Even if you don’t have much space where you live, whether it be a small apartment, office or living area, it doesn’t have to feel like you have no room. You can still transform small areas into a place that feels spacious and comfortable without having to change too much. With some smart decorating, the right colour palette and few finishing touches, you can maximise your space.

Flooring

Flooring styles help to define a space and certain flooring styles can make a small room feel even more cramped. Having multiple different flooring styles, such as floorboards, carpet, and tiles in the same space, will create the illusion of lots of tiny spaces rather than one large space. To avoid this, stick with one flooring style in a smaller area. For floorboards, choose wider boards and for tiles choose larger ones to create the illusion of a more expansive floor. Lighter-coloured floors also help to make a room feel airier so avoid dark-stained woods. When selecting rugs, round designs work better in smaller spaces as rectangular rugs can highlight the lack of remaining floor.

Choose The Right Colours

It’s a well-known rule that lighter shades will make a room appear larger because they’re reflective and help to emphasise the effects of natural light. However, it is also important to create depth in the room by layering different tones. This means that
painting everything white is not the answer. Instead, go for mostly paler colours but use different shades and textures. One way of opening up the room is to paint the skirting boards and window frames in a slightly lighter shade than the shade of the wall. A
feature wall in a darker colour or with wallpaper can create interest in a small room that helps to distract from the size of it.

small-spaces

Declutter

One of the quickest ways to make a room feel bigger, that doesn’t involve any DIY paint jobs, is to declutter. Cluttered surfaces, storage boxes, and overflowing bookshelves will instantly make a room feel more cramped. Half of the battle of decluttering is deciding what things are worth keeping and what can be thrown out. If you live or work in a small space, be brutal when deciding what to hang on to and what to get rid of. Once you’ve done this, sort through your belongings, decide what you want to display and what can be stored out of sight. Part of decluttering is making it a regular habit. Prevent cluttering from building up again by frequently tidying small areas and making sure surfaces are neat and tidy.

Storage Solutions

Once you’ve conquered your clutter, you have to find a space or spot for everything. If you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff, or furniture, that you don’t need or doesn’t fit in your space, then outsource your storage by storing everything somewhere else. The sharing economy can help you find storage spaces to rent out that aren’t being used by their owners. This provides you with a place out of sight to keep all of your stuff so that it’s not filling up useful space in your home or office. You can also be smart with your storage solutions within your home. If you don’t have much space, go vertical with your storage. Look for high spots above doors and cabinets. Floor-to-ceiling shelving will create the sense of height in a room by drawing the eye upward to the ceiling  as well as providing plenty of storage.

Multi-Purpose Furniture

Double-duty furniture is your friend if you’re working with a limited amount of room. For example, pick furniture that can also act as a storage solution or a daybed that can also be used as a sofa.

small-spacesCreative Curtains

Creating the illusion of high ceilings is another great way of making a room feel more spacious. The easiest way to achieve this is to place a curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible and to extend it over either side of the window. Next, hang long curtains that reach almost to the floor. This will make the window appear wider and allow more light to come in throughout the day because your curtains won’t block any of the window when pulled back.

Artwork Above Eye-level

Don’t fall into the trap of keeping your walls bare because you think it will make your space looked clutter. Art that is ‘visually light’ can help to open up a space – think monochromatic or text-based pieces and go for smaller pieces with larger frames. If you don’t have many windows or much natural light in your space, consider a framed nature or landscape shot that can act almost like a window. For example, a framed photograph looking out onto a beach.  Hang art higher than eye-level to add to the illusion of tall ceilings.

Mirrors

A few smartly-placed mirrors will help to maximise the sunlight in a room, bouncing the light around the space so that it appears bigger. Place mirrors opposite windows where possible. You can cover a wall in mirrors as you would artwork or place a large mirror propped up against the floor.

Guest Author: Caroline Black from Digital Exits