You don’t need to move to the country to have big open space around you-you just need to be savvy with your decorating. See our decorating tips for making rooms look bigger.
If you live in an apartment or a semi (or even if you do live in a sprawling country homestead), if you haven’t made good use of your space with the right furnishings and clever uses of light and colour, you’re likely to find yourself feeling a little hemmed in.
Unless you follow our tips for making rooms look and feel spacious:
- Colour: If your room looks dark, this immediately gives the illusion that the space is small and cramped-that’s decorating 101. And while whites and beiges may immediately open a space up, white isn’t the be-all and end-all. Try using soft blues and greens or painting the walls trims or picture rails a lighter colour than your walls.
- Lighting: Natural light is the key to not just making a room appear larger, but it also makes it more inviting, so utilise as much natural light as possible; if you have curtains make sure they’re a light colour and they’re pulled back to allow the light the flow freely. If you don’t have a lot of natural light choose your light fittings wisely-chandeliers and other hanging light fittings give the illusion that the ceiling is lower than it really is; down lights, however, immediately give to illusion of height.
- Furnishings: Use furnishings that can double as something else-coffee tables that can store DVDs and CDs, beds that can store linen, etc-and ensure that large pieces of furniture are placed against the walls so the space is broken up. Ditch the huge television cabinet and mount your TV on the wall, create some shelves below your TV to hold your Foxtel unit or DVD player, etc.
- Clutter: People tend to accumulate furniture the same way people accumulate clothing: a purchase here and there, until you wind up with a living room that’s a melting pot of Victorian antiquities and east-Asian vignettes. Each time you buy something new, throw out something old-and don’t just move it to another room in the house. Avoid rugs on top of patterned or coloured carpets, and especially avoid large rugs that butt-up to the walls or furniture.
- Mirrors: A well-placed mirror can give the illusion of depth and space needed to open a room up. A poorly placed mirror can do the exact opposite. Hanging mirrors work best in small spaces-be sure to avoid ones with intricate detail on the mirror or the frame, as this can look busy.