You might think that that tiny apartment you’ve moved into, or even a house but with quite the large family, is doomed to feel small forever. While it’s true that you can’t pull down some of the walls in your home, or turn your home into the TARDIS from Doctor Who, there are a few tricks we have up our sleeves to help turn that claustrophobic space into liveable space.
You might have heard this one before, it’s one of those old interior decorating tips, but it’s totally true and definitely worth the reminder. Mirrors create an optical illusion and tricks your eyes into thinking a space is actually bigger. The trick works by making your eye perceive depth in the mirror. They work especially well near other things that make space look larger, such as hallways and windows. Try hanging mirrors in a place that can catch the light from a window to reflect space.
- Tall bookcases
For our next trick: large bookcases! Bookcases that take up the entire length of your wall from floor to ceiling provide the same illusion of height. When you break up a wall with a shorter bookcase, it shortens the visible wall showing behind it, making the entire wall seem shorter. A tall bookcase that reaches as tall as you can make it provides a look of grandeur and height, which is exactly what you’re looking for in a small space. If you need some help choosing the right type of bookcase, now that you’ve got the height decision nailed down, try this article.
- Big windows and curtains
This might be sounding redundant, but it just goes to show how important illusion is in a small space. Believe it or not, tall windows, and even taller drapes and curtains will also provide length and space to a small room. For help choosing your curtains, take a look at these curtain and drapes tips. Pro tip, having double glazing on your windows will help keep the heat in your space, reducing the need for heavy and more expensive curtains.
- Multifunctional furniture
Having furniture that has multiple purposes is absolutely key in a small space. Think about how an RV or even a smaller campervan utilises space. If there’s room for a couch in a campervan, it can probably also be folded out into a bed. Tables can be folded out to be a large dinner table, or folded into a small counter space, desk, or folded all the way in to be stowed away. Perhaps the bed lifts up easily to show hidden storage underneath.
Keep all these in mind when looking at designer furniture. Although you won’t be so limited in space as a campervan, you should still be looking for furniture that has multiple purposes. Maybe that coffee table doesn’t have to be a full coffee table, and can serve as both a coffee table and a place to eat, with storage underneath. Your fireplace can be not only used for warmth, but also a decorative point for the room, and a place to keep your TV above it. Look at these other ideas for creative use of your fireplace to keep the inspiration going.
- Keep it simple
The less furniture you have in your space, the more room you’ll have and the larger it will look. Now, obviously you have to have some furniture in there, so with what you already have, see what you love the most and get rid of the rest. If the furniture you have doesn’t match or is old or worn out, considering bringing in an upholstery specialist to bring some new life to your furniture. A reupholstered couch can totally transform the piece and your living room as well, without having to purchase brand new pieces.
Hire painters to come in, or do it yourself if you’ve got some painting experience, to brighten up the space. This is key, especially if you’ll be using less furniture. You might think that having less furniture will make the space boring, but this is where a great paint job comes in. The general, and quite outdated rule, is that you must keep small spaces bright and white. This is definitely not the case anymore, and on the contrary, you can make some strikingly spacious visuals with a great coat of paint. Take a look at this article for ideas for painting in small spaces.
- Heating and cooling
Using a heat pump is a great way to keep a small space warm and cozy, which is all part of making your space feel like a home. If your home doesn’t feel, like home, then it can feel cramped and unfriendly. Get a heat pump installed right away for a reasonable price and for keeping your space heated at a cost effective amount. Small areas can also feel stuffy without proper air flow, so make sure you have proper air conditioning to combat that as well.
- Use large decorative items
When you fill a room with a lot of small items, it starts to make the room look cluttered. Combat this by buying larger decorations that sit on their own, versus using a lot of little things to fill a room. For example, use one large piece of artwork, like the ones shown here, to create a focal point in the room. Once you’ve found a large piece of art that you love and that you can live with for a long time, then use smaller pieces that tie into it. This will create a defined look to each room, without overpowering it with a lot of clutter.
After you’ve mastered these six basic tips for making your small space feel larger, you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how large the space actually feels. Congratulate yourself for the work you’ve put into it, and get on with enjoying yourself in your beautiful, small, but totally livable home!