With the right design techniques, you can transform the most cramped area of your home into an inviting, commodious haven. Whether you would like to make your tiny den feel larger or give your entire home a more spacious feel, there are many innovative ways to create the illusion of more space in your home. Below are seven simple design tricks to make a small living space feel bigger.
1) Select a wall-mounted headboard for your bedroom
“Four poster beds create a visual barrier and also make the room visually smaller. You can use a wall mounted headboard and no footboard to gain a few precious inches of floor space and make your bedroom look bigger. A good idea for you will be to use a daybed that is pushed against the wall to allow more floor space.”
– Anna Samygina, Interior Designer and Consultant, Greater London
The cornerstone of a roomy looking bedroom is a space-saving bed design with simple bedding. By eliminating a footboard and choosing a wall-mounted headboard, you immediately create additional space and make your sleeping environment appear larger. Here are a few other tips to help you create a more spacious-looking bedroom:
- Use small lamps instead of one overhead light to lead the eyes around your bedroom
- Choose solid bedding in a lighter color as opposed to bedding with bold prints
- Avoid tall mattresses, which consume additional space and make a bedroom feel cramped
2) Mount shelves high on your walls
Mounting shelves well above the midpoint of your walls makes your room appear larger in two ways. First, the eye is drawn upward upon entering the room, creating the impression that your walls are taller than they actually are. Second, you maximize your space by creating additional storage for valuables that may otherwise take up valuable floor space.
3) Use the same flooring throughout your space
Your home can appear larger if you use the same type of flooring throughout your living space. This is especially the case if you select a smooth, light-colored flooring option that contributes to a clean, seamless look. Some specific flooring suggestions that will help your home look more commodious include the following:
- If you choose flooring planks, run them parallel to the longest wall in your room
- Select flooring planks that are wider than 3 inches
- Choose oversize tiles if you opt for tile flooring
4) Replace your wooden desk with a glass top desk or table
“Try replacing your wooden desk with a glass table top. This takes up the same amount of space, but tricks the eye into feeling like it does not. Pair your desk with some acrylic or lucite chairs and you have a minimal visual impact work space that will help make your whole bedroom look bigger.”
Heavy wooden furniture can often make a small space feel crowded and more confining. Glass top furniture, on the other hand, can provide the same amount of table space but can make a room appear larger by offering transparency and the ability for you to see your decor and flooring underneath. In addition to helping you optimize your space, glass tables bring an element of modern style to your living space.
5) Explore multi-functional furniture options
Multi-functional furniture options are ideal for living areas with spatial constraints. Also known as convertible furniture options, multi-functional furnishings often feature extensions, hideaway components, or hidden storage. Here are a few examples of multi-function furnishings that can help you make the most of a small living area:
- Dining tables with drop leaves: You can save space by reserving the leaves of your table for those special occasions when you have guests
- Convertible sofas: Commonly known as sofa beds, convertible sofas are great for small dens that occasionally need to accommodate guests.
- Flip top benches and ottomans: Benches and ottomans with hidden storage are great for keeping magazines and books.
- Murphy beds: Murphy beds are an outstanding option for people living in studio apartments and small condominiums
“I think people consider buying Murphy beds when they need smart solutions for small spaces. I live in a studio, where one room provides a variety of functions. I wouldn’t want friends to sit on my bed to eat their bacon. So for this apartment, the Murphy bed is key. If I were to live in another small space, I would definitely consider buying another Murphy bed.”
– Emily Graff, Editor and owner of the Penelope Murphy Bed
6) Choose furniture with exposed legs
Selecting sofas, chairs, and beds with exposed legs is an effective strategy because it allows light to be transmitted under your furniture. Additionally, furniture with exposed legs often has a more sophisticated look to it, as your beds and chairs have less of a “boxy” feel to them. Finally, you are incentivized to keep the area under your furniture clean and free of clutter, further enhancing your home’s space.
7) Hang window treatments above and outside of windows
“Window treatments hung the right way have a powerful ability to make a space feel taller and grander! When hanging drapes always hang the brackets at least 5 inches higher than the window or window casings and and at least 3 inches wider than the window or window casings.”
– Prominent Home Design
Hanging your window treatments several inches above your windows and extending your draperies well beyond the edge of your windows can give the illusion that your room is bigger than it really is because it becomes difficult to tell where your windows end and your walls begin. Television design expert Francisco Bilotto describes this trick by noting, “Extending your draperies from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall surrounding your window makes them appear bigger.”
The Bottom Line
If you find yourself longing for more living space, take some time to evaluate your flooring, furnishings, and color schemes. With a few minor changes, you will be amazed by your home’s visual transformation. By following the simple tips above, you can maximize the space in your home and create an environment that is seamless and inviting.