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Making the most of the space you have

By Rachel Wallace

Mirror, mirror on the walls

Mirrors are inexpensive and can bring an entirely new dimension of light and space to a small room. Consider using a mirrored sliding wardrobe in a not-so-big bedroom. Likewise, in a dining room, a large decorative mirror above a buffet table can bounce light around, create space and add opulence to the room.

Be cool

Cool colours, such as blue, green and violet. not only let in more light to a small room, but also open up the room with a fresh new vibe. If your boring old living room is an antique ivory, for example, consider painting it a cool white-grey. Team this with a fresh monochrome colour palette and your room will appear much larger to the naked eye.

And while you’re doing one room, why not paint the rest? By keeping the colour palette consistent from room to room, your eye will follow them more easily through the house, thereby making the rooms (and the house in general) feel larger.

Mute the details

Traditional homes can have varnished timber trims, doors, painting rails, balustrades and wood panelling. Although this is a trend that may one day return, it’s also a style that visually encloses rooms, making them feel smaller. Consider painting all wood trim in a muted pale white semigloss.

White ceilings, dark floors

When trying to accentuate size, keep the ceilings white and concentrate darker colours beneath eye level – that is, towards the floor. In a small room, a dark floor rug can provide enough contrast to add aesthetic, and light walls and ceilings will bring in extra light.

Hang curtains sky-high

The higher, the better! If you hang curtain rails just below the ceiling, the curtain drop needs to be long and slender to give the illusion of grand ceiling height, opening up an otherwise small room. It’s also a very stylish and classic look.

Furnish with purpose

Your bulky leather sofa might be super-comfortable, but it might also take up the entire room. Likewise, your chunky timber coffee table might be a style statement, but its opaque design might block people traffic.

When furnishing your home, keep room size in mind. Because elevated and footed no-armrest sofas are less chunky’, they can create the illusion of more space. There’s also the added bonus that they’re easier to clean under!

Opt for a glass-topped rather than solid-surfaced table, and choose oval shapes versus square. These styles can make it easier to navigate around furniture in a tight space and can dramatically open up a room.

Another tip? The classic spring-clean. It can work wonders in helping you clear the clutter. Remember: when styling a small room, less is almost always more.

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