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These tricks will help even the smallest of homes seem bigger than they are
Time, they say, is a quantum concept. It expands to fill your needs. Designers often repeat the same line about spaces. Can a tiny space, no matter how cosy in its smallness, morph to a larger space to suit its tenant’s requirements? The short answer is it can. The longer addendum to that is there are some tricks and tips you need to apply to help your space appear large enough to suit your needs. Here are some things can try right away:
The most obvious trick in the box is the smart use of colours. Light, bright colours expand spaces. If your ceiling is a lighter shade or even white it will create the illusion of height and depth. Neutral colours that do not create any focal distraction or remain muted create a sense of expansiveness. Some exquisite ones are taupe, grays, the sparkling range of creams and of course, undeniably, beige.
Light in any form creates airiness, and therefore space. If you have the scope and permission for tweaking your windows and widening them to allow natural light to stream in, this would just push out your walls dramatically. Skylights, glass doors, French windows move the space outwards. Where this luxury of natural light is not possible, then using hidden lighting along the ceiling, the walls, liberal use of light sconces, can mimic this airy effect.
Use mirrors wisely to create the illusion of depth. For working the magic of depth perception, it is best to go bold and use a large one. Placing it where light will bounce off it will further heighten this illusion of space, while adding to the sense of airiness. To maximise its impact, best to prune off all distractions from the frame and keep it austere, even plain. Using mirrors on certain other furniture (cupboards, for example) can carry this idea further. However, having too many small mirrors will be distracting, unless positioned wisely.
It needs the flourish of design genius to create unobtrusive storage solutions for small spaces. A large floor-to-ceiling cupboard with complementary colours and design elements borrowed from the rest of the room will allow the storage accessory to meld easily into the rest of the room, without being a visual block.
When you enter a room, how much floor you can see immediately gives you a sense of the space there. This means a small space that wants to masquerade as large must go minimal on carpets or avoid them altogether. Wherever you can afford the option of folding furniture that can be stacked away when not in use is also a great way of keeping things open and natural.
How furnishing affects space is a huge topic. Avoid elaborate trimmings for chairs or sofas. This cuts off the sight of the floor (see above) and adds a sense of clutter. Long curtain drapes give a sense of height to the space, while sheer materials carry forward the idea of light and airiness.
The liberal use of glass replicates the idea of sheer curtains, airiness, flow of light. Partitions, washroom doors, glass sliding doors and windows that compact themselves when not needed are the most commonsensical way to expand your space.
This is a tricky, even a touchy topic. We all want to fill up our spaces with objects that we love, the art that moves us and with which we want to spend our time. However, in a small space too many objects or decor items will create the inevitable sense of clutter that is perhaps the most disastrous way to shrink any space. We can compromise by exhibiting a few at a time, storing the rest away recycling their display every few months. If you have art to display it is best to have a large one. A large piece, through the play on our perception of proportions, will create the illusion of depth and space. Displaying it at eye level creates a natural intention of neatness. A neat design has a similar impact as neutral colours; it is soothing, calming and expansive.
Again, where individual accents are concerned these are very personal, emotional and intimate choices. But having a broad idea of how these choices affect your spaces may moderate their usage. Geometric designs have a similar impact like neutral colours. Despite drawing focal attention, they also kind of step back, their neatness recedes tension, creates ease and space. Large flamboyant decor or accents or colours will clutter up a small space. Geometric design choices can be used for furnishing, wall accents, headspaces, flooring, glass inlays etc.
Glossy textures, in the choice of paints or veneers, expand a space. They help bounce off light, adding to the airiness in a room. They also enhance the available light. Matt veneers modulate light, and in some cases create a play of light and shadow that can distract from the space, contracting it. And if there are too many different textures happening throughout the room it can clutter up a space.
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