Urban dwellers often have to contend with cramped living quarters, but various tips and tricks can be employed to create the illusion of more space. Buying a sofa bed is a good start, allowing guests to sleep in style without needing a spare room, and following these handy hacks will also help you make the most of what you’ve got.
You can exaggerate the height of each room by hanging shelving up high, but be sure to allow some breathing space – stuffing them with clutter is the quickest route to claustrophobia! Opting for wall mounted bedside tables will also maximise floor space in the bedroom.
Reach for the stars
You don’t have to go all Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel, but getting creative with the ceiling is another great way to draw attention upwards. If decorating a child’s bedroom, you could go for a blue sky with puffy white clouds, or even a stars at night look. Try to keep the colours light as a dark tone may make the ceiling feel lower, especially if you have neutral or light coloured walls.
Alternatively, for a more conservative and grown-up feel, you can trick eyes into thinking you have higher ceilings by taping off a border around their perimeter, and painting it to match the colour of each wall. This gives the impression of a much taller room. Don’t fancy painting the ceiling? Vertical panelling on the walls and curtains with a detail or a pattern at the top will also have the same effect.
Furniture with exposed legs, such as our Manhattan range, will subtly give the perception of more space, by virtue of the fact that the area beneath is exposed. As long as you avoid using it as makeshift storage, the levitated look can help any room feel larger.
It’s no secret that mirrors can help homes feel more spacious, especially if they face windows, reflecting maximum natural light. Speaking of which, windows should be kept clean and uncovered during the daytime – let the light pour in! Depending on the shape of your room, try using a long tall mirror propped against the wall to make rooms feel taller or use a cluster of smaller random mirrors in the same colour along one wall. For more inspiration try Apartment Therapy’s 5 Smart Ways to Use Mirrors.
Get the rugged look
You can create different areas within each room by laying down rugs to keep them separate. Perhaps one by your armchair, one in front of the fire, and one for the coffee table? This gives the appearance of having several independent areas within a largely space. Not sure what size would work for your room or where to put the one you’ve got? Take a look at Shannon Claire’s blog, she’s got some great tips on how to position your rug (with some very handy diagrams).
Hanging a statement piece of art or filling a nice vase with colourful flowers is a quick and easy way to draw attention to something pretty, rather than focusing on a lack of space. This will only work if your room is a clutter free zone. Clutter will make any room look smaller, so get organised, store it away and only display your favourite decorative accessories.
Purchasing or making a loft bed will open up dead space, allowing you to get creative in your bedroom. Desk? Wardrobe? Chill out zone? Whatever takes your fancy! Sleeping up high is always more fun, and isn’t just for kids! Check out these gorgeous examples for some inspiration.
Hopefully these ideas will help you feel less confined in your home, but please let us know if you have any other inspirational thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.