12 ways to make a small room feel bigger in just a weekend

Feeling a little cramped lately? Not to worry, we have 12 tips to make any small room in your home feel larger. What's more - they can be done and dusted this weekend!

1. Claim back floor space

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room. This studio flat cleverly uses dining table and chairs with thin profiles so that they don't dominate the space.

 

In a small room, floor space can be eaten up very quickly once you add in all your furniture. This weekend, take a good hard look at the furniture in the room and ask yourself why it's really there. Does it serve an important purpose or did it just need to go somewhere and that seemed like as good enough place as any!?

Ask yourself if you really need all those side tables around your sofa or whether you can you simply pop your mug on the coffee table instead. It's a small compromise to make a room feel more generous! 

If that item of furniture is purely used for storage then skip to the declutter step 7 below - you might find it can be removed from the room entirely which would be a big result giving you more coveted floor space! 

For the essential items of furniture, opt for pieces with legs rather than boxier styles - it's a subtle but powerful trick to trick your eye into thinking there's more floor space than there is.

 

Need an expert to help you maximise your small space? Our professional designers will help completely transform your room and help you make the most of every inch! Get started today by completing this 15 minute brief.

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2. Get the scale of your furniture right 

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Image credit: Home Decoration and More. The owner of this petite living room has just one side table that disappears into the room thanks to its slim profile.

 

For the furniture that's left in the room, take a look at the shape and scale of it. Getting furniture that's the wrong size for a room is one of the most common design mistakes we see.

Before purchasing anything, particularly big items like sofas and beds, take the measurements and then mark them up in the room with boxes or masking tape. That will give you a better idea of whether the piece will swamp the room and leave you with very little space to walk around easily. 

 

3. Shine a light on every nook and cranny

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

Lighting really is one of those updates that can transform a room in seconds - let alone a weekend! So often people just focus on their ceiling light and forget about all the other levels that are integral to a finished room.

Down lighting casts shadows across a room and often won't reach all the corners of a space. By introducing floor and table lamps to zones that need an extra lift, the room will feel larger in the evenings simply because you can now see more of it! No magic tricks here you see - just good old common sense! 

The beauty of lower level lighting is also that it adds an instant cosy vibe to a room by drawing you down within a space - small rooms are wonderfully warm and cosy spaces so it's a great idea to maximise on that. 

Position your lighting near mirrors as well for maximum impact. 

 

4. Bring in pattern

cloakroom ideas

Image credit: My Bespoke Room. By matching the walls with the background colour of this wallpaper your eye is tricked into thinking there is greater depth behind the flowers.

 

This tip is often a bit of a shocker for most! Many feel that wallpaper will just make a room look busy and dominate a space but in actual fact it can trick you into thinking the space is larger than it really is. By using larger repeat patterns, your eye is tricked into thinking there is more depth to the room than there actually is.

Stiped patterns also work well in a room in a similar way they do in fashion. Horizontal striped wallpaper will make it feel wider and vertical; taller. 

 

Image credit: Suzy Hoodless employs the magic of stripes on the flooring to make this small living room feel longer.

 

Need an expert to help you maximise your small space? Our professional designers will help completely transform your room and help you make the most of every inch! Get started today by completing this 15 minute brief.

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5. Paint tricks to make a room feel larger

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Image credit: House Beautiful. The dark walls of this small dining room add depth while the  pops of colour in the chairs and light wood sideboard keep it looking bright and fresh.

 

Gone are the days that that white walls were prescribed for small rooms. It's now a frequently used tactic by interior designers to employ dark moody colours in small rooms as they blur corners and lines giving an illusion of space.

Instead of choosing your hue based on the size of the room, think about the quality of light instead and whether it's north, south, east or west facing. If your small room gets a lot of light then you can go for a lighter colour to help bounce it around. If it's north facing and tends to be dark - moody colours work best as neutrals can look too flat.

Be careful with feature walls in small rooms. Often we find that people sway towards them when they want to embrace a bold colour or pattern but don't have the confidence to go the full hog. If you only use it on certain walls, like opposite ones for example you will make the room feel narrower as those two walls feel closer. A great trick for naturally long narrow rooms, but not in small ones!

 

6. Paint your woodwork

Image credit: Farrow and Ball

 

While we're on the subject of paint, one of our favourite tips for small rooms is to paint the woodwork like your skirting boards and doors the same colour as the walls. This will make your walls look taller and your eye won't be broken up by the contrast.

 

7. Cull the clutter

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

A good old declutter is the perfect weekend job and we promise, you will instantly see the results! One of the common offences against small spaces is to fill them with junk that's not needed.

We're not just talking about what's in your cupboards and wardrobes either - to make a space feel larger try to take away as many superfluous decorative bits that you don't need. The less items you have, the bigger the space will feel - it sounds obvious but it really is something we see time and time again!

It can be very easy when you live in a space everyday to just get used to all the items in there. This weekend go in with fresh eyes and ask yourself if you still love the item or whether it's time to relocate or donate. 

 

8. Utilise dead space

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Image credit: Project Weekly. The corner of this small living room could have been left empty because of the long window but the owner has cleverly  installed a bench seat with extra storage as well as corner shelves and lit it with a wall light.

 

Even after your declutter there's inevitably going to still be quite a bit left that still needs a home. Bits and bobs are a natural part of daily life so there's no point in fighting it! Instead - cater for it.

Look at what's left and try to categorise things into groups. Also think about what needs to be accessed every day and what can stored away in harder to reach places like high cupboards or under the bed.

Once you know exactly what needs a new storage home, it's time to look at your room in a brand new light. Try to see every single nook and cranny in the room as an opportunity for storage. Some underutilised spots are that wasted space above your door frame or below a tall window frame like in the image above.

Built ins are always a regular recommendation we give our clients to save space but unless you happen to be a joiner by trade, that's not something you can achieve in a weekend! Shelves on the other hand can be installed by any DIY novice. You can also shop around for storage solutions in different sizes that will fit neatly in the unique nooks and crannies your room provides. 

The trick is to not waste an inch of space!

 

Need an expert to help you maximise your small space? Our professional designers will help completely transform your room and help you make the most of every inch! Get started today by completing this 15 minute brief.

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9. Your walls to the rescue

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Image credit: interiormenteblog

 

Speaking of shelves, your walls really are going to be your best friend here. By installing wall mounted furniture and shelves you will free up precious floor space as you'll be able to remove clunky items of furniture.

Another benefit is that it draws the eye upwards making you feel that space is taller.

Do you currently have photo frames dotted around your room sat on top of furniture? Clear space by instead hanging them on your walls and creating your very own gallery wall. Mix up both personal photos and art to create and really standout feature in the room. 

Watch our video on how to create gallery walls here.

 

10. Two for one furniture

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Image credit: The Nordroom

 

Whoever thinks that a chair is just somewhere to sit and a bed is just for sleeping in clearly never lived in a small room! 

A fun challenge with smaller spaces is to think about how essential items of furniture can have multiple uses. Ottoman beds, benches and stools can work really well if you're seriously lacking space as they can also be used to house things like hairdryers, shoes and other bits and bobs in a bedroom. Don't go ottoman crazy though! Remember our previous rule on choosing furniture with legs where possible to give the illusion of space. 

Try to incorporate storage into every item of furniture in the room. Floating basins in your petite ensuite can look fantastic for example but give you nowhere to hide your toothbrush and other essential bathroom bits that will just clutter up the room if not hidden away.

 

11. Reflective surfaces

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

You've probably already heard the commonly used tip for small rooms is to hang a mirror and this really does make a huge impact and it can be done in less than an hour with the help of a hammer and some nails.

Other great tips are choosing furniture with reflective surfaces like glass and metal that will bounce light around and give the illusion of space. 

 

12. Don't break the flow

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room. 

 

You can also make a room feel larger than it really is by blurring the line between it and the adjoining room. Pocket doors are great for this. You can close up the space when you need privacy but then open it up completely the rest of the time, making it feel like an extension of the next room. They also have the added benefit that they don't swing into a room so you won't keep banging the door on furniture.

But as this is a weekend job article - have you thought about removing the door entirely like we did in the example above?! Not one for bedrooms or bathrooms, mind! 

Another trick used above that's a great one (but not really a weekend job I'm afraid) is to match the flooring between both rooms. Different floor types will create a break between the spaces rather than letting your eye flow between them.

You can also blur the lines between your small room and the outside. Naturally, you could install bifold doors and large windows but that's not going to happen in 48 hours! A nice subtle trick is to add house plants within the room which creates an instant connection with the outdoors. 

 

Need an expert to help you maximise your small space? Our professional designers will help completely transform your room and help you make the most of every inch! Get started today by completing this 15 minute brief.

   GET STARTED   

 

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