It seems every home has a space that is too small. Is it your apartment living room, a spare bedroom or an overused multipurpose space? Small rooms make us feel shut in and uncomfortable, so it is no surprise that we want to open the rooms up and make them feel more spacious. Here are simple and effective tips to do just that.
- Clear the room. Removing all the items in the room allows you to see what unnecessary clutter can be eliminated from the space. Removing clutter is the number one solution for making more space.
- Paint the walls. Selecting cool colors (blue, green, purple) will make your room feel more expansive with very little cost. If you have chosen warm tones, stick to very light shades. A monochromatic (different shades of a single color) palette will unify the space and make it seem larger. Or consider painting a mural.
- Select furniture. Opt for a few large pieces over several smaller pieces. This will still enlarge the space; having many little pieces will create a cluttered appearance. Choose pieces with open arms, visible legs and transparent parts (i.e. glass tabletops, glass doors on storage). You will be able to see more of the room and trick your mind into believing there is more space available. Go for monotone fabric for the furniture in the room. If you would like patterns, reserve them for throw pillows and other small items. Remember to choose furniture with similar proportion to the rest of the room. Don’t choose small pieces if you have extra high ceilings, overstuffed sofas in a closed environment, etc.
- Place furniture in the room. If your room has no discernable focal point, create one with furniture; display a collection on a set of shelves, emphasize a seating arrangement, etc. Placing the furniture on an angle toward your focal point will draw your eyes to the room's center. The angles of a room are generally longer than the wall span and viewing them will make the room feel more expansive. Keep traffic patterns in mind; you don’t want to walk the entire space for something when it is avoidable.
- Place accessories. Use a mirror in the room. Mirrors will reflect the light and the actual space, making the room seem much larger. If there is little natural light available, placing lamps around the room will expand the space. Well-lit areas will expand your perceived space. If you are displaying artwork, select one or two large pieces over many small ones. Placing art in the same area will minimize clutter.
Starting a room from scratch will be a much larger money investment, so if you have a limited budget, reuse items already in your home. Using multifunctional equipment (ottomans, etc) will reduce the amount of furniture in the room and enlarge the space. Simply removing clutter and rearranging furniture already in place can be enough to make some rooms appear larger.