If you look at an interior designer’s portfolio or any home improvement blog, you’ll see your fair share of multi-million dollar homes showcasing sprawling rooms and hallways. Realistically, most of us face more spatial challenges than we would care for.
But whether you live in a house, an apartment, a flat, a townhouse or anything in between, it’s time to look at your small lounge room as an exciting interior design challenge. With a few tricks and adjustments, you’ll be surprised how much bigger you can make it look.
We don’t all have room for a monolithic lounge suite, timber bookcases and bulky dressers. Built-in furniture is an excellent way to create a practical, space-efficient interior without sacrificing aesthetics.
Where possible, open your living area to other parts of the home by opening walls and doorways, or by simply keeping doors open. This is a common trick used in new homes that are limited in space, as it helps the interior feel far more sizeable than it would with every room closed off.
Even the best globes and light fixtures don’t come close to natural lighting, which is why it’s best to place an emphasis on sunlight wherever possible. A common trick for lighting rooms with small or few windows is to place a mirror in a position where the light can reflect to darker parts of the room. A bonus is that the mirror creates a visual illusion of spaciousness.
Using furniture to deliberately separate parts of your home helps create a neat, organised layout. For example, a combined living and dining room works best when the couches and dining table are arranged so as to clearly separate the two. That being said, ensure the space is visually inviting and has clear pathways for movement.
While we mentioned the benefits of creating separated, functional zones within a room, you can also make clever choices that reduce the amount of furniture you need. For example, a coffee table with a drawer underneath means you might not need that bulky chest of drawers sitting in the corner. Similarly, a pull-out sofa means the room can remain a living area until a guest needs to spend the night – no need for a full spare bedroom!
The use of light, neutral shades in smaller rooms is still sage advice, and for good reason. Lighter shades help spread light around the room, while a neutral hue makes it easy to make statements with your décor. It’s possible to pull off a darker colour in a small room, but it’s certainly more difficult; this tactic is more commonly used to create more intimate spaces that can be brightened up with lighter coloured furniture and décor.
While you want to impress family and friends, there’s no one you want amaze more than yourself. Add accessories like framed photos, heirlooms, personal artwork, book collections or anything else that adds a touch of your own life and personality to the space.
Published: 17 Aug 2017