Sophie Bayliss is a Houzz UK Contributor: “I’m a London-based freelance journalist with many years of experience writing about interiors for leading magazines in the UK and overseas.”
In this insightful article Sophie starts:
“More Space – we all want more of it, but increasingly, buyers of new-build flats are faced with less. But does a small property mean you have to sacrifice a sense of spaciousness?”
Sophie goes on to say: “If you hanker after a high-ceiling look, a large patterned or colourful rug may be all you need to make yours look taller.”
“It really grounds the room, giving depth and visually stretching the height of the space when contrasted with pale walls and ceiling,” says Emma Painter of Emma Painter Interiors.
“Play with scale,” suggests Painter. “Make a space seem larger by drawing attention to a large-scale item such as an oversized lamp or picture. It also adds a fun element to any room.”
“Keep the flow from inside to outside by using colours and textures that coordinate with the interior spaces to create a cohesive look and feeling of continuity,” says Painter. “Bringing a few potted plants inside will also make the balcony feel like an extension of your inside space, therefore making it appear more generous.”
Conceal your clutter Good storage is key, says Painter. “A cluttered space isn’t conducive to happy living. Stuff is distracting and quickly makes a space appear smaller.”
Mirrors are an excellent space enhancer, too, reflecting the natural light you have and creating more, thus enlarging the look and feel of a space. “Think about what will be reflected, and position your mirror to create the most pleasing effect,” explains Painter. “For example, a reflected pendant can transform a room and a mirror placed to reflect the outside view can make a room feel more generous.”
It’s also important to think about foot traffic, and to be prepared to part company with some pieces of furniture to create a space that you can move around in. “Place furniture so that there’s good flow around the space,” says Painter. “Only keep what you need. Remember that in a small space, less is definitely more.”
Once you’ve decided what to ditch and what to keep, consider how much space you need around each item. For example, a dining chair doesn’t always live under the table: you need to allow space to pull out a chair and for comfortable sitting. “It sounds simple, but if you get this wrong you’ll really notice it,” adds Painter.
Surprisingly, a flash of colour can work well in a narrow space such as a hallway, though, because the eye is drawn to the colour rather than the size of the space. “You can play with the eye by painting a hall dark and the rooms beyond it lighter,” suggests Painter. “The hall will appear cosy but there will be a greater sense of space beyond.”
Use Mirrors to reflect light and provide a sense of space