Size of your home cramping your style? Cheat your way to bigger rooms with these great ideas. By Sarah Warwick
1. Add a big mirror
You needn’t stick to light shades to make rooms feel bigger – dark colours won’t necessarily make a room feel smaller, although it does need good natural light. However, whatever you choose, hanging a mirror – and the bigger the better – will enlargen the space visually and bounce the light around.
2. Keep the floor & furnishings light
Take the easy route and keep the floor and the big pieces of furniture light and bright for a spacious atmosphere – you can add colour in with accessories.
3. Emphasise the vertical
Vertical lines lead the eye up and down, making a room seem taller visually than it really is. So, striped blinds, a striped wallpaper, the tall posts of a four-poster bed or the tall stem of a standard lamp will all do the trick.
4. Make your scheme tone
If your room is a busy one it makes sense to make the scheme as neutral and toning as possible. This will help make it look both neater and bigger. If you want to add interest, buy accessories with lots of texture or detailing – and ideally choose some pieces with reflective qualities to bounce light around.
5. Introduce glass
If you’re renovating, removing parts of walls and replacing them with glass panels, enlarging windows or even fitting new skylights will all make the room lighter – and provide a view beyond the room into the next room or outside. Check with your local council for planning and building control issues first.
6. Use visual tricks
There are various ways to make floors and walls look wider – one being to use stripes, as here. Another trick is to lay chequered floor tiles diagonally within a space. Plus, you should always ensure that ceilings, from the picture rail upwards, are painted in a lighter colour than the walls (ideally white).
7. Replace heavy curtains
Replace a curtain with a Roman blind in a small room as having to accommodate stacked-back fabric will make your room feel cramped.
8. Keep the walls pale
Use a light neutral on the walls as the eye will perceive the colour as receding – in other words further away!
9. Cut down on furniture
Keeping furniture to a minimum in a small room will help it feel larger. For instance, swap a bedside table for a chest of drawers that’ll do double duty as a nightstand and you won’t need to overcrowd your bedroom with furniture that cuts down on floor space.
10. Buy wall–hung furniture
Choose wall-hung furniture to keep the floor space clearer and even a corner can feel like a real room. Try this in bathrooms, particularly, or swap bedside tables for small shelf units. Essentially, the clearer the floor is, the bigger the room will feel.
For more shopping advice and how to guides on designing your home visit Channel 4 / 4Homes
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