Is small space cramping your style?
A lack of space is a problem that many homeowners know only too well. Here, help is at hand with my 21 tips to make the most of the space you have.
1. Don’t use architraves, covings or skirtings. They tend to reduce the space.
2. Dark paint colours give the impression of cosiness, but they absorb light and make a room feel even smaller.
3. A contrasting colour on one wall will catch the eye.
4. If you decide to wallpaper it, don’t be afraid to use a large scale pattern. It adds depth. A horizontal stripe will elongate the room.
free standing mirrors can double the size of a room
10. Consider the position of your furniture. Because it has been there forever doesn’t mean items cannot be moved in order to create more space or an easier traffic around the room.
11. Storage space is important to make your life run smoothly. Use your imagination to create shelving which is decorative as well as functional.
12. The impact of new technology has created a division between older generations who have boxes of books, CD’s, DVDs and those who have everything stored on their phone. Compromise is key to harmony, especially when the two halves of a couple hold different views.
16. Leave your windows undressed. It will give the room more depth. Use blinds for privacy instead of curtains. Electric blackout blinds can be fitted in bedrooms (Ultra Smart Blinds – www.appealshading.com)
17. Masses of decorative “stuff” crowd a place. Try to declutter. One large object is much more dramatic than an assemblage of nicknacks.
18. A large scale painting will elongate a wall.
19. A striped rug placed along the longer length of the room can also give the same impression.
20. Rugs can visually separate areas without having to use partitions.
21. Lighting is important to illuminate a room, as well as create different moods. It’s the key element to “hygee” the Danish philosophy for happiness. Ceiling lights are very cold, I never use them on their own. I prefer free standing lights placed around the room. They can also delimit different areas.
5. When possible, try to paint the floor in a light colour. I love white painted floors. After a while, they acquire a “shabby chic” look.
6. A mirrored wall doubles the size of a room, while a collection of small mirrors gives it life.
7. A mirror placed at the back of a piece of furniture will suggest another area behind it.
These mirrors by Dwell (dwell.co.uk) can jazz up any dark corner
8. In a small room, I would always use the largest possible sofa. A sofa with exposed legs feels lighter than one solid to the floor. This applies to any piece of furniture.
9. Place furniture one or two inches away from the walls. The effect is less cramped.
13. When possible, furniture could be multifunctional and provide hidden storage – beds and ottomans are the perfect examples, as do window seats… Even stairs can be made to hide drawers inside.
14. A small space under the stairs can be sufficient to create an area you can call your office.
15. Shelves placed near the ceiling will draw your eyes upwards. In a room with very low ceilings, hang paintings near it.