Want to make your house look light, airy and spacious? As these doable tips show, decorating techniques can go a long way in making your place feel bigger.
How to make a small home look and feel bigger
by: Jane Ryder
Are you tired of your small home looking and feeling cramped? The good news is that making it more spacious is more about decorating techniques and less about the amount of floor space or size of the budget.
And there’s more good news: making your home light, airy and spacious will not only improve its look and livability but may help achieve a higher resale price. So, whether you’re building a new home, about to embark on a major renovation, or up for a bit of redecorating, these doable tips will make any room in your home look and feel more spacious.
Decorating tips to make your small home look and feel big
Try these clever decorating tips to create a fresh, more spacious look and ambience in your small home.
Before we talk style and colour, keep in mind that less furniture is best for achieving a spacious look. Perhaps there are a few pieces that you could remove to make more space? Many designers recommend for living areas two couches, or one couch and one or two chairs – and no more than two coffee tables.
Furnishings in white and light colours – think pale grey, ivory, cream, beige and pale timber finishes – instantly make any room look and feel bigger and coordinate well with other colours, making decorating easier.
You can still have some colour, added as an accent; decorative pieces and cushions in red and navy give a nautical or French look while rose quartz, gold and black create a sophisticated look when matched with a light grey palette. Refrain from adding too many colours and patterns as it will create a busy, crowded look which makes any room look smaller.
In addition to light coloured furniture, choose designs that aren’t bulky and have legs – this means there’s space below each piece which gives a look and feel of spaciousness. Likewise, open cabinets and bookcases – those without doors or backs – don’t fill in a room and ‘steal’ precious space. Open shelves also provide handy display space for your decorative pieces.
Now for furniture placement: Instead of pushing your couches and coffee table together or jamming them up against a wall or two, which creates a crammed, tight-for-space look, bring them into the centre of the room. The distance between them and the wall will create a sense of space.
We can’t discuss furniture repositioning without talking about hallways. If you would like your hall to look and feel larger, remove all furniture, including umbrella and hat stands; aside from making them easier to navigate, nothing says cluttered and pokey like passageway obstacles.
Multi-functional pieces free up limited floor space: extension dining tables and those with drop-down sides, coffee tables, ottomans and ensemble beds with built-in storage, and any pieces that fold out or away are great space-savers. Clear glass-topped coffee tables also make a space look bigger as they let you see the floor below and don’t break up the flow of the room. Built-in bookcases and benches, if you have the right spot, are also a way to free up floor space.
Bulky curtains rob an interior of valuable space and reduce the amount of natural light, which is essential for creating an airy, spacious interior. Sheer white or light-coloured curtains or slimline roller blinds will seamlessly blend in with surrounding white and pale coloured walls and not intrude into the room.
Hanging curtains between just below the cornice and at least half a metre above the window frame, and then letting the drop almost touch the floor will make your ceiling appear higher and your interior more spacious.
A room that is free of clutter and has limited decorative pieces looks more spacious so edit each room with a keen eye. If you love to fill every available surface with your cherished decorative pieces and art work you may need a friend or family member to help you cull. You don’t have to give them away – simply store them and rotate your pieces regularly to instantly refresh your interiors.
Large, solid pendant lights can overwhelm and dominate a small room; instead, install small ones, preferably in clear glass and open designs that let light through. To free up floor space, fit wall mounted lighting instead of standard lamps.
Once again, whatever your renovation plans are, don’t forget that with some smart home improvements, you can really give your small space a functional and aesthetic lift – making it more livable for you, and even more appealing to the market.
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