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7 Design Tricks to Create the Illusion of a Spacious room

Do you have a small room that you have no idea how to properly decorate and inevitably deplore? Looking to add some unique style to your small space so you can enjoy the experience of a small, cosy space that you so deserve? We've curated a list of various tricks of the eye that you can apply to make your small room look bigger, more comfortable, and properly decorated.

Let's begin with the root cause that doesn't let you think clearly when it comes to decorating a small space and why you should not naturally despise your small space. Small spaces are easier to decorate, feel cosier, easier to maintain, clean and organize. What better reason to love your little room?

  • CLUTTER, CLUTTER What makes a room look cramped, first and foremost, is too much of everything, everywhere. Decluttering and storage boxes, units are your best friends. Neatly arrange and organise things, so they're out of view, so that your room feels in order, clean and open. Use gorgeous looking storage pieces as décor so you don't always have to hide it, like wicker hampers, baskets, trunks, wooden crates and barrels, galvanised or copper buckets, glass jars, wire baskets. When it comes to use shelves as storage, remember not to clutter those either. Keep the shelf airy and visually lighter, for a more open space. Keep walkways and doorways free of clutter and obstruction. Create designated walkways of movement throughout the room, and the room will automatically feel more inviting.

  • PAINT TRICKS There are a lot of ways to use paint that tricks the eye in your favour so that the room creates the illusion of a bigger space. Use light, neutral colours as they reflect the light that illuminates a space and reduces shadows and contrast, which gives the illusion of a larger space. You can paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls to draw the eyes up, giving the illusion of higher ceilings, with bonus points for adding crown mouldings that create an extra level of detail to admire. While planning a colour palette, make sure to include the movable elements as well, like furniture, curtains, décor items, etc. Bright furniture emphasizes the size of the object, making it seem bigger, ultimately making the room seem larger for accommodating a bigger piece of furniture. For an expansive, seamless effect, use the same colour for walls, furniture, curtains, etc. The seamlessness in the blending of colours through various elements creates a visually larger space. On a bigger scale, use this strategy for the entire house, for a cohesive flow of colours throughout the house. Minimise transitions in colours and materials across various rooms, like using similar flooring materials for bedroom as well as other rooms of the house, which makes the space look more sprawling. If your limited, purely light colour palette seems to bore you a little, add a single bold, accent of a different, maybe darker, colour.

  • PATTERNS If you're into patterns and must have some to keep the space interesting, be mindful of the designs and the amount of visual space they occupy. The use of patterns should be intentional and limited. Stripes are an easy go-to when you wish to elongate any element. Vertical stripes exaggerate the height of the space, while horizontal stripes exaggerate the width, diagonal stripes extend the space as a whole and chevron creates visual movement. Avoid bold patterns as they contract a space visually, and creates visual noise. When it comes to bold patterns, do with something small, like a single cushion, or a doormat, etc, instead of something that takes a lot of visual real estate.

  • FURNITURE Always, always measure your room before buying new furniture, it bodes well. Buy furniture that is proportionate to the size of the room, a excess of smaller pieces of furniture makes the room appear cramped and cluttered. Contrary to popular belief, you should buy bigger furniture, but obviously not too big. What I mean is, just because the room is small, doesn't mean you start looking at only miniature furniture to fit into the room. With bigger pieces, you won't require extra pieces of furniture, as opposed to smaller furniture. When choosing the furniture, certain elements favour the final objective of making the room feel bigger, like opting sleek furniture over cushy and fluffier pieces, or those low in height so that they make the walls seem taller, or those with legs for more floor visibility, or arm-less furniture. Another eye-tricking secret for the selection of furniture is by using ghost furniture, as we love to call it, which is basically made of glass or acrylic, which practically takes no visual space. Another trick is to use furniture units with reflective materials, like metal, which reflects more light, and hence makes the space appear larger. A functional approach to choosing furniture is selecting pieces that can also potentially serve dual purposes, like an ottoman that seconds as a storage unit, or a coffee unit with drawers for extra storage. Pull the furniture off the walls, instead of pushing it toward them. The space between the furniture and the walls around it, creates the illusion of an open, airy room. If you want to introduce the bold, statement element, mentioned in the previous point, as a furniture piece, make sure you only add the absolute essentials to the piece, to avoid cluttering the space, and making the statement piece the highlight of the space. For example, if you've chosen a bold couch as the statement piece, don't add any more couches to the arrangement, and only add certain essentials, like an ottoman, or a small side table, and you're good to go. Use rugs to define spaces. Rugs can make a room feel finishes and pulled together. Instead of having a single rug for a small room, use multiple rugs to designate various areas. The visual effect of multiple areas in a single room, makes the room appear larger.

  • VERTICAL REAL ESTATE When you find yourself short of floor space, make good use of the wall space. You can do this by using shelves for storage, or large statement pieces like artworks, mirrors, etc. Contrary to popular belief of using small pieces of art in a small room, use a large, bold piece of work in the same room and see the difference yourself. The small pieces break the small space further, making it seem even smaller, and the large, bold statement piece of art becomes the centre of attraction, a successful distraction from the size of the room. Like art, accent walls create a similar effect. These accent walls can be made of tasteful wallpapers, or murals. The use of bolder accents on walls draws the eye up, creating the illusion of a larger space. Mirrors are the easiest, most obvious ways of creating the illusion of a larger space. The bigger the mirror, the less it seems merely like a reflection and successfully tricks the eye into thinking there is more space than in actuality. Another trick using mirrors is to place a mirror directly opposite a window, for maximum reflection of light throughout the room. Curtains take up vertical real estate and when done right can enhance the illusion of a larger space. Place the curtain rods closer to the ceiling, so the walls seem taller, and the curtain panels extended outside the window frame. Other methods of creating interesting wall treatments include wainscoting, using texture for subtle depth, creating trims and mouldings, and other details that create visual accents and distractions in a space.

  • LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION Lighting plays a very important role as an enhancer of any space. Place the right kind of furniture, or use the right kind of colour palette, and without appropriate lighting, you're only halfway good to go. Use several sources of light, throughout the room, because if any parts are left in the shadow, the room will appear smaller. Use a variety of lighting fixtures, like floor and table lamps, wall lights or ceiling mounted lights, recessed lights in furniture pieces, or hanging lights. Hanging lights enhance the height of a space, by drawing the eyes up towards the roof, with bonus points for selecting visually interesting pendant lights. A room with light that is balanced and spread throughout the room, appears larger as opposed to a room that has limited sources of light, like a room that was initially planned with only one or two ceiling light points.

  • THE LIFE OF THE PARTY: PLANTS Plants have the power to instantly enhance any space. I can't imagine writing a blog without somehow encouraging the use of plants. The organic shapes of all things green create dimension and depth in any space, making it seem lively. Use a large plant or an indoor tree as a statement piece, to make the room seem larger than life. Some indoor trees that you can consider are ficus, fiddle leaf fig, pailor palms, or pothos.

If you are still not sure where to start, get inspired by interior design styles like the minimal style, or the mid-century modern style to help you curate a mood-board for your small, cosy space. Do you have any tricks you use to make your rooms feel larger? I'm sure there are lots more, and we would love to know and share more tips with the rest of you! Drop any tips you have in the comments.

Until next time,

xx Ishita


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