Make your space feel twice as big with these ideas!
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Since physics tells us that we cannot increase the size of a room without adding additional “real estate” to it, we must find ways to maximize our usable space! Interior designers and architects often suggest maximizing storage areas such as closets, pantries, mudrooms, walk-in closets, or utility rooms. Storage spaces should not only be used for holding things, but also serve as work desks, laundry stations, craft benches, or any number of other purposes. Additionally, consider creating nooks or alcoves to add visual interest. For example, a kitchen island can act as an informal eating table, while a window seat could provide privacy in your bedroom.
Ways to Make Your Space Feel Bigger
Interior designers and architects are magicians who can conjure space into existence. With their expertise, they can create rooms out of nothing. If you’ve ever felt cramped by the four little walls of a room, or found yourself in an awkward space, our tips and tricks are worth having a try.
Create a Flexible Space
In order to maximize your interior space and efficiency, incorporating flexible spaces is an effective strategy. Ximena Rodriguez of architecture firm Cetra Ruddy explains, “Flex spaces are spaces where furniture can be reconfigured based on function. For example, an office could incorporate an area with a desk and chair, versus a formal dining room table and chairs.” Flex spaces allow you to maximise the space within a given footprint.
Rodriguez suggests that these flexi rooms can double as music spaces and home offices, or guest rooms and nurseries. There are lots of creative ideas that do not require moving or reorganizing.
“Finding clever ways to combine multiple functions into one room can really help make your space feel bigger and more versatile,” says Rodriguez. “Bedrooms are typically the choice for dividing spaces into rooms because they’re used for sleeping and relaxing.”
This can often lead to them feeling disorganized, but Rodriguez says that “well designed built ins help alleviate this challenge, allowing the addition of an extra role whilst keeping things simple and organized and offering a coherent and intentional look.”
Texture Makes a Difference
A Singapore interior design curation site says that “texture makes a difference.” They explain that “a bright paint color and smoother walls or ceiling makes all of the difference,” especially in smaller spaces where you don’t want to open things up too much. In studio apartments and small houses that cannot be opened any further, he adds, “it’s important to remove all kinds of barriers, including those that are purely visually.”
We don’t know how common it is to find textured walls and ceilings on the mainland, in Hawaii, it’s pretty ubiquitous. And since we live in such a tropical climate, the sun does shine directly into most rooms, creating lots of shadowing and making everything look smaller. Removing the texturing allows light to bounce around and fill the space, making it feel larger.
Prevent Filling Spaces with Small Items
Too many small pieces in a single room can make it feel smaller rather than larger. This is because our brains are wired to perceive spaces based on how much we see—and less often, what we don’t see. So, if there are too many small things in a room, it can make it look smaller.
The same goes for clutter; having too many tiny objects scattered about can make a room feel messy. In fact, research suggests that people tend to perceive a room as being cleaner and tidier when fewer objects are present.
In addition, some experts believe that filling a room with too many small items can cause us to subconsciously focus on those parts of the room over others. As a result, we might overlook certain aspects of design like lighting, color, texture, etc.
So, the next time you’re designing a space, think about what makes a room feel big or small. If you want to avoid making a room feel cramped, consider keeping the number of small items low. Instead, opt for a few key accents and large pieces of furniture that take center stage.
Don’t Fear Mixing and Matching
When you’re looking for ways to make your home feel bigger, consider mixing and matching prints and patterns. A bold combination of prints can make a room look smaller, while a patterned sofa paired with a solid rug creates visual interest without overwhelming the space.
If you want to go bolder still, try combining patterns and textures. For example, a printed throw pillow on a striped ottoman adds texture and pops against a plain area rug, creating a balanced design.
Downsize and Declutter
Keeping rooms tidy is important for every home, but small spaces tend to feel even smaller when everything is thrown into disarray. So how do you keep things organized and clutter-free without sacrificing space?
Lina Galvão of Curated Nest Interiors stresses that downsizing and decluttering both should be prioritized, because having smart storage solutions is key. To help you downsize and declutter, here are her tips:
Use Multifunctional Furniture
Designer Georgia Zikas shares her tips for maximizing small spaces. “A good rule of thumb is to think about what you want to use your furniture for – whether it’s storing things away, serving as extra seating, or simply being decorative,” she explains. “Then, consider the amount of space you have in your home and what purpose you want each piece to fulfill. For example, if there isn’t much storage space, don’t go out and buy a huge chest of drawers; instead, opt for something simple like a sleek bench. If you have little elbow room to spare, try grouping one or two large pieces together rather than spreading them throughout the room.”
Small spaces aren’t always easy to work around, but they certainly don’t have to be boring. With these interior design ideas, you can create an inviting living space that feels spacious and welcoming.