, while lighter colours like pastels on your walls will also add extra light to a room, as opposed to darker hues.
Let there be light.
Light is another effective way to make your home feel larger than it really is. By setting different types of light around the house, you can instantly brighten up rooms and add height to ceilings. Make sure you also clean your windows often to allow for clearer light and sun to shine inside, and opt for dimmers, as well as low and high lighting systems, to bring light in from all angles, levels and intensities.
Hang those curtains high!
Open up an otherwise small room by hanging curtain rails just below the ceiling – the higher, the better! As well as creating a stylish and classic look, long, slender curtain drops will provide the perfect illusion of grand ceiling height.
Strive for balance.
Contrary to what you might think, furnished rooms generally appear bigger than unfurnished ones. So, resist the temptation to remove furniture if you’re after a roomier layout and feel. But remember to strive for a functional balance. Don't retain or add too much furniture if it’s going to make it harder to navigate your way through your home – your bulky leather sofa might be super-comfortable, but it might also take up the entire room. Likewise, your chunky timber coffee table might be a style statement, but its opaque design might block foot traffic and bruise shins!
It’s also worth keeping room size in mind. Because elevated and footed, no-armrest sofas and chairs are less chunky, they can create the illusion of more space. Plus, there’s also the added bonus that they’re easier to clean under! And think about opting for a glass-topped rather than solid-surfaced tables and choose oval-shaped versions versus square designs. Again, these styles can make it easier to navigate around furniture in a tight space and can also dramatically open up a room.
Build more storage.
Excess clutter lying around a house is a sure-fire way to make it feel disorganized and smaller, which means creating more storage space is a no-brainer solution.
So, if stacks of papers, bags and clothing are making your home feel tight and out of balance, why not consider where you can carve out some extra storage space? From installing a cupboard at the base of a stairwell or putting some shelving along a wall in your garage, to a pull-out drawer under a bed or an ottoman that doubles as a chest, all of them are great ways to stow away items tidily – and stylishly, and allow your rooms to open up.