18
Apr

Simple Strategies for Expanding Spaces

While we can’t enlargen a space without a physical transformation, there are ways we can change the perception of a room size. It’s all about using colour, light and objects to trick the eyes into telling your mind that an interior is bigger than it really is. This post is all about providing “tricks” or adjustments to make a small room appear larger.
We all have a smaller room in our homes which might not inspire us and is therefore not used to its full potential. Perhaps it’s a small bedroom, a study or a box room? If our senses aren’t stimulated, then we often ignore these areas and just use it to store junk or close it off and ignore it completely. Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll be inspired to try some of these ideas and transpose your room to regain and enjoy it.
The key when decorating a smaller room is drawing a gaze to the ceiling so that the size of the floor space is less apparent. In general, you want to keep darker colours closer to the floor and make a lighter and airier space as you move up the wall.

Declutter

Before you do anything to the room, have a good sort out and get rid of any unnecessary stuff. The less stuff you have in a room, the more spacious it will feel. This includes furniture! Try and create as much empty space as you can.

declutter-home-office
Source: myhomerepairtips.com/

Lighting

Lighting is a key element in interior design and without it, our homes would be dark, dingy and boring. The key is understanding the balance between light and shadow but it is also one of the hardest aspects to achieve.
Small rooms need light to bounce on all areas of the room, including the corners, so it’s all in the “picture” and maximising space. In the first instance, allow as much natural light in as you can (I’ll talk about that more below under curtains). Ambient, or general lighting, is also your best friend, especially when natural light is scarce. It can come through either ceiling lights or down lights. If you are able, use or install dimming switches as these can adjust the brightness or create a moody feel.  Wall sconces are a fantastic addition to general lighting as they beam up and brighten both the wall and the ceiling to give the illusion of greater dimension. Use them sparingly but choose ones with a greater beam angle as it will cover more of the “negative” or blank space that could be otherwise dark. If you have acquired some lovely art or paintings, consider accent lights which radiate onto your artpieces and bring them to life while drawing the focus away from the room itself. This picture below is a wonderful example of using downlights, a floor lamp and accent lighting to make an inviting living room.

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Source: Ruchi Designs

Lighting can also be decorative and draw focus to key features rather than to the size or height of the room. Choose a key piece that you love – this could be a striking pendant light (such as a chandelier), a stunning table lamp or statement flush ceiling light.
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Source: Tom Dixon

If your room has a lower ceiling, you want to invoke a sense of height. You can achieve this by introducing vertical shapes. Through lighting, this can be achieved through tall table lamps, tall floor lamps or long pendants that hang over a table or furniture. If your ceilings are really low, pendants aren’t a great idea in case you hit your head on them so opt for downlights. Directional rail lights can also be a great idea as they don’t hang too low and can be directed to areas requiring light around the room. The image below is an effective example of the use of pendant and monorail/track lighting.
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Source: Datasvet.ru

Colour

Colour can make or break a space and the use of colour can change perceptions. In terms of painting, have you thought about making all parts of the wall the same colour? If you go for the same hue on walls, skirting boards, doors and door frames, this will give you the illusion of a bigger space. As for the ceiling, go for a similar hue but a few shades lighter. If you are really daring there are some pretty cool metallic effect ceiling paints. The picture below shows an example of impressive finishes that will give an illustrious look and enlarge the space by bouncing light off the ceiling.
modern-chairs-dining-room-chairs-in-design-projects-by-mary-mcdonald-elegant-style           69f9eb656cb185d37dec9055a4adff92
Sources: Freshdesignpedia.com and Pinterest
The colour and tone you choose really depends on the direction in which your room lies. If it is north facing and has a lot of natural light coming through a window, opt for any cool or warm shade you like! But don’t go for something too pale, white and bright or it will appear too clinical and cold. East or west facing rooms can also be any colour, but you should mix it will warm and cool colours as the sun’s rays will capture the beauty of both depending on the time of day.
Now for an interesting fact. Did you know that studies show we perceive brighter coloured objects being closer as opposed to darker objects which seem further away? It seems counter intuitive! I am hearing you now – “what is she thinking”? Most articles I have read say that in order to make a room appear larger, you need to “opt for a light and bright colour to make the space feel more airy”. I know it’s generally said that dark colours absorb light and make a room seem smaller, but if you look at a dark feature wall next to light coloured walls, the dark recedes while the lighter colour advances.  So this brings me to a south facing room. You can choose, if you would really like a darker coloured room, charcoals, navy, chocolates and plums. Go for it! Just accessorise and furnish with lighter and neutral colours and you’ll also achieve a warm and cozy space. If that is too “out there”, go for neutral colours like pale greens, blues and even greys.

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Source: Itsoverflowing.com

At the end of the day, choose a colour you love! Don’t choose it based on trends or what other people think you should have. You are the one who will be living with it.

Mirrors

Mirrors work with the light and bounce the rays around the room. A large mirror also gives the perception of a deeper room through reflection. So where do you hang a mirror? It’s best to hang it on the opposite wall of a window so that the direct light is bounced optimally around the room. If you don’t have a window, buy a large mirror that looks a bit like a window and hang this on a wall which will get the most artificial light.

mirrors
Source: Nimvo.com

Clever Furniture and Storage

If budget allows, consider having a bespoke piece made by a joiner. Carefully consider what you need the space for and who will use it. Then try to sketch what you need built and what size it needs to be to fit perfectly. Think about the storage to cleverly hide away items that don’t need to be displayed. This could be drawers under a day bed, a TV storage cabinet that doubles as a bookcase and hides the TV or a bookcase and display area that envelopes around the back of the sofa. The list is endless but have a look on Pinterest for some ideas.
As for furniture, it should be as sleek as possible and low to the ground. For example, a low and leggy sofa with minimal armrests will make a room appear more spacious that a puffy and chunky one, even if they are the same size. Think mid-century modern! Combining furniture and lighting also gives a fantastic visual effect. If you have tall furniture, such as a bookcase, consider using an LED strip along the top. This is a great way to use negative space and make the wall appear taller!

jasa-desain-interior-apartemen
Tazora Design

Furniture with stripes can help to change the perception of a room: horizontal will widen a narrow room and vertical stripes will make a ceiling look taller. This is because your eyes run along the lines.

Curtains

A key tip with curtains: don’t buy ones that finish just below the window sill! Buy full length vertical ones to give the optical illusion of height. And if you hang the curtain rod higher to the ceiling (about 6 inches or 15 cm above the window frame) this will give an even longer illusion.  The rods should be wide enough to push the curtains as far back as possible so they are framing the window and not impeding the light.

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Source: pujadasimarti.com

Fabrics for curtains should relatively soft – you could just use a voile if privacy is important or combine it will a cotton or linen drape. Vertical stripes could come into play here if you haven’t introduced too many elsewhere – you’re decorating a room, not a zebra!

Accent Piece

Finally, choose a statement piece that demands attention but is a reflection of you as well. You’ll be amazed at how that item will always be the first thing you notice as you walk in a room and will be a key talking point. But it has to be something you love. It might take you a while to find this – don’t just go out and buy the first thing you see. It needs to reflect your being, ideas and aspirations.

Amazing Amazing Incredible Living Room Paint Colors Interior Design Ideas With Interior Design On Wall At Home
Source: Idolza.com

Enjoy your small space journey!
If you have any comments or suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comments box below. Please subscribe to my email list to get updates as well!