With condos and rental spaces getting smaller and smaller, it pays to use some clever design tricks to make any small space feel bigger and making it much more livable in the long-term. Whether you are renting a small studio, basement unit, or just have small rooms to work with, there are some great rules that professionals follow to make any space look amazing.
Hide the Clutter
One of the quickest and simplest ways to make a room feel bigger is by taking on a more minimalist approach. Hide clutter from every room by cleverly storing it or by purging unnecessary items that only seem to take up space. The less visual distractions you have in a room, the emptier space you see, which is what gives a room the illusion of space.
Clear Views and Pathways
Along with clearing out clutter, arranging furniture and accessories that open up space is a great way to make a small space feel much bigger. Oversized furniture like bookshelves, couches, and tables, or heavy wall accessories that block your line of sight instantly makes a room feel cramped.
From the entrance of a room to the windows or focal points, make sure there is a clear view of the open space. Arrange furniture around the room to see which configuration works best. Make good use of negative space on shelves and walls for an even more airy look.
Multipurpose Furniture is the Best
One of the biggest complaints from living in a small home is the lack of storage or space for all the furniture needed to make a room functional. I stead of trying to choose between space and functionality, all of the top interior designers love to use furniture that has multiple functions.
Some of the best small space solutions are cleverly designed by taking cues from European styles that have been in use for decades, which is why they are quickly becoming a popular choice for condos and tiny houses.
- Plush loveseat that converts into a spare bed
- Coffee table that has hidden storage and a tabletop that can be raised to be used as a desk
- Wall-mounted table that folds out when needed
- Headboard that doubles as hidden storage
- Large ottoman with built-in storage that can be used as a footstool or coffee table
Use Light Colours
Light colours on walls, furniture, and flooring help make a room feel light and airy, giving it a feeling of good space. Warm hues and dark colours help create a cozy feeling, but also make a space feel small. Keep them as a pop of colour in accessories, rather than the main colour tones in a room. Instead, choose cool colour tones of blue, green, violet, and grey.
The same principle applies when choosing a colour scheme for a room. Choose monochromatic décor to open up space. Too many colours or strong colour features add bulk to a space and make it feel closed in.
Get Furniture that Fits
Arranging furniture that fits a space is another big issue that lots of people face because they often choose comfort over size and style. Sure, that big recliner is ultra-comfortable and the perfect seat for lazy days, but it can also be an eyesore that takes up a lot of precious space in a room.
Without losing the comfort factor, it’s possible to find plenty of furniture options that are stylish, functional, and fit a small space without costing a fortune. Downsizing furniture and choosing clever designs will give you all of the comforts you want, without taking more space than needed. This will make any room feel spacious, no matter how small it may be.
Mirrors for Light and Illusion of Space
An old trick that still works today is the smart use of mirrors and other reflective materials in a room. As light bounces off these surfaces, it creates the illusion of a bright and airy space. Large mirrors also add a sense of depth in a room by reflecting the side of the room it’s facing, which is especially great in darker areas in the room. By reflecting light and space, this instantly makes a room feel much larger than it is.
You can add a large feature on the wall like a framed mirror in a dining room or a floor-length mirror in a bedroom. Look for translucent glass tabletops or mirrored trays for décor accessories.
Keep Windows Clean
Keeping windows clean will not only look great inside and outside, but they will also bring in the natural light that makes a space feel light and open. Dirty windows make a home look dingy and actually cuts out a lot of light that would otherwise illuminate a room.
Another point to consider is the type of window dressings you have in the room. Blinds in a soft colour tone and light fabric curtains with give a room a soft glow. Heavier fabrics weigh down a room, while light ones lift a room. One trick that many people use to give the illusion of large windows is installing curtains that are wider and longer than the actual window.
Use Natural Light
Nothing makes a space feel small and depressing more than a lack of natural light. Not every space in a rental will have the luxury of natural light but when possible, let in as much of that sunlight as you can. Keep windows clean and open or when privacy is needed, use translucent coverings that will let in light without letting everyone see in.
When natural light is limited, make good use of indoor lighting with lamps, track lights, or wall panel lights for a more modern touch. Should light options be limited in your small space, try to make use of other design tricks that will help make a space feel brighter. Get rid of heavy window dressings, paint lighter wall colours, and bring in reflective surfaces to the space.