How to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger
Space is an expensive commodity. Many of us live in apartments and those in houses rarely have sprawling mansions. So one of the design questions I often get asked is ‘how do I make my small space feel bigger?’. Here are some tips and tricks that I hope you will find useful to create more room in your own home.
Use lighter colours
This is my number one go-to for making a space feel larger than it is. Light colours reflect natural light and make a space feel much airier. Darker colours will make walls feel like they are closing in on you, so you want to avoid this unless you are going for a ‘cosy’ look. White is always my default on walls of small spaces! If you can't change your finishes, consider a white rug like this one from our Cedar & Sno online store.
Nothing makes a space feel smaller than being stuffed with too many things. It’s amazing what a thorough sorting through of your belongings can do! Many houses look cramped, not because they are actually small, but because they are cluttered. Curating your stuff feels pretty good, so give it a go! See my post on the Kon Mari method for more tips on effective tidying.
Make sure your furniture is to scale
This follows on from the above, but having oversize furniture in a small room can definitely make it feel smaller than it is. We had this problem when we moved from a larger house to a smaller one, so had to simply get rid of or store some items that didn’t fit (like a whole section of our couch!). Less is definitely more in this case. Speaking of couches, having a modular couch is really handy in this way, as you can adapt it somewhat to the size of the room. So before you go out and buy that massive dining table or over-stuffed sofa, think about it’s dimensions and how much space it will really take up in your home, versus what you actually need for your family and entertainment.
Keep it simple
Lots of colours and different styles of furniture or mismatched belongings can also make a space feel much busier and cluttered than it actually is. Keeping to just a few colours and matching styles in your furniture and decor can help a small space feel cohesive and much more pleasant on the eye, rather than like a squishy storage room!
Add a bench seat
If you do happen to have a very large table, but a small dining/kitchen area, a way to save space is to include a bench seat. This could be in-built into the wall or your kitchen island, or you could use a pew like we did to create more room around the table.
Mirrors are an amazing way to trick the eye into seeing more than is there. Wall to floor mirrors can make a very dramatic impact on the size of a space, but even a wall mirror can help reflect light and views. Make sure you hang it at eye level or lower in this case.
Get creative with storage
Small houses in Europe always seemed to do this really well! There was storage in the seat, under the couch, in ceiling-height overhead cupboards, in ottomans, in wall nooks. Keeping a space uncluttered can be difficult, so after you’ve culled your unnecessary belongings, storage is your best friend. I use the space under our couches and on top of our wardrobe to keep many things that I don’t want displayed but use fairly often.
Add a skylight
This is a more expensive addition of course, but it can really add light and space into a cramped area as it draws your eye upwards. It’s a great way to get light into a room that may not have a natural vista or windows at all, like a bathroom or study nook.
We have a small house with a small dining area, so we added french doors out onto a deck to create a multi-purpose entertaining space that can now seat twice as many people (in summer anyway!). Building a deck is a much cheaper alternative to an extension and can really help a room feel bigger too if you have the option to add window doors.
I hope some of these tips were helpful for making your own spaces brighter and bigger!
Men vennlig Hilsen,