7 surprisingly easy ways to make your room look larger

Follow these simple tips to make your small room look bigger, less cluttered and sumptuous

Living room

One of the organising challenges we often face is how to make good use of our space to make a small room look larger. Here are seven different ways we can do this with minimal effort.

1. Make good use of mirrors

Strategically placed mirrors can reflect light in a room and will add the illusion of square footage without costly renovation. You have plenty of options here, from freestanding mirrors to reflective tiles. Go through the room and figure out where a mirror or two might be appropriate and attractive. I recommend at least one over-sized mirror as opposed to many small ones.

2. Cut back on clutter

Clutter results in a feeling of confinement, even in medium to large-sized rooms. If you have clutter, like stacks of unread magazines, overstuffed bookshelves, toys strewn about, extra seating for the 20 guests that ‘might’ visit all at once, and random items on every surface, start clearing it away. You’ll automatically open up more space.

3. Avoid bulky and unneeded furniture

The more bulky your furniture, the more space it’s taking up and the smaller your room is going to look and feel. If you’re feeling cramped, it may be a good time to sell what you have and purchase furniture more appropriately-sized for your space. You may even be able to switch furniture from one room to another. Perhaps you don’t need a bookcase in your living room, for example, and it can be transported into your home office or bedroom.

In addition, sometimes furniture doesn’t need to be in a room at all times, especially if it isn’t used very often. For instance, if there is an extra dresser in a room for your sister who only visits once a year, perhaps you can move it out of the room it’s in, and into your store room to help you store other materials. Sliders will help you easily move furniture from one room into another as long as no stairs are involved.

4. Think about form and function

Form deals with how something looks, whereas function deals with how it actually works. When you don’t have a lot of space to work with, function is very important. For instance, maybe you have always wanted an ottoman, but it seems like a waste of space in a room that has limited square footage to begin with. In this case, you might opt for an ottoman that ‘opens’ and provides you with extra storage space.

5. Paint colour matters

A ceiling that’s painted white will draw the eye upward and immediately give your room a larger look… it will make the ceiling appear taller. At the same time, try not to paint the walls of a small room in a dark colour. Dark colours give the illusion of small, and light colours give the illusion of big.

6. Go for fewer, larger room accessories

Very often, when people have a small room to begin with, they choose many small, decorative items. However, doing this ends up making a room look even more crowded. Choose just a few select home décor items that are larger than a watermelon, but pack a punch in colour and style. Less is more.

7. Don’t cover your windows

A friend of mine doesn’t have any window treatments on her windows at all. Whenever I walk into her home, which in reality isn’t that large, I feel like I’m in a mansion. The light pours in and every room seems huge. Just because curtains and drapery is the way many people go, doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Worried about privacy? Just get shades that can be pulled down in the evening, and kept up for the remainder of the day. Check out this article for help on how to choose the perfect curtains for your windows.

This was first published in the June 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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