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How to create space in a small room

12:24PM 30 August 2018

Pic Credit: DelightFULL

Tiny home getting you down? We can’t promise you more square footage, but we can help you make it feel bigger and less cluttered. Check out these small space ideas.

Get colour to work in your favour

While you can’t physically move the walls, you can definitely make them appear further away for the illusion  of more space. The trick is to use colours that recede from the eye - colours that are cooler  like greens and blues rather than reds, oranges and yellows. Want to incorporate bolder hues? Save them for accessories rather than painting them on the walls.

White walls can also be space stretching as they’ll reflect daylight to promote an airier feel. If it feels too clinical, opt for softer off-white rather than a super-clean architectural version – it will still carry out its light-reflecting duties.

Pic credit: The Shutter Store

Pay attention to windows

Maximising the daylight coming in is important for the illusion of space in a small room. Bulky window treatments that cut out light at the top and side of the window are therefore out of the equation. Plantation shutters are a good choice as they’ll keep your home private while allowing daylight through. A great example of shutters optimising a small room's light is our customer Steph's white shutters she installed to her bathroom. A blind would have looked out of place in this room, making it look darker. Opting for white shutters kept the room looking stylish whilst letting light pour in. 

Our cafe-style shutters are fixed to only the lower half of the window and are a great choice to maximise light too. They allow light streaming through the top half of your window, and opting for light colours like our Pure White, Bisque or Alabaster keeps the room feeling spacious. 

Layer the lighting

Good artificial lighting is also essential for the illusion of space in a small room – and can be particularly important in studio apartment design as windows here may be limited in number and size. Don’t rely on single ceiling lights as they may leave corners of the space in shadow. Wall lights are a good way to supplement this background light.

Use additional lighting such as floor and table lamps to create pools of illumination for different zones as well because perceiving separate areas will also make an apartment feel larger.

Pic credit: Sofa.com

Find the right seating

To make a small apartment feel bigger, pay attention to the shape and lines of seating. A sofa with large, scrolled arms can make it harder to fit in additional seating and block walkways through the room without having any more actual sitting space than a version with narrow, upright arms or none at all. Low backed couches can be a good idea as they’ll look less imposing. Seating on legs will also help a small apartment feel larger because you can see more of the floor.

Be flexible, too, in your approach to seating. A combination of chairs might be a better fit than a sofa. Alternatively, although it might seem impossible, a sectional that hugs two walls could actually end up making best use of the space available.

Select great furniture

To avoid filling a small apartment with too many different pieces of furniture, it pays to go upwards, for example with a wall of storage you can organise so the least used items are placed highest. Think about whether it should be open or closed – or a mixture of both. Being able to hide away unsightly items will keep a home more ordered and therefore more spacious looking.

Wall-hung storage can also help make a small apartment feel larger. Just like seating that has legs rather than sitting on the floor, it leaves the floor on show so the eye appreciates the full dimensions of the room. It’s a trick worth bearing in mind if you’re refitting a bathroom, too.

Look out for furniture that performs two tasks in one. A storage ottoman, for example, lets you stow stuff inside, and provides an extra seat, while a side table with a drawer will earn its keep better than a tabletop with legs.

Think about how you arrange furniture too. A symmetrical layout can help a space feel ordered and therefore larger.

Pic credit: Abode Living

Employ clever decorative tactics

There are plenty of strategies you can use that’ll give the illusion of extra space in a small home. A striped floor rug can draw the eye to the edges of the room in a way that makes it feel bigger, and floor to ceiling drapery will lead it upwards to add height.

The addition of mirrors may be a classic decorating trick, but it’s a winning one. They’ll multiply light and create extra views that make even the tiniest home feel as if it has more to it.

Other reflective surfaces can also assist in a mission to make a small room look bigger. Go for lighting and accessories in metallic and glass finishes.

Small studio flat ideas

We could list tonnes of ideas to make a small studio flat feel bigger. Here are just a handful...
  • Use low storage and open dividers to zone bedroom, living and kitchen space.
  • Raise the bed on a platform to make it appear apart from the rest of the living area.
  • Use ceiling-hung storage to avoid filling the floor. Plants can be suspended, too.
  • Incorporate fold-down surfaces for desks or dining tables.
  • Use rugs to zone different areas and help the eye see them.

Want some inspiration from real homes? Take a look inside some of our customer's homes for lots of examples of how they've styled small spaces.