By: Sabrina Essery – Freelance Writer
Whether you live in a small apartment or have a cramped room in your 2,000+ square foot house, it’s easy to give the illusion of more open space. With a few simple adjustments and a little imagination, you can revive a small space and make it feel and look bigger than it actually is.
Drawing the eye upwards gives the illusion of height. To accomplish this and acquire some extra storage space, try placing shelving closer to the ceiling or if you really want to get creative, you can go so far as to paint your ceiling – just be careful with dark colours that don’t match the walls. This can make the ceiling feel “heavier” and work against an open, spacious feeling. To use this technique effectively, paint the ceiling in a light colour that has a minimum contrast to the colour of the walls.
Repaint your walls to make the space feel more open. White is always a wonderful choice if you want a room to feel bigger. However, it might be impractical for those who worry about stains or who have young children. A good rule to follow is, “the lighter the colour, the better”. Light colours reflect light instead of absorbing it, so a light colour on your walls is never a bad idea. If you want to pick the optimal combination of colours, monochromatic schemes have been shown to make any room in the house feel spacious and open.
Get clutter out of the way and opt for hidden storage spaces or multi-purpose furniture with storage capacity. The more objects lying around in a room, the “fuller” the room will feel. Managing your storage space is a great way to improve a room without any serious or expensive home improvement. However, if you can’t store your stuff in a hidden compartment, try organizing it by colour or size. This will give the impression of structure.
Keep furnishings simple with one big statement piece instead of several smaller pieces. One big, bold couch will almost always look better in a small space than a smaller couch or loveseat and a few chairs. It’s the same logic that applies to clutter- the more objects in a room, the fuller and more cramped it looks. If you’re going to look for new furniture, look for pieces with exposed legs; these pieces will looked light and “airy” compared to their heavier or skirted counterparts.
Take advantage of natural light by leaving your windows bare. This will allow more unobstructed light into your room and give it more depth. If you feel the need to put something over your windows, compromise by opting for sheer drapes or drapes that are the same colour as your walls.
Mirrors are a great way to trick the eye into thinking a space is bigger than it actually is. There are plenty of examples out there of decorative mirrors in dining rooms and hallways, and incorporating one into a living room can allow you to be creative and have fun. A great way to work mirrors into a bedroom is to update your closet and install mirrored doors.