If you’ve recently moved into a house that has a smaller living room than your last, or just want to create a bigger space for you and your family to roam around in then don’t worry – there are lots of secret tricks for you to try out in your own home. Colleen from Expert Home Tips has put together 15 smart ways to help you make your space look bigger.
1. Buy the perfect rug
The rug you choose can have a big impact on the feel of your living room. Consider a solid, light-coloured area rug to help your room look bigger. If you can’t bear to have a plain rug, then choose a rug pattern with a small repeated design. Ask the rug shop if they will let you try it in your home before you make the commitment of purchasing it. You’ll soon know what suits your room and what doesn’t.
2. Clean those windows
This may not seem that obvious but if you’ve moved into a new home then give your windows a good scrub to get them clean. The more natural light in the room the better and the dirtier they are, the less light will come through. If you don’t want to pay a window cleaner to do your work for you, then there is a cheap option. Pick up a spray bottle, fill it with white vinegar and spritz it the entire offending window. Leave it for a bit, and then scrub using old newspaper.
3. Keep the floor visible
The more floor surface you have on show, the more your living room will feel open. One way to achieve this is with glass furniture, so consider glass coffee tables, glass TV stands, and glass end-tables. Another way is to make sure all your furniture, such as your sofa, have legs, so you can see a slither of the floor underneath them. You’ll be surprised how much this can make a difference to how your living room looks.
4. Keep the wall & curtains the same colour
You can create the feeling of having more space by picking the same colour for your walls and your curtains. In doing this, you will create an uninterrupted view of the wall, which will make the whole area seem larger than before. This look also oozes elegance and calmness, so extra design points for you!
5. Choose lightweight fabrics
If you have a small living room, avoid weighing down your room with heavy materials, like thick curtains and woolly blankets. Keep everything light and floaty. Fill it with softer material which will help the room to feel airy and will absorb more light at the same time.
6. Keep it clutter-free
Have a really good look at your living room. How much stuff do you actually need in there? Be honest with yourself and have a good clear-out. Say goodbye to all those items that are cluttering up your living space and enjoy a relaxing environment instead. Keep your surfaces and walls mostly free of ornaments, paintings and framed photos. You’ll be happy once you’ve done a big clear out – it will look so great you’ll want to keep it that way.
7. Low lighting
One powerful ceiling light can dominate the room. Instead split up the glow by having lots of weaker lights all over the room, especially in the corners. Mix up floor lamps, table lamps, and wall lamps to help spread the light around your living room to help give the illusion of more space.
8. Consider a wall-mounted TV
Is your television on a stand that takes up lots of room in your living room? Try mounting your flat screen television on the wall – then you won’t need a piece of furniture to put it on! If you can, work with a carpenter to create something beautiful to hide all those unsightly wires and extra electronic equipment.
9. Skinny, low & long
We’ve mentioned before that legs are important to assist with the illusion of space in your living room. But did you know that skinny legs can make the room look even bigger? If you choose low furniture in the room then this will create the impression of higher ceilings. Add long pieces, like long sofas or long thin coffee tables, then your space will look elongated. Look to 60s and 70s furniture styles and Scandinavian furniture for inspiration.
10. Multi-functional furniture
Choose furniture that can do more than one job and therefore takes up less space! If you have a dining room table in your living room then consider a drop-leaf table. If you need a foot rest then get one with inbuilt storage. There are so many multi-functional pieces out there that would look amazing in your home, so start looking! This leads me onto the next tip…
11. Measure before you buy
If you haven’t moved into your new home yet, then make sure you take a tape measure to the furniture store. Record every height, length, width of all your big important pieces of furniture, such as the sofa, coffee table, book case and the TV stand. You don’t want to make the mistake of buying a piece that doesn’t fit into your room and makes it seem cramped.
12. Pick cool colours
Is your room painted in dark warm colours? Chances are you’re unwittingly making it look a lot smaller with your colour choice. Paint it white if you can, but if this feels a little boring to you then choose light colours, such as greens and blues to help brighten it up. Your room will feel far bigger and you’ll have a cool calm environment to relax in.
13. Keep it natural
Allow as much natural light as you can into the room, so clean those windows and make sure that your curtains are pulled back as often as possible. If you have to keep a covering over the window, pick sheer material to allow light to come through.
14. Buy a mirror
This is the oldest design trick that everyone already knows, but it deserves a mention because it really works! If you can, invest in a large mirror and start reflecting the light, your room will instantly look like it’s bigger than it really is. If you can’t afford a large mirror, then group smaller mirrors together. Make sure all the frames are painted the same colour to keep them looking organised, rather than cluttered.
15. Get a ‘clutter basket’
Sometimes you might find that, despite your best efforts, you just can’t keep your living room free of clutter. It may be that you have a busy family life, or that the minimalistic look is just too difficult for you. The best thing to do is purchase a basket (or something that is in keeping with the design of your living room) and find somewhere for it to live in the room. At the end of each day, stick all the little bits, like magazines, toys and post in your clutter basket.
Every week, get the family to empty it out and return them to their homes. Without the clutter your room will instantly look bigger!
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