Tired of hearing the same old stand-by solutions for making a room look bigger? So is Jeffrey Blum of SixZero6 Design in New York City. “Hanging a mirror may give the impression of more space, but it also doubles the clutter by reflecting every single object that’s already in the room,” Blum says.
That’s why he tells his clients, most of whom live in New York City in tight quarters, to pause before following conventional space-enhancing tricks. “It may be true that big furniture works in a small space but that can backfire if the furniture is too over-sized and poofy,” he says. “Keep large pieces slim for a look that’s not just larger, but more open.”
Another way to make a space look more open? Hang art or a painting on a distant wall—preferably a wall in the next room. “By drawing the eye to a distant spot that has a striking visual element, you expand the perceived depth of field,” says Blum. “It gives the space a way-over-there feeling.”
The approach is slightly different for James Crisp of Crisp Architects in Millbrook, N.Y. He incorporates structural changes to make small spaces look larger. Among these is adding walls of windows, French doors, or even single decorative windows. This invites the gaze beyond the home’s walls and into the surrounding landscape, immediately transforming any confined room into a refreshing escape.
And nothing is more of a problem than clutter–especially if your house is on the market. That’s why realtors and home stagers selectively remove most objects before showing the home. Multiples of objects are removed first, as are any items that make a strong statement about the current owner, such as toys or sports equipment. Neutral objects, such as simple glass vases, can stay, however, thanks to their simple lines and transparent volume.
Read on for more ways to add some space to your place.
Windows, Windows, Windows
A wall of windows brightens a room and draws the eye out into the landscape or yard. This small living room looks fresh and expansive thanks to the gracious windows and millwork that were integrated into the design by Crisp.
De-Clutter The Entryway
Whether you add window-seats or built-in bookshelves, small rooms will benefit. Unlike groupings of furniture which can appear awkward of cluttered, built-ins make small rooms appear gracious and substantial by provide vertical interest and architectural detail.
Please The Senses
The more senses are involved, the bigger a room feels. Fill a small room with beautiful music. Throw open a set of French doors and allow the breezes in. Set a vase of fresh flowers on an end table. And use surfaces that are shiny and smooth, such as polished marble.
Choose Large-Scale Flooring
According to the World Floor Covering Association, based in Anaheim, Calif., the larger the tile, plank or pattern on a floor, the larger the room will look. Even the tiniest of powder rooms benefits from this trick. Another tip? Install tiles on a diagonal.
Include The Hallway
When small rooms adjoin a hallway, paint its far wall or hang a bold piece of art there. This draws the eye out of the small room, making it feel larger. It also integrates the hallway, which is often dismissed rather than embraced as a design element.
See full list: Tricks to make your home look bigger.