We all could do with more space and bigger rooms, at least sometimes. Whether it’s a small sitting room, a cramped kitchen, or a tiny study – or even a whole studio flat of less than generous dimensions – some basic decorating tips will apply to all such spaces.
Appropriately sized furniture
Don’t stuff the small space with oversized furniture that people can’t even walk around, but also, don’t clutter it up with lots of small items. In fact, if in doubt, choose one or two normally-sized pieces and build the rest of the room (sparingly) around those.
In a living room or a bedroom, sofas and chairs without arm-rests will help you make the space feel more open, bigger and will also make it easier for people to move around.
Don’t buy too-small a rug. A rug that doesn’t extend far enough (at least under the front legs of the furniture) is a big mistake in a small room, and will make it feel even smaller than it really is.
Avoiding an impression of loads of small furniture piled up in a cramped space is the most important. The biggest enemy of small rooms is clutter, of which in our next tip.
Remove as much clutter as you can
There is nothing that will make a small space appear bigger than removing clutter. Tidying up is more important in small rooms, and not just because things get lost more easily in messy piles. Clutter takes up space, visually and practically.
Invest in good storage, and cull unnecessary ornaments and rarely-used objects ruthlessly. Putting things away into concealed storage, creating clean free of unnecessary stuff with perhaps one or two ornaments, and avoiding busy looks will all go a long way towards making your interior more visually spacious.
Avoid fussy styles
Visual clutter doesn’t just consist of numerous small objects crowding surfaces and walls. Busy, fussy styles also cramp small spaces. Clean, simple lines and sparsely used patterns are better. If you love ornate designs, pick one statement item, for example a mirror, an art work, a throw, and build a more restrained background around that.
Use lighter colours and maximise light
Bright, lightly coloured spaces feel more spacious. This doesn’t mean you can’t use dark paints or dark furniture, but combine them with lighter colours to avoid a crowded, compressed look.
A light-painted ceiling will seem higher, while painting a top part of the wall the same colour as the ceiling with darker colour lower down will enhance this effect.
Mirrors can be used to visually enlarge the room too. Make sure what is reflected is attractive!
Complement the look with large artwork with wide mounts
Just like with furniture, it’s better to use a few larger pieces, ideally in lighter coloured frames. Wider mounts will also help you to create an impression of effortless spaciousness.
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