With space being at a premium, it is important to use yours efficiently and avoid the pitfalls that can make a space feel cramped and claustrophobic. Here are a few clever design tricks you can use to give the illusion of a more spacious environment and ensure that you gain as much functionality as possible from every inch of your square footage.
If floorspace is limited, get creative with the vertical space you have. Can you add storage to the full height of the walls in the form of wall units, shelves or hidden storage solutions? If you have high ceilings, you could introduce a mezzanine level to provide a crawl space for storage. In a bedroom you could locate the sleeping quarters on a higher level to free up valuable floor space for other activities.
The great textile designer, William Morris (1834 – 1896) had the right idea with his philosophy – if it’s not beautiful or useful, get rid of it! Be mindful of what you bring into your space and ask yourself – “Do I really need this?” The luxury of empty surfaces will be far more appealing than the visual clutter of unnecessary objects. You could also try little tricks such as hanging bedside pendant lights instead of table lamps to give you more free surfaces in your room.
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Choosing furniture with legs will enable you to see more of your floor, therefore making it appear more expansive. In the kitchen, mirrored kickplates create the same effect. Choosing a bed with space underneath allows space for pull-out storage. Your furniture layout can also help to give the feeling of more space. By positioning sofas away from the walls, it will appear that you have ample space, as opposed to cramming things in, wall to wall. Keep furniture in proportion to the room also – anything large, heavy and bulky will make the room look small in comparison.
Accentuate the longest lines in the room
Find the longest lines in the room and highlight them using directional patterns in your flooring or striped textiles or wall coverings. This will draw your eye along the line and therefore accentuate the length. You could try fitting your flooring on a 45 degree angle in the direction of the longest length to draw the eye across the room to the farthest corner.
It’s best to keep your colour palette and any fabrics light. Avoid anything too busy as this will visually clutter the space. Generally, light, cool colours work best to create an airy, spacious atmosphere which will work to accentuate the feeling of space.