How to decorate a room so it seems bigger

How to decorate a room so it seems bigger

Letting the daylight play on color

The fashion these days is a spacious look. Often older houses have rooms which look particularly small, and really don’t have to. Decorating them to maximize the space available can create stunning looks which surprise and amaze those who see the different before and after presentation. The reason for this is a clever combination of light, color and accessories. No matter what room in the house, it is possible to make a room look bigger simply by assessing the space and making the most of it, planning down to fine detail all of the elements which will be introduced into that space. The image here is a blank canvas, and that helps you to see the bare bones of a room and also to design a style which allows it to retain its spacious appearance.


Step 1

Creating a blank canvas.

The blank canvas allows you to plan. Draw your room on graph paper. If you are not able to draw in 3D it would also be helpful to take some digital photos for your planning stages. In this case, draw down a floor plan giving the actual sizes, so you know what you have to work with, and your limitations. This enables you to start from a blank canvas. Often when you have too many items in a room, it is hard to see beyond this.

Step 2

Decide which items must stay.

If you really want the room to appear bigger, be brutal. Ask yourself which items should stay and which should go. If you can replace large items with smaller ones, this also helps to create the illusion of space. Do you need all those additional items of furniture? Do you need whole collections of ornaments? Often what happens is that these accumulate over the years, and people never stop to see what the clutter looks like. Box up all those items you no longer need to display and decide which will fit with your new style.

Step 3

Choosing a color scheme.

The color of a room will determine to a certain extent the overall look of size. Instead of having bold colors which tend to close in wall space, opt for pastel shades which have the opposite effect. Create a color board, introducing new fabrics, colors and complimentary accent colors required to create the look you want.

Step 4

Maximizing height.

If a room is too short, often you can make it look taller by including the same color for the walls and ceiling. What this does is create the illusion of the walls being higher. It cuts off that terrible line which makes the ceiling appear short. The kind of paints to use for this would be mat based paints, since these are non reflective, and will not exaggerate the turning point between walls and ceiling.

Step 5

Making a taller room look more in proportion.

You can add the illusion of width in a room which has ceilings which are too high by using two tones on the walls, splitting this at chair rail level. Another neat way of doing this is to introduce a picture rail, giving the illusion of the ceiling starting lower down.

Step 6

Choices of flooring.

Small spaces with busy flooring look even smaller. Opt for light colored flooring finishes in either tile or good quality linoleum. There are some wonderful finishes available which don’t have to cost a lot of money. Light colors lift the whole look of the room creating the illusion of space.

Step 7

Choice of window dressings.

Remember that maximizing light within a room makes it look larger. Huge window dressing with a lot of fuss dwarf the size of the room. If you have small windows, maximize the light factor with extremely light window dressings, such as blinds which allow the light to pass into the room. Those which are a similar tone to the walls also make the room look light and airy.

Step 8

Adding light.

Light plays games with space. Add more light and a space becomes bigger. Take away light and it becomes small and intimate. If you wish to create the illusion of space, carefully try different types of lighting because the effect that lights have is astounding. Uplighters make a room look taller. Downlighters add dimension to the wall surfaces, and show up the wonderful floor materials. Try light in different areas of the room to see which kind works best.

Step 9

Bathrooms and kitchens.

Often the space within a kitchen or bathroom looks smaller than it actually is because of over-crowding. If you can downsize the bath, and even take off tiling which is floor to ceiling, replacing it with more discreet tiling, what you do is automatically create more wall space. In these areas as well, people tend to crowd in too much. These are rooms which are used daily, though they don’t have to be so crowded. Downsize a dining table and chairs. Downsize a shower unit and replace with a new sleeker design. Change the color of the room to lighter colors, and update doors on bathroom and kitchen cabinets, and instantly the room looks bigger.

Step 10

General problems with small rooms.

Generally, the problem with small looking rooms is that owners accumulate many possessions. Their lives no longer fit in the home they have because they don’t throw things away which are dated. If you clear a room of all the things which are no longer your choice of objects to have around you, instantly this creates space. Then get back to basic colors, sizes of furniture items and if you want to introduce dashes of color, make this in wall hangings or pictures instead of larger items. What this does is make the place look classically presented and takes away the busy appearance. Your home can look like new and the satisfaction of having sorted out your life will be felt when you open doors to fresh new areas which automatically look and feel bigger.

You will Need
• Sketch pad and pen.
• Color board to sort out color schemes.
• To decide what has to go.
• To clear the room to get the true picture.
• To have set ideas about what you want to fit into the space.

Tips & Warnings
• Always protect floors when painting.
• Protect furniture from paint damage as well.
• Pack away those things you no longer use, since they make your home smaller.
• Sell items, and find new ones to replace those which take space.


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