How to Increase Space... Where There Is None!
Space, space, space… sometimes we just can’t find enough of it. However, there are plenty of ways to make your abode more suitable for you whether you are on a tight budget or can splurge a little. Here are my top tips to have a little more freedom to breathe in your home (or at least make it look like you do).
Invest in mirrors
Make mirrors a feature of your room. If you can’t fit more traditional pieces of statement furniture, a mirror is a fantastic way to create an eye-catching centrepiece that gives the illusion of a larger area. There are some fantastic statement mirrors around which could easily become a gorgeous focal point to design around.Before spending though, make sure to measure the place where your new mirror will live. The aim is to go big, but not so big that it dwarfs the room. If you’re going for a wall-hanging mirror, there should be plenty of clearance on all sides to allow the space to breathe. If your hanging location is particularly cramped, look at designs with a small-medium central mirror and delicate metal work or patterns spreading out. Experiment with the height of your placement to best bounce the light around, but also to affect the perception of the height of the room.
Play with light
Natural light is a fantastic way to transform a room and make it feel spacious and airy. Use reflective objects; wall-hanging mirrors come in handy again here especially placed opposite windows, as well as light-bouncing ornaments to help the natural illumination sources reach further.
Choose central furniture that can allow light through or reflect it. White gloss coffee tables are a perfect example of an object that is on-trend but also highly reflective, ideal for making a statement in a room whilst enabling the flow of natural light. Glass-topped tables are a good option too working best if they’re kept clutter free – if you plan on keeping magazines, ornaments or even remote controls lying around, a glass table will only emphasise the mess.
For the evenings, the opposite is true, and shadows can help create a great sense of space around you. Use strategically placed lamps in one end of a room to create depth. Dimmers are also a perfect way to not only create mood lighting but help encourage those dark spaces for depth making rooms seem bigger.
Minimise to maximise space
Whether it is clutter or you simply have too much furniture crowding your space, try to identify the items that you really need and what you can lose. The process of decluttering can be really refreshing as well, so you should definitely tackle that drawer you haven’t opened in 2 years! However, just because you have decluttered it doesn’t always mean you need less furniture – you still need a place to put your things.
Tall and bulky items can dominate a space too much, so go for low-lying pieces that are a similar colour to your walls to help them blend in and give the illusion of more room. If you’ve got a lot of things to store, even books, go for storage with doors as the smooth surfaces will help to hide unsightly items and project a more uncluttered, zen atmosphere
For rooms that you want to add some homelier touches to, choose ‘open’ pieces of furniture like the popular ladder shelves or something like the IKEA box shelves to display your lovely decorative pieces. Make sure that you keep the contents of these minimal, using splashes of colour to add the right accents to the room as well as reflective or translucent objects to keep light moving.
Get the builders in
If money is no object or you have saved hard to improve your home, it might be time to look at a larger project to reshape your space. Mirrors and new furniture can only do so much before you start thinking about moving or even knocking a few walls down. There are a few options you could consider when expanding your current home. Any of these options will also add value to your property in the long run, which is fantastic when you come to sell – try this extension calculator to estimate how much value an extension will add.
Open plan: This would entail keeping your house its current size and taking out some of the interior walls to open up the space to let light flow through and rooms to merge. You may lose some walls for putting furniture against and even a little privacy, however it does make a space more sociable and reduce dark corners. For example, you could create a large open kitchen/dining/living space area that’s ideal for most family life but keep a smaller room for watching TV, doing work or other more antisocial activities.
Upwards and outwards: If you do have a little bit of garden space or are willing to compromise space at the side of the house, you could consider an extension to make your current home accommodate your needs. This is a great option if you can’t afford to relocate entirely! It is also an option if you have supporting walls that cannot be knocked down within the current home to create an open plan living situation.
Digging down: Have you thought about a basement? This can be a significant investment especially if you’re digging a new basement rather than converting an existing underground space but allows you to use the full footprint of the house while keeping your external spaces the same. Either way, it is essential you get a specialist basement company in to complete the works as this is a fundamental structural part of your home and requires careful planning and execution. A specialist will know about the approvals and permissions you need to make your new space happen and be able to advise you on how to get the most natural light into your underground level.
Whatever your budget, there are plenty of ways to refresh an interior and create more space!
Article by Nathalie Martin