Ever notice how a room that seemed really large when you first moved in now seems small and cramped? With every piece of furniture and knick knack you add, that once large, open area starts to shrink before your eyes. The experts at Ecoline Windows understand that it’s all about creating an illusion of more space. Here are the best tips they suggest for making your small spaces look bigger:
Turn Up the Light
Both natural light and artificial sources will help your room look larger. Dark shadows that make the room look small disappear when you turn up the light. Get rid of any heavy draperies blocking the sunlight. You can either leave them bare or add some light-weight sheers. By mounting them closer to the ceiling, you can also use the vertical space to your benefit while you make the room look taller.
Recessed CFL lighting seems to be all the rage now for improved efficiency and bright light. Unfortunately, only the kitchen benefits from these utilitarian fixtures. Remove that harsh lighting in other parts of your home and use small, wall-mounted lamps or sconces to spread the light around the room.
While this may seem like a simple task, you should clean your windows inside and out and stop filtering the natural light through dirt. Move furniture from in the front of windows. As you look outside through the unobstructed window, you’ll notice the entire room looks deeper.
Smoke and Mirrors
The reflective properties of mirrors make them the perfect component to enhance a small space. Any reflective accessory will create a grander illusion so consider these ideas:
- Cover an entire wall with a mirror to blur the room edges. Select a wall opposite a window to reflect more natural light into the room.
- Hang smaller decorative mirrors in a group. Paint frames in a monochromatic colour scheme to make the wall appear longer.
- Decorative, glass tiles added to a kitchen or bathroom backsplash will provide illumination for a more open feel.
- A small bedroom will instantly feel larger and deeper with mirrored closet doors.
- Install shiny metal surfaces in the kitchen and bath like chrome faucets, cabinet hardware, and hanging light fixtures. Light will bounce off them and illuminate the room.
- Add a glass or mirrored top to an end or coffee table. Place a table lamp on top to reflect light back as a larger image.
If at any point you find yourself in need of general contractors always make sure they are certified and have desired experience to handle your project. Always request examples of their previous jobs and pay attention to reviews.
Colour Me Wild
Colours and patterns are also useful in creating an expansive feel.
- Paint your ceiling white or a light colour to draw the eye up.
- Use soft blue, green, grey, ivory, cream, or white in semi-transparent or gloss paint for optimum light reflection. Keep the trim colour the same as the walls for clean lines for a light, airy space.
- Both horizontal and vertical stripes are great illusionists. Vertical wall stripes stretch the room height while horizontal stripes widen the room. Add a striped area rug to add more length. Be careful to coordinate the other fabrics and finishes in the room. Too many variations will make the room shrink.
- A monochromatic colour palette in varying shades of the same colour will create a surprisingly open feel. The uniformity of tone-on-tone upholstery, textured wall finishes, and decorative thick-piled area rug combined with bright pillows and accessories in the same colour family will play tricks with your eyes and make the room appear bigger.
- Use dramatic, colourful artwork to adorn your walls for a more expansive feel.
- Light-coloured flooring will also make your small space look bigger. If you’re replacing dark hardwood flooring or carpeting, choose a modern shade of grey, white washed, light, or blonde hardwood or laminate floors for the biggest impact. If you can’t change your flooring, adding a light-coloured area rug will provide a focal point to draw your eye deeper into the room.
Eliminate the Excess
There’s nothing that makes a room feel claustrophobic and small like a lot of clutter. It’s time to streamline the space. Remove any non-essential items from tabletops and the floor like silk plants and decorative accessories. Organize remote controls in a caddy and clean out magazines and newspapers from underneath tables. Your room will feel less crowded and bigger.
Look Up, Then Down
We know that a light-coloured ceiling can draw the eye up and make the room look taller, and the floor is pretty important too. The more floor space that’s visible, the larger the room appears.
- Lift your furniture up by choosing pieces with legs. Anything with a skirt or that rests directly on the floor will seem too big for the room.
- Wall mount your flat-panel television instead of using a stand. It will open limited floor space and provide a better viewing angle.
- Clear furniture, like a glass-top table and trendy, acrylic desk provide open sightlines.
- Pull your furniture away from the wall and out of walkways to create a roomy feel. Short items like a low table, ottoman, and armless chairs also provide more open space.
- Mount shelves on the wall for storage instead of using a freestanding bookcase. This opens up more floor space while providing extra storage. Still want your traditional bookcase? Consider a floor-to-ceiling unit that will draw the eye up and make the room appear taller.
Bigger is Better
Surprisingly, adding larger rugs and accessories will make small spaces look larger. Pull the rug beyond the furniture to trick your eye into thinking the area is bigger. Place an oversized, clear vase on the floor next to a sofa or chair to extend the width of the furniture.
Ready, Aim, Focus
Highlight one feature like a fireplace or large artwork. The further away from the door, the better. The focal point will draw the eye the entire length of the room and make the small space look bigger.
Enhancing the space can also be done with a mural patterned wallpaper, or large artwork behind furniture.
Small Spaces: Conclusion
Making your small spaces look bigger is easier than you think. It’s all about creating an illusion and tricking the mind into believing there’s more room. Add light, mirrors, colour, big accessories, and a focal point. Eliminate clutter and open up floor space. Let your imagination lead the way, and you might be pleasantly surprised at just how much you home has grown.
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Guest Post by Serge Bojinski
Editor of RenoHood.com, blogger and home improvement enthusiast. Healthy life style advocate who lives by the motto: “Attitude determines the altitude of life.” Dreamer and doer. You can connect with him on Twitter @SBojinski