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Spacing is often the last thing on our minds when we’re renovating our home. We focus on the details and the decor, but not on how we’re going to fit it all in. Cluttering can be chaotic for the mind, but with a smaller space it can also feel like you’re unable to achieve the overall look that you really desire.
The run-up to and period after Christmas can be the worst time for accumulating clutter. That means now is as good a time as ever to begin maximising your space. In this post, we outline 10 design rules that can help you to create a more spacious home, without compromising on the look and feel you want to achieve.
This may seem like an obvious starting point, but you may be hoarding things that you don’t even realise are adding to the overcrowded appearance of your home. While this isn’t necessarily a design tip, it’s important that you begin with this, as a good clear out will lay the foundations for the rest of your easy space renovation.
Either just before or during the month’s after Christmas is the perfect time to ship out the old and bring in the new. Scour the house and clear out old ornaments, tired clothing, redundant tech and anything else you’ve been holding onto. A trip to the charity shop with all your unneeded things is a good deed done and your home will be looking more spacious already. Now onto the design…
Clever storage is the key to a more spacious-looking home. The more built-in storage you can incorporate into your design, the better. In rooms that require a lot of items, such as the kitchen and bathroom, cabinets and drawers can go a long way. This enables you to keep all of your bits and bobs hidden away, without having to give up any necessities. Plus, you can create some very sleek looking designs with lots of varieties of drawer sizes and shapes.
Consider understairs storage too, this is a huge area that often goes unused, but making use of this space effectively can help to hideaway your everyday items, while providing easy access to them. Whether this be in the form of a cupboard, or pull-out drawers, this hollow area should be taken advantage of.
Keeping your floor clear can make a big difference, as the more floor space you can see, the larger the room appears. Choose furniture, such as sofas and beds, that are raised by narrow legs, rather than with a block base.
A neat trick is to add floating shelves instead of bedside cabinets to your bedroom. These can be hung from the ceiling for an interesting twist or simply fixed to a wall. You could also install a floating shelf instead of a desk or dressing table, positioning it at a lower level. Mount your television to the wall too and channel the wires within the wall for a clean finish. This is a great space-saving alternative to placing it on a bulky stand.
Sticking to a singular colour scheme throughout the entire home can create the illusion of more space as the design flows seamlessly from room to room. This tricks the eye and mind into visualising each room as a whole. Keep to more subtle, toned down colours for the bigger elements like walls and flooring, as bold colours can actually make a room appear smaller.
You don’t have to avoid colour altogether though, you can create different themes within each room by utilising accessories like cushions, rugs, decorative pieces and more. The key here is not to mute the personality of the room with subtle colours, but to widen the possibilities by making each room a blank canvas to add unique accents to.
This is an old trick, but an effective one nonetheless. Adding mirrors to a room instantly opens up the space and reflects more light around the room too. Be sure to opt for wall-mounted mirrors to avoid taking up floor space unnecessarily.
Mirrors aren’t the only reflective pieces you can incorporate however. Choosing mirrored accessories or even gloss colours over matte for surfaces such as flooring, units and tiles can brighten a room and make it seem bigger.
Again, in kitchens and bathrooms, choose shiny chrome options for taps, radiators and splashbacks to bounce light and reflect the room to create a more spacious feel.
Not everything in your home needs to be on display. Clutter often starts as ‘decorative accessorising’ that can build up very gradually, without you even noticing as you pick up different eye catching pieces every so often. But becoming attached and feeling everything needs to be kept and showcased can cause overcrowding.
Instead, build your eye-catching flare into functional furniture pieces. Choose statement furniture for the bigger pieces, such as sofas and dining tables, etc. to add colour and character to a room. Opt for lamps that have an unusual base, that serves as both a source of light and decoration. Also choose furniture that has built-in storage, such as ottomans, beds with drawers, and other practical pieces like these so you can tuck away anything unsightly keeping your space open, neat and tidy.
The more natural light you let into a room, the bigger it looks. Light flowing through your home creates the illusion of more space. Leave windows uncovered to allow your indoor and outdoor space to merge, creating more depth to the room. If you’re able to make some slightly bigger renovations, replacing smaller windows with larger ones will immediately open up your space.
Internal glazing can also trick the eye into seeing a more spacious area. It creates an open-plan feel, while still keeping rooms separate from one another. This also helps more light to enter your entire home, and serves as a reflective surface that opens up the space.
If you have a particularly small home, fold-away furniture may just be the answer to creating more living space. Wall-mounted beds that can be retracted when not in use saves a huge amount of space. You could also opt for a sofa bed, a two-in-one piece of furniture that is practical and saves you space.
Get clever with your thinking around what can be folded away. Desks and tables can be fixed and folded against a wall and pulled out when needed. Collapsable chairs are also a useful item for when you are entertaining guests, as these can be easily put into storage when not in use.
This one is really only for you if you’re the type of person who keeps their wardrobe in order, completely neat and organised. Instead of a bulky piece of furniture to store your clothes, opt for racks instead that can be fitted into alcoves, behind your bed, or suspended from the ceiling or hung on the wall. This factors in keeping things off the floor to create that illusion of space, but also physically takes up less room.
This tip sounds simple, but it’s harder than you may think and could take some time to get used to. But every single item in your home should have its own place, and it should be kept there at all times when not in use. Ensuring each item is kept to one place helps prevent clutter building up, and helps you to keep things organised and neat.
Remember this when you’re having that big clear out we mentioned earlier, make a plan for the items that aren’t tossed out and stick to this.
These small tips are really simple, but highly effective when it comes to creating more space in your home. Try them out today to make sure your home is ready for the festivities, with plenty more room for presents!
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