When living in compact quarters, every inch of space matters. While you can’t always change the dimensions of your home, there are several clever design tricks you can employ to make rooms feel more spacious, bright and open. By minimising clutter, maximising natural light and utilising multi-functional furniture, you can create an airy oasis out of even the tiniest of spaces. If you’re in need of tips and tricks to maximise the space in your own home, read on.
Declutter and get organised
Decluttering and minimising excess items is one of the easiest ways to make a small space feel instantly larger. Be honest with yourself when you’re having a clear out and get rid of unnecessary knickknacks, furniture and any other clutter that takes up visual space in your home. You can donate or throw away anything you do not use, then organise what’s left to make your storage streamlined and minimal. The tidier and more simplified your space is, the more open it will feel.
With your space minimised and organised, you will be left with a tidy area that feels positively spacious. A simplified home environment reduces visual noise and makes your rooms feel more open, light and airy. Paring down your belongings can be difficult at first but the end result will make a smaller home feel instantly more liveable and calmer.
Opt for multifunctional furniture
Using furniture that serves multiple purposes is another useful trick for maximising smaller square footage. Choose furniture like ottomans with hidden storage, sofa beds and other pieces that provide more than one function, or that can be folded down to preserve space. This makes the most of your space without feeling cluttered.
For the bedroom, a bed with drawers underneath for excess linens and clothing storage makes a great addition, while a trundle bed is perfect for a child’s room or spare room, allowing two beds to fit in the same floor space. In the dining area, a drop-leaf table folds up when not in use to save space, while bench seating, rather than individual chairs, provides another item that makes good use of space by allowing more people to fit around a table in tight quarters.
Using furnishings that serve dual purposes not only maximises your usable space but also provides convenient solutions for storage and seating needs. Multifunctional pieces give small rooms flexibility to be rearranged and used in different ways as needed, adapting to your lifestyle without requiring more space.
Utilise hidden nooks for storage
Maximising storage is key to making a small space liveable, but also to increasing the visual effect of a larger room. When square footage is on the lower side, you need to make the most of every available storage spot, from floor to ceiling. Think vertically by utilising wall space and installing shelves, cabinets and wall units where you can, or looking for hidden nooks under stairs or in alcoves that can be utilised.
You could also add additional storage in your garage, attic or shed. These outbuildings offer extra room that you can organise and shelter items you do not need every day, to free up room indoors. Install shelving, cabinets and closets to store tools, gardening equipment, sports gear and other essentials. Switching your garage door to a space-saving style such as a sectional door will also maximise internal space. With some creative storage solutions throughout your home, both inside and out, you can organise your essential belongings even in the smallest of spaces, without your property looking cluttered.
Make use of the ‘fifth wall’
The ceiling, also known as the ‘fifth wall’, is an often overlooked surface in a room but painting it the same colour as your walls can make a small living room appear much more spacious. By extending your wall colour up and over the ceiling, you create an illusion of depth that makes the room feel larger. And it adds further interest to your interior decor.
When deciding on a ceiling colour, think about the overall feel you want for the room and the amount of natural light you get. For a light, airy space, a pale or light-reflective shade works well, as mentioned above, especially in a room with plenty of windows. But for a cosy ambiance in a room with little natural light, a warmer neutral shade may be preferable. The uninterrupted visual flow from walls to ceiling makes the room feel more expansive. This technique works particularly well for cramped rooms with low ceilings, making them appear loftier and more open.
Use a lighter colour palette
Choosing a lighter colour palette, especially for your walls and floors, can significantly help a small space feel more spacious. Paint your walls in bright, light shades to make your rooms feel larger and more airy. This doesn’t have to mean white or cream though. Light pastels can still work well, adding colour but still reflecting light effectively. For smaller spaces, stick to the same colour family throughout the property for a cohesive flow between rooms. Light-coloured flooring, in polished materials like finished concrete or varnished hardwoods, also helps create an open feel compared to dark carpet.
In addition to light walls and floors, mirrors are useful for bouncing light around a small room. Place mirrors strategically opposite windows to reflect natural light into the space, to create an illusion of more depth, making the room appear larger. In a narrow space like a hallway, a mirror laid horizontally will make the corridor feel more spacious and longer, especially when paired with bright overhead lighting.
While you may not be able to change the actual floorplan of your home, you can employ clever design tricks to make even the smallest of spaces feel more open. Whether you choose to take an active approach to your belongings with a decluttering session, redecorate in lighter colours or get creative with fixtures like mirrors or doors, you can create the illusion that even the smallest home is spacious. The more streamlined each room is, the larger your home will feel.0