Create an illusion of space

Space is becoming a rare commodity these days, as many modern homes are built with smaller rooms and lower ceilings. There are many ways of creating an illusion of space, without actually changing the size of a room.

Small rooms can often be a problem when it comes to furnishing and decorating. Pieces of furniture that look perfect in the showroom, will often appear too bulky or overbearing in a confined space and end up giving the whole room a cluttered appearance.
Structural alterations, such as taking out a dividing wall between two small rooms to create on larger one, are not always practical. Even smaller projects like removing a chimneybreast can be expensive and time-consuming. More over, they do not always achieve the desired feeling of spaciousness. However, there are simpler ways of creating an illusion of space without necessarily changing the size of the room.
Colour schemes
It is a well-known rule that light, plain colours will make a room appear larger. However, large expanses of plain wall can also make a room seem very boring, especially if it is already rather small and box-like. Bear in mind that light-coloured wallpaper with a small pattern can achieve the same sense of spaciousness without looking so dull.
Choose complimentary shades, such as stone and beige for example, or perhaps two or three shades of the same pastel or earthy tone. Do not use more that two different colours or you will make the room look too busy and break up the smooth, continuous lines you are aiming for. Paint ceilings white or similarly light and bright colour.
To overcome problems of an ill-proportioned, narrow room, keep the emphasis on horizontal lines. Bold stripes or more subtle horizontal patterns will help to make the room look wider. If the ceiling is very high, paint it in a darker, toning shade. You might even consider bringing a band of paint part of the way down the wall for added interest.
Continuous flooring, such as fitted wall-to-wall carpeting or laminate flooring for example, will make a room appear far more spacious. Choose a colour that is similar to that on the walls so that the edge where they join is less noticeable. Patterned carpets should be avoided, as they tend to make a room look cluttered.
Good lighting is important in a small room and should be carefully planned and positioned. Avoid bright lights that cast a harsh glare in every corner – these simply emphasise the smallness of the room. Soft, recessed or concealed lighting is far better and d leaves the edges of the room in less abrupt shadow. Wall lights are probably more suitable than one single ceiling pendant, with freestanding lamps to provide direct task lighting where it is needed. Used concealed strip lighting in bookshelves, around alcoves and mirrors, around windows, and perhaps focus a spotlight on an attractive picture or ornament.
Both curtains and blinds can be used to help create the illusion of space, but in precisely the opposite ways. Simple roller blinds that fit the windows exactly are best to give a feeling of space and are especially suitable for small windows. Select plain colours that have a similar tone as the walls and avoid fussy distractions, such as tassels or fringes. Venetian and Roman blinds are less suitable, as they tend to draw attention to the window.

Curtains, on the other hand, should be long – nearly reaching the floor – and hung from a rail extended out beyond the sides of the window to make it seem larger. If there are two or more windows side by side, it is advisable to curtain the entire wall – hanging separate pairs of curtains would create a cluttered aesthetic.
Mirrors and glass
Mirrors are probably one of the simplest and most attractive ways of creating illusions of space and also of making dark rooms seem lighter. An obvious way of using mirrors to make a room appear more spacious is to cover one complete wall with them. Remove any skirtings and picture rails and fix the mirrors from ceiling to floor for the best effect.
Mirrors behind shelves, in alcoves, and between two windows, reflect the room and make it look bigger, without making your guests feel compelled to look at themselves all the time. A small bedroom can seem double its real size with mirror-fronted sliding door son a wardrobe.
Ingenious use of plain glass can also help to create the illusion of space. Glass-topped tables look less bulky than solid ones. Glass shelves are light and unobtrusive and ideal for displaying delicate ornaments. Sliding glass doors fitted on to open shelves will help to protect books and ornament displays and at the same time, help to reflect light in the dining room.

Doors with one or more glass panels, whether plain or ridged, can make a very considerable difference to a small space. Not only do they let more light into the area, but also they form a less substantial barrier.
When it comes to choosing furniture. Look for low-level pieces rather than tall ones that will simply make the room seem cramped. Avoid buying lots of bits and pieces, and choose a few, well designed and complementary pieces instead. Remember that heavily patterned upholstery is best avoided, however, textured materials are a very good option. Choose colours and materials that tone in well with the colour of the walls and the flooring. If you feel like it is looking a bit monochromatic and flat, add some bright, contrasting colour with some patterned scatter cushions.
Make sure the furniture you choose is in proportion to the size of the room in which it will be housed. For example – an oversized bed squeezed into a small bedroom will only make the room appear even smaller than it is. Whatever furniture you choose, arrange it carefully to make the best use of your floor space and ensure that you provide adequate passageways through the room.

Nothing makes a small room look even smaller than a lot of clutter. Wherever possible, get things out of the way and into cupboards or shelves. Choose your storage unit with care and avoid large designs that occupy the whole wall, as they can be somewhat overpowering in a small space. – Antonella Desi

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment