My younger sister recently moved into her student apartment and the first thing she screamed out was “MUM…this place is so small!” This did make me chuckle as it reminded me of when I was at university and how hard I had to work (not just for grades) at making sure my room always looked welcoming and homely for when my friends came round. In my bid to have a nice room, the first thing I noticed straight away was that the fewer items I had in my room, the tidier and more spacious it looked! But, like most I was not prepared to get rid of all my worldly possessions (after all it had taken me a good part of an hour to convinced my dad that I did in fact need two wardrobe worth of clothes and shoes, even though there was no wardrobe to actually accommodate!).
After a few days of living in what felt like dumping ground and hours deliberating on whether to discard of my much cherished and beloved giant never used ‘sewing kit for all ages’ it dawned on me: I need to create “fake space”. But what struck me as a genius concept, I soon realised, was actually a well known fact to most people and especially to interior designers.
These are my top 5 tips to help you make a small room look BIGGER
Neatly arrange your belongings by keeping them out of sight. For example, use table cloths to conceal things under a table, use a lose fit sheet for your bed as oppose to a fitted one this enable you to cover belonging you have stored under your bed. Furthermore, invest in storage racks that hang inside wardrobes or behind doors…these are perfect for storing shoes and bags.
Try to make your room look as light and airy as possible; open windows, use light-coloured curtains and bedding. This is the oldest but most guaranteed way to make a room look larger.
Here’s a hint for others who, like me, are very fond of putting posters and art work up: use 1 large piece per wall. Creating this focal point will automatically draw the eye up and down the wall giving the illusion of height to a room. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford new art work, (although they do some great affordable pieces at IKEA) bold stripes on walls and curtains are also effective
While track-lighting is now cheaper to obtain, I had to spend quite a bit of my student loan to afford the ones I used in my room but they were so worth it! You can use track-lighting to create space by positioning the lights outward to create a sense of unending space in the room. Track-lighting worked best for me when I attached them to the main light switch in the middle of the room and because there were 3, I angled each bulb to go towards a different direction towards the edge of the room while tilting it downwards. This worked amazingly!
And lastly, if like me you’re never happy about the size of your kitchen, my advice is to put large mirrors up on the walls, creating the illusion of extended space. Furthermore, if your wallet permits, buy glass doors for your wall cabinets, this is a sure way of creating an instant ‘open’ impression.