In today’s fast-paced world, where urban living is increasingly becoming the norm, it’s no surprise that small living spaces have gained popularity. Compact apartments, cozy studios, and tiny houses have all become trendy choices for those seeking convenience, efficiency, and sustainable living. However, living in a small space can pose its challenges and one of the most common concerns is how to create a sense of openness and spaciousness in limited square footage.
The good news is that with a few clever design tricks, strategic organisation, and a touch of creativity, you can transform even the tiniest of spaces into a more expansive and welcoming environment. Whether you’re a city dweller or an advocate of minimalism, understanding how to make small spaces feel bigger can drastically improve the functionality and ambiance of your home.
In this article, we will delve into the art of space maximisation, exploring tried-and-true techniques employed by interior designers and space-saving enthusiasts alike. From ingenious furniture choices to smart storage solutions, we will unravel the secrets that can help you optimize your living space without compromising on style or comfort.
Here are some genius ways you can make your small space feel so much bigger by doing it yourself, no interior designers or contractors are necessary.
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Decorate the ceiling
Maximizing the sense of space in a small room goes beyond just the floor and walls; don’t overlook the often-neglected fifth wall – the ceiling! An easy yet often untapped trick to create an illusion of spaciousness is to decorate the ceiling strategically. By drawing the eye upwards, you can instantly add a touch of height and openness to the room.
There are various approaches to achieve this ceiling transformation. The classic method involves painting it with light and bright colors that reflect natural light and create an airy atmosphere. Opt for soft pastels, warm neutrals, or crisp whites to maximize the effect. These light hues not only add a sense of expansiveness but also ensure that the space feels welcoming and unconfined.
If you crave a more personalized touch, consider using wallpapers with subtle patterns or even cut out stencils to add playful elements like stars or geometric shapes. When applied skillfully, these decorative touches can enhance the room’s visual depth and make it feel taller.
However, it’s crucial to avoid darker shades like black or deep colours for the ceiling, as they can create a suffocating, enclosed feeling and diminish the perception of space. Instead, stick with light, refreshing shades to maintain an open and inviting ambiance.
To bring your ceiling-decorating endeavors to life, you’ll need a sturdy stepladder to access the highest points. With a bit of creativity and some well-chosen materials, you’ll soon discover that beautifying your ceiling is one of the simplest yet most effective tricks in making your small space feel bigger and brighter.
Multi-purpose furniture is ace
If you’re a dab hand at woodwork and pretty confident when it comes to DIYing tables and whatnot, then you might want to find a way of adding a storage solution to each piece you create, because having furniture that doubles up as a hiding place is a great way to add more space. Add cable tidies to the back of a desk to keep unsightly wires out of sight and to stop cluttering up your small space, for example. If you’re not able to build such masterpieces yourself, however, there are plenty of coffee tables, ottomans and desks out there that have built-in storage, which you need to get your hands on ASAP.
Lighten the walls & floors
Dark colours are fantastic at making a space feel warm, welcoming and fifty shades of cosy, and it’s all to do with the way darker shades soak up the light; absorbing it instead of reflecting it. So if you flip that whole concept on its head, it becomes easy to understand why you need to stock up on white (or light) paint. Instead of pulling a space in, they will reflect the natural light of your space and push the walls out more. But don’t stop at white walls.
To break the monotony of the white wall you can layer them with some bright colours. Some beautiful sunflower paintings with bright and soothing natural shades will look fantastic. It will bring the required colour, texture, and focal point to the room. Try opting for lighter flooring too. Sand down your heavily varnished floorboards, lay down a few light rugs or opt for some bright lino tiles, all of which will give a room that airy feeling you are after.
Don’t touch the sides
You might not have realised this, but when you push your furniture up against the walls (like everyone does to try and create more central floor space), you are actually making your rooms look and feel more cramped. We’re not saying you need to bring everything in a few metres because that just isn’t possible. But even a couple of inches between your bigger furniture items and your walls will make a world of difference.
It will open the space up and give off that impression you can afford the space around your furnishings. Pull your sofas out, opt for a freestanding gas log burner, and take your chairs in a couple of inches. It all works. What’s more, you can get your woodwork on by creating some console tables to slip in behind your sofas so that space isn’t entirely wasted. Genius.
Raise your shelves up
Just like in the first point, by raising your shelves so that they hang just below the ceiling, you will be forcing the eye to look upward and that will create the illusion of more space. It’s about using that space between your window and the ceiling, or the forgotten area above your door frames to pop your books and ornamental pieces. As we all know, hanging a bookshelf isn’t rocket science, but the outcome of it can be incredible.
The honeydew melon rule
You may or may not have come across this rule, but it’s as simple as it is effective. When it comes to decorating a space you want to feel bigger, make sure you aren’t picking up accent pieces and trinkets that are any smaller than a honeydew melon. Lots of little things will simply make a room feel crowded. Instead opt for fewer items but bigger ones. That’s how to make a space feel that little dollop bigger.
Dramatic artwork always wins
It can be so tempting to fill an empty wall with lots of little pieces of art and photographs and prints and all that sort of stuff to make it look like your walls are big enough to handle lots of little bits and pieces. Lots of little bits, however, can make a wall seem smaller and cramped as it looks more cluttered instead of open and spacious. If you really want to make your space feel bigger, you want to dispel the idea of a gallery wall and choose art pieces that are big and bold and fill the entire space as much as possible. Just make sure you are going for art that a) you absolutely love and b) is done with light colours so that the light is being reflected. That’s how to do it best.