Friday, 25 February 2011

Making small bigger

Organization is the key to making a small space look bigger

None of us want our small rooms to look poky so how do you make the space look bigger; with the right furniture and lighting all becomes possible! Learning a few tips and tricks on how to decorate a small space will make all the difference between the room feeling spacious instead of cramped.

1. Keep The Floor & Furnishings Light 
Keep the floor and the big pieces of furniture light and bright for a spacious atmosphere; try using furniture made from non traditional materials i.e.  Items made of acrylic or Lucite will keep the area feeling light and reduce the visual weight, you can add colour in with accessories. Buy accessories with lots of texture or detailing – and ideally choose some pieces with reflective qualities to bounce light around.

2. Replace Heavy Curtains

Replace a heavy curtain with a roman blind, sheer or voile drapes to allow maximum light into the room because having to accommodate stacked-back fabric will make your room feel cramped.


3. Buy Wall-Hung Furniture 
Choose wall-hung furniture to keep the floor space clearer and even a corner can feel like a real room. Try this in bathrooms or swap bedside tables for small shelf units. Essentially, the clearer the floor is, the bigger the room will feel.

4. Hide Away Clutter 
I know Clutter is inevitable but ensure your storage works really well by using every spare space to neatly hide away your stuff. The area under the bed can hide extra shoes and clothes in neat boxes to reveal extra space. With things neatly arranged and out of sight, the space will feel orderly and open.

5. Be Bold With Scale 
If you think that a small room needs small detailing, such as a tiny repeat pattern on wallpaper then you are wrong. A larger print will actually help expand the walls of your rooms much more. However, choose with care – keep the colour scheme simple, buy reflective paper if possible and don’t put it on all four walls.

6. Create An Illusion

It’s the oldest trick in the book for the simple reason that it works so a strategically placed mirror, can make a room appear substantially bigger and they can really brighten up a room plus are a great fashion piece for the wall. To achieve an illusion of depth angle the mirror towards a window, it will also allow you to maximize the benefit of the natural light. Another trick is to place mirrors in corners, allowing you to have a diagonal reflection which in turn expands the mind’s perception of the room.

7. Multipurpose Furniture

A coffee table that doubles as a chest for storing blankets/magazines or a sofa that turns into a bed (choose one that has its legs exposed); it allows the light to filter underneath making the entire room brighter and a lovely side chair or great rug can fill up the space without actually filling it up. Also dining tables with detachable leaves are effective ways of making small spaces appear larger. There are many furniture stores who specifically target apartment sized living so that you can buy luxurious, comfortable pieces that will fit your space.

8. Use colour to your advantage

Colour is one of the great tools we have for making spaces look and feel a certain way (Emotions through colour). In small spaces, the norm is to use light colours in order to make spaces feel more airy and open. But white walls can make an apartment feel bland and cold, so evaluate what hues you’re working within the upholstery of your furniture, the paintings you want to hang and the carpet/flooring and work from there. Light hues can be good neutral backdrops that offer a little more than a standard white.

9. Use multiple lighting sources

Make lighting your top priority because good lighting not only illuminates the room, throwing targeted light onto work areas but it also gives a room depth and character. Make sure to use ambient lighting which provides an area with overall illumination (chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures), task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, preparing and cooking food, doing homework (recessed, track lighting and pendant lighting as well as floor and desk lamps.) and accent lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest (track, recessed and wall-mounted picture lights.  This form of lighting is used to highlight key objects and focal points in the home. For instance, many people like to display particular pieces of artwork or other collectible items in their home. By adding light to a specific object, it helps create and set a particular mood to the area also.

If you follow these few tips I believe that you’re well on your way to optimizing your space; remember this is where you eat, sleep, read in other words its where so much of your living happens so be adventurous and get started. Remember, decluttering is therapy for your home and your mind too! It works wonders with me…


  1. A little creativity can help you find solutions to making a small room look spacious and beautiful. Before buying some furniture, look at your old ones first because they may still be useful. You know, a vintage theme is also cool for a room!

  2. Ana Aguilar-Corney25 July 2011 at 17:52

    Hi Michael,

    Indeed a vintage them is very cool but not every room will take that look and I am a great fan of upcycling furniture hence why you must see my 29th June pos "Extra! Extra! Distressed and decoupage!" it's all about reusing your old furniture. Hope you will enjoy it and thanks for your comment.

  3. Ana Aguilar-Corney25 July 2011 at 17:53

    I meant "theme"

  4. A less expensive ways to decorate small rooms and create the illusion of more space is with the use of a mirror.A decorative mirror, especially a large wall mirror, will act as a room expander when strategically placed to reflect light or an attractive element in the room. Such as a window with a scenic view, a doorway into another room, a fireplace, or artwork. 

  5. Hi Helen,

    Absolutely right hence my point number 6 about mirrors. Thank you for your comment.