5 Small Space Design Tips To Make A Room Look Bigger

February 9, 2018 17:45

The way your living space looks and feels depends not on its square footage, but on its essential design elements. The most important thing is how you make all these elements work together, which can result in a small space feeling roomy and inviting, or cramped and cluttered. From smart furniture arranging to color techniques and monochromatic color schemes, there are different tricks to make interiors seem more spacious. Here is a list of the most effective ones:

1. Furniture

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It is often assumed that a small room should be decorated with small furniture, but a few larger pieces of furniture will keep the space uncluttered and open, as compared to many small objects that make your home resemble an obstacle course where you bump into things. Just avoid anything that looks heavy and chunky. Opt for furniture on legs so it’s elevated — this also creates a sense of light and space.

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Consider investing in furniture that has hidden storage, can be transformed or folded, is convertible into separate pieces, or simply serves a dual purpose. Modern technologies and mechanisms have succeeded at translating that fictional 'transformer' concept into reality, maximizing functionality and convenience. Murphy beds, storage beds, sectional sleeper sofas, and expandable dining tables are the most popular options. Things like a 2-in-1 mirror and ironing table combo, mirror and small cabinet combo, a bench or an ottoman with hidden storage are also great space-saving solutions.

A wall mounted fold down table is a great hack for spaces where a regular desk or kitchen table just wouldn't be possible. It is also an awesome way to afford extra working or dining space without a cramped and cluttered look, as a wall mounted table folds out of the way when not in use. It can even look like a picture, a mirror, or a photo frame when folded up, serving both as a decorative and functional element.

2. Materials and illusions

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Opt for furniture that blends in visually with your floors or walls, whether it is similar in color or height. Floor-to-ceiling or wall-to-wall bookcases, as well as storage systems with sliding doors are a great way to give a sense of scale and height to a space. However, if you prefer floor-to-ceiling shelving, consider a combination of closed and open shelving to avoid a cluttered look. Mirrors also give the illusion of more space.

Many people think that placing pieces of furniture against the wall in a small space is the way to go, but it isn't the best option. When you have some room around your furniture, it lends the illusion of more space, creating that ‘airy’ feel in a home. Transparent furniture — like glass and lucite — and sheer fabrics also do a great job of this, fooling the eye into believing there is more space than there actually is.

3. Decor and colors

Dariusz Jarzabek /

Keep the floors as clear as possible. This is one of the easiest ways to create an effect of spaciousness. Go for fabrics and rugs in small prints or plain colors. Think of a palette that’s light and neutral and choose soft, delicate hues, or pick different shades and tones of a single color. Contrasting colors tend to break up a space, while colors from the same color family will visually expand it. At least some of the furniture should be the same color as the walls. Keep a simple palette, both with materials and color.

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Choose window treatments made of sheer, translucent materials, or the same color as the walls. Without curtains and drapes, many small places look more open and have more natural light, but curtains that are mounted near the ceiling and fall all the way to the floor give the illusion of height.

4. Details and accent pieces

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These can introduce a pop of bright, cheerful color in an otherwise monochromatic or toned-down interior, but keep their number to a minimum. Consider having one or several elements  that emphasize the vertical space to maintain a feeling of spaciousness, movement, and flow. Keep counter tops and tables free of clutter. Don’t cover your walls or open shelves with a group of small objects — one large painting or statement piece works better, otherwise the room may feel busy and crowded.

5. Lighting

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Rather than having one light source such as overhead lights, add several lighting elements located in different spots around the room to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. You can also choose wall-mounted lamps instead of floor-standing ones to save space. Recessed lighting is another great way to increase the amount of light in a room, to get a streamlined look and open up spaces.

Anything that creates a sense of dynamism and causes your eye to travel around a room gives the illusion of more space. However, the more pieces, patterns, and distracting elements you have, the more cluttered, chaotic, and crowded your living space will appear, which makes it feel smaller. Choose just a few statement or accent pieces and the rest of the room simple.

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Tips Design