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How to make a room look bigger

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We would all like more space.  Humans tend to expand to fill the area within which we live.  Small rooms are an issue for some more than others.  If you are a student living in a dorm, or a city worker living in what should be called the closet rather than an apartment, then room expanding strategies are undoubtedly essential.  Although a challenge to fit your dining room, work area, entertainment system, bed, and more, into your home, it is still possible to make your space functional, and worthy of a homes and gardens magazine.

Time to take you through some of the best tips for making the most of your space.

Light equals space

The illusion of space comes from a sense of light in a room.  It is possible to make small decisions, such as choosing chairs and beds with legs.  The light passing under the furniture can prevent the creation of space diminishing shadows!

You should also be careful of windows.  Long, dark curtains can shrink a room.  You can create the illusion of space by choosing curtains in the same colour as the walls.  It would be better still if you decided to use sheer fabrics on the windows that serve to reflect additional light into a room during the day while offering you privacy.

As well as cherishing natural light, you need to beware the placement of artificial light.  A single light-fitting from the centre of the room will cause the edges of the room to disappear.  This will make the room look smaller. Choosing to spread wall fitted lights around the room will illuminate the whole space.  Up-lighting will also draw the visitor’s eye to the ceiling, which will give an impression of height to the room.

Declutter!

Obviously, to make the most of the space, you need to be sparing with the use of furniture and personal objects.  Overflowing shelves and too many small pieces of furniture will make a small space look too tiny to live in.  The best advice from experts says to leave some shelving bare.  The spare space will give a sense of roominess that a full shelf will take from you.

Apparently, if you want many knick-knacks, then you are best to colour coordinate your belongings.  However, if you are a person who usually lives in clutter, you are generally not the sort of person to put all your blue books together on a shelf.  Maybe instead follow the mantra of the Japanese, and if when you pick up an object, you no longer feel its joy, then you should pass it on to someone else.

Choose a light colour palette

We all know that dark colours make space smaller.  Therefore, it is common sense to choose creams and off-white paint when deciding on the palette of your super-size-me-space.  Better still, if you choose several shades of cream and white and use lines and angles, you could find your space appearing much, much bigger.  Oddly, if you put a bright colour on the ceiling or a darker shade, then the eyes will be drawn upwards and give an impression of more height.

When designing a colour palette, you should also include furniture.  A large, dark piece of furniture will shrink a room.  However, if you use glass or transparent furniture items, you could give the impression of more space.  Large bookcases or other large wall furniture would work best being the same colour as the walls, to give the impression of more space.

The magic of mirrors

Mirrors will do wonders to your space.  This is not so you can focus on your face, rather than the depressing tininess of your space.  Using mirrors offers two benefits: one) more light will bounce into the room, especially if the mirror is strategically placed in relationship with a window and, two) the mirror will reflect the space and create an impression of a bigger area thanks to the reflection.  It is an obvious illusion; however, most décor advice will be a means of making the most of what you have got, rather than using furniture as multi-functional pieces.

Think out of the box

Small places will always be small.  Therefore, no matter what you do, if you invite a visitor, you may be sitting knee to knee or touching thighs on your sofa.  Doing something dramatic may be your only choice.  If your apartment is the exact size of a king-sized bed, buy a king-sized bed for the whole space and put up some shelving for storage close to the ceiling – at least you will be comfortable.

If this sounds too drastic, try wall to wall benches that can double as a workspace, storage space, and a place to eat your food.

Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.

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