Maximizing Small Spaces

Make the most of limited space

As real estate prices have pushed prices for residential and commercial space through the roof, it has become increasingly common to have to cope with small spaces. With clever design and sensible organization, it is possible to make the most of limited space.

Maximizing Small Spaces - remove clutter from your room

simple solutions

Mirrors can add a level of deception which can easily trick people into thinking a space is bigger than it really is. Large wall mirrors will reflect both light and the room itself. Mirrors can also be added to tables, doors and wardrobes for a similar effect. Mirrors positioned near windows will have a stronger impression and don't be afraid to install multiple mirrors. Similarly, transparent glass makes a space seem bigger than using opaque glass and having window blinds open will also artificially increase the room's dimensions. At the same time, acrylic chairs may have the same effect as although they occupy space, they don't occupy visual space in the same way.

A bit of organization can help massively also. Before you start decorating and filling the space, draw up a plan and make sure it works on paper. Remove excess clutter, file documents out of sight, make use of cupboards and drawers. Tidiness is a big factor in making a room seem airier and larger.

Don't be so bold with small spaces - wallpaper or tile patterns should be less vibrant and patterns should be restrained. Complicated patterns in a small environment can easily make a space seem crowded. Likewise, opt for airy and light fabrics for sofas, beds and curtains.

Maximizing Small Spaces - use cool, pale colors in a room

color design

The colors you use can impact on how the size is perceived. Darker colors can make for a more intimate space while lighter colors will seem fresher, open and bigger. Tones of light blue and green can have a strong effect. Cool colors can help to give small spaces a more open feel. Ideally, furniture and wall colors should be similar as contrasting colors may have the effect of making the room seem even smaller.

Maximizing Small Spaces - Natural light and lighting including wall lamps helps make a space look bigger

use of light

The use of good lighting will always make a space seem larger. Artificial lighting such as recessed lighting or track lights can be used while maximizing the appearance of curtains (by not covering them) will also open up the room more. Floor lamps and table lamps may not always be the ideal fit for a small space so consider wall lamps.

other solutions

Vertical space is there to be used, though don't go over the top. By all means, use cabinets and shelving which goes higher but it's best not to go to the ceiling as this may have a negative effect. Rugs with stripes that run perpendicular to narrow walls will create the sense of a wider room. Also, wallpaper with horizontal stripes will add the illusion of a broader room.

The use of vertical panelling can exaggerate a room's height and more so when combined with mirrors. Most furniture pieces can be bought in smaller or narrower sizes and it won't be immediately apparent that they aren't regular size to most users. A slightly shorter sofa, bed, desk or table is hardly noticeable and will allow for more space for other items. It may be tempting to put furniture as close to the walls as possible in the belief that this will emphasise the rest of the space but this will look and feel awkward.

Maximizing Small - Use smaller furniture to make a space seem larger