12 Clever Ways To Make A Space Look Bigger
Sometimes it’s easy to feel limited when you’re decorating a small space, but there are ways to fool the eye into thinking you have more square footage than you do. Read on for 12 tricks to visually expand your space.
Max out awkward spaces with custom built-ins. They not only make clutter disappear, but painting them the same color as the walls makes them recede into the surrounding space.
In a small space, a sea of table and chair legs can prove to be a visual stumbling block. Designer Alexandra Hutchison uses a restaurant-style banquette to seat guests in her 640-square-foot Toronto semi, or catch a casual dinner with husband chef Craig Harding. She scores extra points for turning the banquette into storage for bulky items like stand mixers.
To make a ceiling feel higher, stick to low-profile furnishings like this velvet sofa. Make the impact even more pronounced by hanging the curtain rod right at the top of the wall, and amp up the drapes with black trim to draw the eye up.
Instead of topping a nook with art, framing a large mirror and painting out the molding to match the walls creates an architectural element that expands space.
Paint is one of the cheapest, easiest fixes for a small space. Don’t break up a room by painting out contrast moldings. In this living room by designer Garrow Kedigian, the crown and baseboards are painted the same mustard color as the walls, which makes them seem higher and conveys a luxe, cocooning feel.
A deep recess in the island (which doubles as the kitchen table) makes it easy to tuck low-back stools out of the way for better flow in the downsized home of designer Jennifer Wright.
Here’s an easy trick to make a small space look more expansive: Choose “invisible” furnishings that seem to disappear, like the glass waterfall coffee table in designer Christine Ralph’s home.
Ditch the dense chandelier in favor of something see-through and airy. Designer Sabrina Albanese chose this one which has major drama because of the scale, without the visual weight.
Fashion designer Olympia Gayot chose to opt out of a coffee table, turning a console into a work surface and general catchall, which won’t block the flow in the main space of her 600-square-foot Manhattan walk-up.
Horizontal striped clothing can make a wearer look bigger, but the good news is it does the same thing for small rooms. A striped wall treatment in this compact powder room makes it feel wider.
Bunkbeds don’t eat up as much floor space, but they are visually heavy — when you can see an expanse of walls, spaces have more breathing room. In her son’s bedroom, designer Sarah Hartill placed the beds end to end (and made sure there was closed storage underneath to cut down on clutter).
Mirrors are a quick way to add depth, but that’s not the only way to use a reflective surface. As Trudy Crane demonstrates in her 1,200-square-foot apartment, an antique mirror, glass cloche and lantern fixture over the bed let light flow through the room and add sparkle.