It will be no surprise for you to read but over the past twenty years the average UK room size has decreased. This has been mainly due to the fact that prices have been driven up over time, and in order to remain affordable the room size of a new build property has had to decrease.
You might not be living in a new build however, most of us have at least one room in our home that we’d like to be that little bit bigger.
It may be your spare bedroom where the bed takes up more space than you’d like or a livingroom where you’ve tried several set ups but nothing seems to look quite right.
With that all in mind, we often find ourselves worrying when it comes to re-decorating that we might buy the wrong furnishings or pick the wrong colours making the room seem even smaller than it is.
So here are our handy tips on making your wee room seem a little bit larger.
Tips to make the most of your small room
Furniture tips for small rooms
Aim to leave as much of your floor and walls as visible as possible, giving the impression of space.
- Pick furniture pieces with visible legs especially items like a bed, sofa or chair as they will dominate a presence within a room.
- When looking at colours use a neutral palette that twins with the lighter surroundings. Dark colours will look too heavy and draw the eye in too much.
- Furniture that is flexible such as a nest of tables, an extendable table or a sofa bed will allow them to fulfill a purpose when needed but also reduce in size when not required.
- Patterns, if you are daring go bold with a large repeat print, but work from the centre of the room out.
- Using a glass table top will let you see more of the floor and in doing so will create an illusion of space.
- Multi-functional furniture such as an ottoman which doubles up as storage and a seat .
- When positioning your furniture place it out from the corners and try where possible to leave space behind it. That way your eye is drawn past it into the corners.
- In a bedroom, consider whether floor to ceiling fitted wardrobes are an option. Cluttering up the room with lots of freestanding furniture will make it seem busy, where as you want it to seem spacious.
- Consider floor to ceiling bookcases they will make the ceiling seem higher than it is.
Storage tips for small rooms
By minimising the amount of clutter it will give a sense of tranquility and spaciousness.
- Magazines, clothing, toys they can all stack up over time taking up precious space in your home. Try and have a clear-out every six months to stay on top of it all.
- Everything should have a home. If ‘it’ doesn’t have one, do you really need it?
- Use plastic boxes or containers to keep things neatly presented in cupboards. It will make it easy to access and encourage you to put things away.
- Intentionally leave space on visible shelves and it will make the room seem more spacious.
- In alignment with the section above, furniture pieces that have a multi-purpose such as an ottoman bed are a great investment if you are struggling for storage space.
Flooring tips for small rooms
Often overlooked, but its power shouldn’t be underestimated given the expanse that it covers.
- If you are considering flooring such as LVT, Laminate, Wooden or Engineered wood it would be advisable to go for the widest floorboard plank. The more seams that you can see, the busier and more congested it looks, therefore with a wide board it will seem more spacious.
- Run planks in parallel to your longest wall to draw the eye in that direction. Alternatively lay them on a diagonal to trick the eye into thinking it is an even bigger room.
- Run the same or similar flooring between rooms to give a sense of openness.
- If considering a rug, ensure it is large enough. Smaller rugs disjoint the overall look and will draw everything in.
- As with decorating your walls lighter colours will make the room seem larger. Although, this isn’t always practical when it comes to flooring especially with kids and dogs involved! As long as you go for a fairly bright neutral it will still reflect light and give the impression of space.
- To lengthen the room you could go for striped flooring, just make sure it pulls you in the longest direction, otherwise it will have the opposite effect!
Wallpaper & paint tips for small rooms
The lighter the better when it comes to small rooms. Dark or bold colours can be too dominating and make the room seem even smaller than it is.
- A suggestion would be to find a neutral or bright colour palette and stick with it throughout the room for furnishings with perhaps the odd accent accessory.
- Painting woodwork, walls and cornicing all the same colour will make the room appear even taller
- With wallpaper, pick patterns with a cool-colour background such as green, blue or violet; it will allow the light to reflect round the room.
- Keep prints to a minimum, it acts a bit like noise; too much of it in a small space and it can be deafening, use it more as an accent .
Lighting tips for small rooms
Maximise the amount of natural light available.
- Trick the eye by using light weight curtains to frame your window. Hang them high up, just below the ceiling to elongate the room. If possible use a curtain rod that is wider in width than the window, so that you can draw the curtains back fully.
- Position either a large mirror or lots of little mirrors in the room to reflect the light. Using mirrored doors on a fitted wardrobe will make a room feel double in size. (for more info click here)
- Instead of curtains, consider blinds that you could tuck away during the day. There are so many options from Roller to Venetian and Roman. (Click here for more info)
- Don’t rely on a single main light as it will cause shadows around the edge of the room, instead spread it around with table lights, floor lamps or uplighters
When you buy a new house you fall in love with the whole home, it’s only once you move in and start to put your furniture in place that you start to realise certain rooms might be more challenging that you first thought!
It would be impossible to embrace all of the tips above, but try starting with multi-purpose furniture and letting the maximum amount of light in through your windows and then work your way out from there.
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