15 ways to make a space appear larger

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 22nd, 2016

Want to make your apartment feel more spacious than it actually is? Check out these handy tips.

Plenty of Australians live in small houses, apartments and units. While small apartments are often cheaper and easier to maintain, they can feel cramped.

With a few simple design tips and tricks, you can make your property feel much larger.

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The mirror trick

Mirrors are effective tools for tricking the eye into thinking you have more space. Well-framed mirrors can be works of art and sliding mirrored doors to replace solid wardrobe doors are another great idea. Placing a mirror near a balcony or outdoor area will also serve to bring the outside in and immediately make a room feel larger.

Let there be (natural) light

A bright, well-lit room feels more spacious compared to a dark, poorly-lit space. Natural light creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in any space, opening it up to the outside world. Windows and skylights allow you to illuminate your space.

De-clutterHow to make your space appear larger furniture

The more stuff you have in a room, the smaller it will feel. With this in mind, an annual spring clean can work wonders. Taking advantage of clever storage solutions, such as functional wardrobes, boxes, internal dividers or items of furniture that include storage space, can also help open up your rooms. Using built-in cabinets rather than introducing store-bought storage pieces can also produce better results.

Get your proportions right

When choosing furniture for your home, it’s important to select pieces that suit the dimensions of the room. Large items can dwarf the rest of the room, so you may need to downsize to find suitable lounges, dining tables, chests of drawers and other items. Leaving room between your furniture and the walls can also help to create a more open, airy feeling.

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Stay low

Another useful tip is to choose furniture that sits low to the ground, which can make the room feel more spacious. Furniture pieces that sit below eye level are ideal.

Streamline your furniture

Airflow is a crucial factor when it comes to creating a feeling of space. Big, solid and chunky pieces of furniture can dominate a space, while streamlined pieces encourage light and air to flow around them. For example, chairs and lounges with legs rather than solid bases create a more open atmosphere.

Be careful with curtains

If curtains aren’t essential for privacy or to hide the afternoon sun in summer, consider removing them.

Not only do curtains block out natural light, they also add unnecessary clutter and conceal the outside view.

Indoor plants

Making space appear larger with indoor plants

Introducing plants into your home is a great way to bring the outdoors inside. Plants can soften hard edges, and the link with the outdoors they create can help to enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

White and bright

Another basic principle of interior design is that dark colours can be overwhelming and make a space feel smaller. White and neutral-painted walls and ceilings can blend together to make a space feel larger, while it can also serve to further emphasise the works of art or architecture of the room.

Keeping colours neutral can also help to maximise the sellability factor of your home. But if you’re worried that a white colour palette will feel too sterile, elements including timber and ample natural light can help add more warmth and character.

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Up, up and away

Maximise the impact of any vertical space in your rooms. Drawing the eye upwards can help increase the feeling of openness.You can achieve this sense of height and space withtall shelving or a feature light.

Emphasise the horizontal

Consider your horizontal spaces to encourage the eye to travel around the room. Using features such as horizontal lines, colour bands and even wood grains can help make visitors aware of the space around them.

Link between spaces

Making a space appear larger colour scheme

If you have two spaces that connect to one another, use the same colour palette and materials to create a smooth and seamless transition between the two spaces. This will encourage flow inside your home and create a feeling of openness.

Keep it simple

Remember this last tip throughout the design process. While elaborate finishes and intricate detailing might look spectacular in larger rooms, they can make a smaller room feel cluttered. Whether you're choosing colours, furniture, artworks or anything else, remember that simplicity is the key to helping your small space feel large.

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Images: Shutterstock and kaboompics

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