Are you about to move into a new condo that’s small, or is your home feeling more and more cramped as the days go by, even when it didn’t feel that way at the start? In both cases, you will need tips on how to widen your cramped space and make it feel and appear brighter and airier. You’ve come to the right place to learn how to solve your space issue, and we’ll get right to it.
1. Pick a softer palette for the room
Light hues create the illusion of wider spaces. Lighter, neutral colors instantly make a room feel more spacious. If you can repaint your space, Homify.ph suggests beige and cream palettes that are subtle but can instantly bring brightness and warmth to the room. Same goes for the furniture and drapes you’ll add to your space, which leads us to tip #2 and #3.
2. Have a unified color palette
Getting furniture that’s in the same hue as your walls will visually expand a room. Your furniture will blend in and make your space appear wider. Same goes for adding drapes: Make them either the same color as the walls and furniture or, better yet, sheer. Stylecaster.com proposes “painting the walls, trim, and detailing in different shades of one color, such as off-white.”
3. Choose light, hairpin-leg, or clear furniture
According to Buzzfeed.com, “Dark, bulky furniture adds a ton of visual weight and blocks lots of valuable sunlight from flowing throughout a room. Hairpin-leg furniture, on the other hand, is a stylish way to give the illusion of more space and allow more light to ~penetrate~ a room.” It makes your space look more chic, too. ApartmentTherapy.com also recommends see-through furniture—think glass tables and lucite chairs: “Aside from just looking cool and modern, glass and Lucite furniture help visually free-up space in a room,” making one think there’s more space than there actually is.
4. Mirrors are your best ally
Mirrors help reflect light where your space needs it most, and they create the illusion of more space, so where you place your mirrors is key. Buzzfeed suggests hanging “two mirrors across the room from each other to really bounce light around your space.” Homify.ph also recommends adding a large, floor-to-ceiling mirror to help widen and double the appearance of a small, tight space.
5. Less is more
It goes without saying that if you have a tight space, you need to have minimal furniture and decor.
Don’t hang too many posters or paintings on your wall as they will steal whatever light comes into your room, leaving you with a tight, dark space, Buzzfeed notes. As for furniture, keep it to the bare essentials—fewer but smarter—to open up the room. Here’s a curious tip from Stylecaster.com: “There’s an old rule that small furniture in a small space is the way to go, but a few larger pieces of furniture in a small room will often make it look bigger. Furniture that can be folded, stacked, or wheeled away is your friend. Simply push it out of the way when it’s not in use. Opt for a dining table that can be made smaller or larger with removable or drop leaves to make the most of the space that you do have.” Or, see tip #6.
6. Opt for multi-tasking furniture
Since you’ll keep furniture to a minimum to maximize space, it’s smart to pick double-duty furniture—those that serve more than one purpose. ApartmentTherapy.com proposes getting “an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table or console that can act as a desk.” Pullout sofa beds and benches with storage space that you can use as dining chairs are also the way to go.
7. Bigger is better for rugs
As with furniture in a small space, big rugs that go beyond the furniture will actually create the illusion of bigger space.Forbes.com conveys it best in this example: “in a living area, a rug that sits under the sofa, coffee table and additional seating will draw the eye wider and make that living space appear bigger. On the other hand, a smaller rug sized just a bit larger than the coffee table can feel more like a bath mat, causing the living space to read as its limited size.”
8. Experiment with stripes to lengthen your space
Wearing vertical stripes to appear taller and horizontal stripes on parts of your body you want to widen is a fashion trick than can actually be applied to your space, especially on your walls. “Whether vertical or horizontal, the stripes will visually expand or elongate that featured wall,” explains Forbes.com. If painting stripes on your wall is not possible, you can easily get the same effect using a long striped rug.
9. Open up
Partitions obviously cut up your space, so if you already have a small room or home to begin with, open up doorways and, if possible, tear down walls to make your space bigger, allow for more light and air to flow freely into the room, and let you move around much easier. Forbes.com advises, “A living room can be a larger combination of a living, dining and kitchen space if you take down the walls that separate them. Likewise, widening doorways and opening them up to the ceiling will create a larger, more open feeling. If making major structural changes is not possible, try simply removing the doors to each connected space.”