Clever ways to make a small home look bigger…

The definition of an illusionist is ‘a person who performs tricks that deceive the eye; a magician’. The good news is, you don’t need to be David Copperfield to make your small home look bigger.

There are a number of clever strategies you can implement within your home to give the illusion of space; you’ve just got to know where to start!

Let there be light:

One of the key ways you can make a room look bigger is by painting the walls in a pale hue. This doesn’t need to be stark white; there are lots of shades that will give the same illusion and make your space appear larger. Windows and natural light also play a key part here. Dependant on where the room is in your home, and what its function is, try having no window coverings, or something discreet like a Holland blind that does not catch the eye. If you’re a stickler for curtains, consider mounting them at a higher and wider point than the window frame, as this will make the window look bigger and allow greater light flow. Using mirrors opposite windows can also be a great illusion as they reflect light beautifully.

Invest in smart furniture:

No, this doesn’t mean your sofa will do your kids homework or your coffee table will make you breakfast; though in the future, who knows! Choosing smart furniture pieces relates to their function within your space. Do you need a coffee table as well as an ottoman? Do you need a console table and a desk? Furniture that has a double duty means there is less floorspace being used and this creates more open space. Likewise, when choosing furniture, consider buying pieces that are elevated on legs, rather than sitting flat on the floor as this allows the eyes to be drawn to the empty space underneath.

Understand proportion:

The size and arrangement of your furniture can play a big part in making your space look larger than it actually is. Many people make the assumption that smaller items will make a room look bigger but actually nothing could be further from the truth. When considering art work for the walls, you’re better to go for one large piece that becomes a feature. Rugs should be oversized rather than minimal as per this excellent guide ( https://www.wayfair.com/ideas-and-advice/area-rug-size-guide-S4828.html ) and furniture should be positioned away from walls, couches and sofas in particular, to create a feeling of space. When searching for accessories, you should adopt the Cantaloupe Rule. This is where you try to avoid decorator items smaller than a cantaloupe or rockmelon; following this allows you to define whether items will appear as clutter rather than decor.

Adopt a minimalist approach:

Nothing makes the walls close in on you like clutter. And the more physical items you have, the more likely it is that eventually they’ll take over your life. This doesn’t just include what you can see on your surfaces; it also includes things you have in drawers, boxes and on wardrobe shelving. Start by getting rid of anything in these areas that you really don’t need. Paper items like bills and receipts can be scanned into electronic storage or kept in one very organised place if originals are required. Then turn your hand to the things that you see every day. You don’t have to compromise your own style, but rather than a gaggle of things, find a few hero pieces and give them the attention they deserve. Another way to combat clutter is to make a rule with yourself. When you buy a new item, one existing item must be thrown away or even better, taken to the local op shop for recycling. Let someone else love a piece as much as you once did.

A place for everything, and everything in its place:

Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to organise everything, and it’s here that having good storage solutions is vital. Again, this is where smart furniture can come in to play. Many ottomans have a cushion that lifts up/out to access storage space underneath, as do some sofas. Explore Pinterest and search ‘storage hacks’; you’ll be amazed by some of the ideas people have, and how easy it really is to find storage solutions that can work with you to achieve the desired outcome.

If you feel like you’re a prisoner in your own home, and like the walls are closing in, look around and start making a note of what might be causing this. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to overhaul your internal spaces, and the feeling of clarity and satisfaction at the end will be worth the effort. And if you do come across the coffee table that makes breakfast for you… let us in on where we can get one!

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