How to make rooms appear more spacious without structural changes

by Francesca

By Matthew Currington, Technical Director, The Lighting Superstore

Adding an extension to your house or knocking down internal walls sound like a great way to enlarge its square footage but it’s expensive, time consuming and often impossible.

If you feel your walls are closing in on you, Matthew Currington at The Lighting Superstore has put together a helpful guide to make your home more spacious and bright, without needing any structural changes.

Matthew Currington of The Lighting Superstore has helpful tips to help you eliminate overcrowding without compromising your new-found love of home improvement.

The ‘cantaloupe’ rule

The theory is that any trinket or décor below the size of a cantaloupe melon is additional clutter for a space and will leave a room feeling small and overcrowded. If your home is filled with small knickknacks, maybe try swapping these out for fewer, larger statement pieces to keep a personal touch.

Large vases, bigger picture frames and statement clocks are all stylish, simple ways to decorate without compromising your sought-after spacious feel.

Lighters block

One overhead lighting fixture can shallow out the space of a room as the light will likely be unable to reach the corners of the space effectively.

A simple solution to combat this issue is smaller light fixtures dotted around the room. They will not only illuminate all the space but also create more depth to your home.

This simple touch lamp is the perfect feature to maximise the space of a room. With its diffused output, the light will spread evenly making the walls appear further away rather than highlighted.

Room within a room

If you have more of an open plan space to work with, rugs can be the perfect way to make markers around the space. Not only do they trick the eye into thinking the floor space is bigger, but they also make rooms functional for more than one purpose.

Smaller rugs dotted around draw the eyes focus, so the uncovered areas appear bigger to the peripheral vision, whereas a large statement rug can diminish the space by taking up so much room that the rest of the area is almost invisible.

Use your furniture wisely and mark out the spaces of the room, along with your rugs. First things first, draw up a floor plan to ensure the best possible placement.

Higher up

Placing shelves, picture frames and paintings higher on the walls can expand the space by making a room feel much taller. If features are positioned upwards in the space, this is where the eye will naturally go.

If a room feels taller, it inevitably feels less confined. When shelves and wall fixtures are positioned low, this will drag the ceiling down, making it feel boxed-in and more cramped.

Taller ceilings make the home feel far more grandiose, so this tip will not only help to extend the room space, but will also give you a chic, luxurious feel.

Mirror, mirror

The oldest trick in the book is sometimes the best. Adding mirrors to a space can be the easiest (and often cheapest) ways to maximise the space of your home.

Similarly to using light colours on the walls, reflective surfaces act as an extender of space. Choose the mirror space carefully to get the best possible results, such as placing the mirrors opposite the rooms windows. This will reflect the light around the room.

Placing mirrors behind objects like credenzas and bar areas will reflect the objects atop and deceptively appear to have a whole other section behind them.

Colour coordinated

Dark paint like navy are in style, but these flat, dark shades will shrink a space. Painting the floors and ceilings in a matching lighter shade is inevitably going to soften the edges of the room, making it appear much wider and higher.

Using a feature wall can be a great way of keeping light shades without compromising style, however going too dark can be stunting to the room’s potential. The latest trend is painting your white wall with little darker brush strokes for a simple wallpaper looking style, which will ‘lengthen’ the room if the strokes all go in the same direction.

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