Tips on making small rooms bigger and light!

So you are trying to sell that house or apartment – spring is here and it’s time to move? A few tips to make those rooms really appealing to potential buyers – small rooms are especially tricky to get right but we show you how.

So you are trying to sell that house or apartment – spring is here and it’s time to move? A few tips below to make those rooms really appealing to potential buyers – small rooms are especially tricky to get right but we show you how.

Small rooms need a tad more thought on furniture placement and decorating – remember to keep good proportions, lift things off the floor, create several heights: floor level, waist level and above your head for a sense of depth. This is critical to ensure the space looks open and light. Send in your own interior pictures and we will select the best one to feature in our next blog! We are looking for the best use of space with furniture, soft furnishing and lighting. Send your own projects to [email protected]

Some interior designtips below which are easy to follow and won’t break the bank.

  • Keep it tidy! Clearing clutter always helps in seeing the wood for the trees! Make sure everything that is not decorating your room is cleared away in storage. For a bedroom, buy old suitcases and use them as storage! In a living room, ensure your side board or any other furniture has closed door on some of it, this hides the bits and pieces that do not add to your room’s relaxed feel. 
  • **Think tall and think less is more! **Ensure curtainsgo all the way to the floor, this draws the eye from the floor all the way to the ceiling – it makes the room taller. Do not use small accessories and too many - a few larger pieces give balance and make the room volumes look taller and bigger. Use stripes in wallpapers - but use vertical lines in wallpaper to elongate the room (see below for further info). 
  • **Light it up! **I love central lighting but in smaller rooms it takes too much space - it can be rather harsh and also the light pool makesshadows in the corners - you want a light space. Adding uplighters to create volume on the top part of the room is always a good idea andadd side lamps to create mood. Dimmers help in creating a warm atmosphere too as you can choose the exact feel you want. 
  • Reflections! Mirrors add visual space, it fools the eye into making a room feel light and larger. The lighting tips above will bounce off the mirrors too. Try placing one above a fireplace in a living room, place one behind the side lamps on side tables to reflect across the room. But also use reflective surfaces: glass, acrylic, glossed surfaces. It all helps light bounce off. 
  • BIG or small furniture? No point buying that very large sofa or King sizebed, keep good proportions. A good tip is to cut out newspapers in the shape and size of furniture you have or want to buy, move it around and see how it feels.Ensure that not everything is touching the floor- allow for different heights in your furniture, this again keeps it light and off the floor.     
  • Dual purpose! Ensure all the furniture has more than one use. Side tables as chest of drawers to put clothes away, old trunks as coffee tables, storage under the bed or drawers to put away linen and other items. Window seat with opening to store all those videos and DVDs. These days they even make TV's that when switched off become works of art (paintings/photos). 
  • **Colour! **White always works especially if you have a colourful interior already. Forget your feature wall in small places, just paint skirting, walls the same colour, it gives the illusion of more visual space as it blends into infinity. Light colours recede so I would always go for that palette. This is your chance to accessorise with more "arty" and colourful pieces. In living rooms or reception rooms, same thing - darker colours can work in small rooms but this is best left to the professionals and a colour specialist. 
  • Wallpaper - keep it simple! Ensure the paper you are going to use has larger patterns, don't go for small tiny and busy designs. Too small and it can look overwhelming. The whole room or just one wall? Well you could use it behind the bed to give focus in a bedroom for example, but again keep it light in colour and pattern. I personally would not cover every wall unless the pattern veers towards neutral colours. 

For more information why not book a one day inspirational workshop with us - How to re-design your home - with tips and ideas on getting it right first time! London, Reading and Hampshire. Click HERE for more info!

Françoise Murat & Associates specialise in interior, garden & landscape design.

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