white light room

Everyone wants to have rooms, which regardless of their actual size, have the appearance of being large and spacious. Because, let’s face it, who would prefer being cramped and uncomfortable when with the help of a few simple design tips you could just as easily feel like you’re in a totally different, more capacious and welcoming room.

Choosing specific interior design features and making a few different colour or furniture choices can fool the eye into making a small room look bigger. This is particularly important when it comes to narrow housing. If you only have a small room to work with, do not despair as there are a number of simple tricks that can be employed to make the space look larger than it really is.

Here are ten clever tips specifically designed for narrow houses that can help you make a small room look bigger.

1. Use Light Colours

It is almost universally recognised that lighter colours such as creams and icy or grayish blues visually recede walls and open up a space. Not only do they reflect and multiply light as opposed to absorbing it as darker colours do, they also make a room feel more natural and airy. A great trick using colours is to paint the room moldings (or coving) a lighter colour than the walls as this gives the appearance that they are further back and that the room is thus larger.

2. Use Natural Lighting

Working in conjunction with the above tip, it is very important to ensure lots of natural light enters the room rather than using sterile internal lighting. Large windows blend the room with the outside area, thus extending it beyond the walls, and help light the room, allowing it to flow freely all throughout the space.

3. De-Clutter

Have you ever gotten rid of all the furniture in a room and been amazed at how enormous the space can appear when empty? A key to getting as close to this large empty space feeling as possible is to cut the clutter and keep everything tidy and organised. Create a key focal point in the room, such as the dining table or bed and then use simple décor for the remainder of the room.

Mirror room

4. Use Mirrors

We’ve all seen it: shops which give you the illusion of being twice the size due to a well-placed, large mirror on the wall, ballet studios and change rooms appearing to be never-ending – and now you can have the same effect in your home by simply hanging a large mirror on a wall or including glass coffee tables. Mirrors bounce light around the room (particularly when opposite the light source) and give the illusion of depth, thereby making your room look significantly larger.

5. Have Limited Furniture

As a general rule of thumb, try to use furniture that’s as small as can be, as this accentuates the open space in the room. Use built in storage where possible, and also have limited paintings on the walls as this only encloses and clutters the area.

6. Use Clever, Multi-Function Furniture

An easy way to limit the amount of furniture is to buy poufs or ottomans which can double as coffee tables or seating, thus limiting the required furnishings. Another option is to choose folding or stacking pieces of furniture which can be removed when not being used as well as sofas and armchairs with raised legs to create light and space underneath. Have some fun with this one by creating novel dual-purpose pieces of furniture such as a couch with a book shelf below it, or beds with drawers for storage. 

sofa bookshelf

7. Limit Doors and Hallways

A highly effective way of opening up a space is to connect it with adjacent rooms, particularly with the same flooring and wall paint, rather than closing them off  and separating them with doors and hallways. Open plan living is a great option for those with limited space.

8. Take Advantage of Vertical Space

To elongate and enhance a room’s volume, making use of vertical space is an ideal option. This can be done by investing in a custom floor-to-ceiling bookcase that draws the eye upward. To enhance this effect, leave some of the shelves empty to create a more airy, dramatic look.

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