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How to make a small room look bigger and brighter

Published: 2nd November 2017

Small bedrooms and sitting areas can feel cosy and homely, especially if you live in an older property. But when it comes to family rooms, kitchens and home offices, we often want to make the rooms feel brighter and more spacious.

If you live in a smaller home and want to create the illusion of a bigger space, follow these 5 tips:

1. Use light colours

It’s well known that dark colours make a space feel smaller. Lots of dark shades can make the walls seem closer together and make an already tight space even smaller. Light colours on the other hand (off white, pastel tones, etc.) feel bright, airy, and can immediately open up the space.

If you find curtains that are the same colour as your walls this can also help to not weigh down the room, and hanging floor length curtains high (an inch or so from the ceiling) can make the walls feel taller.

Tip: If you paint skirting boards a slightly lighter colour than the walls, this can create the illusion of the walls being further away and help make the room seem bigger.

2. Use mirrors

Mirrors are great for smaller rooms. They reflect light around the space and when placed strategically, they can do wonders for adding dimension to a room.

A solid wall can feel quite restrictive when you’re working with limited space. Hanging up a mirror can break this up and give the appearance of a larger room. And if you hang a mirror near a window, the reflection of the outdoors can be particularly impactful.

3. Allow natural light in

Flooding a room with natural light can be the most effective way to make it feel more spacious.

If you’re looking to really transform your home, installing large windows or patio doors that fill the majority of a wall will completely change the appearance of the room and open up the space. The expanse of glass will let the light pour in, and natural light can make a room feel bigger, brighter and more alive in a way that you simply can’t achieve with artificial lighting.

Tip: Pull curtains away and keep the area around your windows clear of clutter, this will allow the maximum amount of natural light into the home.

4. Furnish wisely

How you choose to furnish a room can make a big difference to its perceived size.

Sofas and chairs with open sides and exposed legs, even if they are quite large pieces, often feel smaller than more solid pieces of furniture as they allow more light to pass through. The same applies to glass table tops - fewer solid pieces will allow more light to freely travel through the room and give the appearance of more space.

Make sure you keep walkways clear of furniture - not being able to see a clear path when you enter a room will immediately close the room and make it feel smaller. Be thoughtful about your furniture positioning - you don’t necessarily need to push your sofa back against the wall, but make sure you know where all the key walkways are, and keep them empty.

5. Think minimalist

Too many pictures will make the walls feel like they’re closing in on you, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep the walls empty. Instead, opt for just one large piece of art that fills the space, but doesn’t overpower it.

Tip: If you want to keep wall art in frames, consider thin, sleek frames instead of bulky, ornate ones. They won’t take up as much space and they’ll allow the art be the focal point.

Follow this same rule for your decorating as a whole. A small space doesn’t mean you can’t use large furniture or decorations. Lots of small decor items will look cluttered, and even if they don’t actually take up too much space, they can still make a room feel smaller and darker.

One of the best things you can do when decorating a smaller space is use the ‘Cantaloupe Rule’. All decor items you have in your home should be the size of a melon or bigger. It will make you think more about the items you’re putting into the room, and prevent you going overboard with the clutter.

 

Making a small space feel bigger is by no means impossible. From a few tweaks to the layout of your furniture, to making full use of your windows or installing a patio door, there are plenty of ways to make the most of a small space, without compromising the charm of cottages or historic homes.

If you live in a smaller home and are looking to bring more light into the space, contact us via the website, or call Lockwood Windows on 01484 519677 to find out which windows and doors would work best for your home.