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So, you have a small space and you want to make it feel larger. Don’t worry! There’s no need to add an addition or knock out a wall. With a few tricks and optical illusions, you can make your small space look and feel larger.
We talked to interior designers from across the country to get their tips and tricks for making a small space look larger.
You’ve probably heard that white paint is the easiest way to open up a room. It makes the whole space lighter and brighter, which can trick the eye into thinking the room is larger than it really is. While it’s true that it can open up a space, you have more options.
Charmaine Wynter, the luxury interior designer behind Charmaine Wynter Interiors, says the more important element is to reduce contract. “Contrast is what defines size. So, if you want your room to look bigger and you also want to paint the walls black, just ensure that the ceiling, trims and doors are also richly colored,” suggests Wynter.
For dark walls, Wynter suggests using a trim color like gray instead of white.
Another option is to go completely dark.
“A small room is a small room no matter what. You may as well give it the illusion of infinity,” says Francis Toumbakaris, the creator of Francis Interiors, “Painting [the room] a color like dark chocolate, dark baby blue, charcoal gray or even black creates the feeling of infinity.”
Not sure about a black living room or bedroom? Toumbakaris suggests keeping the walls a light color but painting the ceiling dark. “Think about it – staring at the sky at night has the illusion of infinity. You can create this illusion because it doesn’t stop anywhere. People feel like ceilings need to always remain white, but this is a misconception,” according to Toumbakaris.
When buying furniture for a small space, it’s important to choose the right size. Wynter warns that this could include some trial and error unless you’re working with a professional who knows how to plan the space.
There are some tricks to choosing furniture you might want to keep in mind, though.
It’s tempting to choose smaller pieces of furniture for a smaller space, and while that can work out, you don’t have to go with a loveseat.
Toumbakaris actually suggests incorporating larger furniture in your small space.
“When you place oversize items in a small place, it works to the advantage of the room,” says Toumbakaris. “Imagine you have a 10×10 living room space (a very small living room) and you place the largest possible sectional you could possibly put in that space – the room will feel gigantic.”
Don’t stop at larger sectionals or couches. Think about the art on your walls. Instead of a gallery wall or several smaller pieces of art, choose something that takes up more space. “It creates the feeling that the space is larger. You can even choose to cover an entire wall with a large piece,” says Toumbakaris.
Shelving, end tables and desks can take up a lot of space in a small room. Abra Landau, a design expert at Fashion Furniture, suggests moving those items off the ground.
“Nightstands are essential, but they take up a lot of space. Try mounting your small nightstand or a desk to the wall in order to open up some space underneath,” says Landau.
Opening up the space below gives you more room for storage or lets you leave it empty, which can make the room seem more spacious.
Making a small space feel larger is a little bit of smoke and mirrors – literally. Adding mirrors to a small space is an age-old tactic that uses light and reflection to trick your eyes.
Chelsea Allard, the lead project designer at Case Charlotte, loves using mirrors to make a space seem larger than it actually is. She says, “You can even place two mirrors across from each other to create an infinity effect.”
Actual mirrors aren’t the only way to create an illusion. Toumbakaris suggests playing with the finishes, too. “Using glossy surfaces that reflect the light also adds depth to an interior,” he says.
Get the Look
Now that you know the tips and tricks for making your small space appear larger, check out some products that can help you get the look in your home:
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