As much as we would all love to have huge mansions, with enormous rooms, it’s not necessarily the reality for most of us, and oftentimes, the rooms in our home can end up looking even smaller than they actually are, due to some of our own decorating mistakes. Here is how you can make a small room look bigger.
Let the Light In
Natural light is a really great way to make a room look bigger, but of course, besides creating a new window, there isn’t much you can do if there isn’t much natural light. That said, artificial light is the next best thing and if you invest in some good G9 LED bulbs, add more lamps, and reassess the light fixtures to ensure you are getting the most amount of light for the space, you will notice things really start to open up.
Having too much stuff in a room can really make it feel closed in and small. You can go the KonMari method and get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy, or you can get creative with storage solutions to really make the most of the space that you do have, and hide any mess and clutter away, seamlessly.
Think of Your Colours
Although dark colours and dark wood can create a really cosy feel in large spaces, if it’s not used right in a smaller space, you will notice that it’s starting to feel cramped and a little claustrophobic. Opt for lighter colours to open up the space and make it feel airy, but don’t feel as though you have to stick with white or grey – look for a soft blue or green to keep some personality while adding space. When it comes to the colour of your furniture or your accessories, stick to small prints or plain colours. If you keep things in a unified pallet, it can expand a room visually.
If you are able to use glass for things like tabletops, you will notice that it gives the illusion of having more space. Another example of this is using a clear frameless shower enclosure, rather than a frosted version, which will allow you to feel as though there is more room in the space. Another way in which glass is fantastic is if it is in the form of a mirror. A large mirror on the wall can open out the space and make it look so much larger, as well as providing more reflected light and a practical piece of decor too.
As you can see, you don’t need an extension to make a room seem larger, just a few subtle changes in decor and accessories along with a few tricks of the eye can make the world of difference to a cramped room. So until we can afford that enormous mansion, these tricks and tips will have to do.
Next week, Sausage starts senior school. She turned eleven a few weeks ago and suddenly seems so grown up. She currently shares a bedroom with her sister, which was their choice when we moved in, but a lot can change in the space of four years and I think Sausage is craving her own space. It will be even more important when she has homework to do and needs a quiet place to do it, so we’re having a re-jig of the whole home, to make it work for us.
We have three bedrooms in our home – one for Husband and I, one for the girls and another which is used as an office/dressing room/junk room. Sausage is going to have the room that Husband and I are in so that she and BB have rooms which are the same size, while Husband and I will move into his office and the dining room will become the office.
Both girls would like their bedrooms decorated too, and their colour choices could not be a better illustration of their differing personalities. Sausage wants her bedroom to be purple with black accents, and BB wants hers to be even more pink than it already is! Everyone says they look alike, but I always counter that with “…but their personalities are VERY different!” We’re buying a new bed for Sausage as she’s currently in bunk beds with her sister, and she’s looking forward to choosing one.
At the moment, what we call “the dining room” isn’t actually used for anything close to dining. It’s where Sausage’s budgie, Bagel, lives, as well as the family’s bikes. Our shed isn’t massively secure, so we keep the bikes inside, but this will definitely need to change. As well as a bed, we need to invest in some sort of bike storage for the home, like a shed or lockable bike box to keep everything safe and secure.
We need to do a few other things around the house, too. Our kitchen floor needs replacing and we have the tiles, we just need to get around to actually laying them! Our upstairs bathroom is in a state of disrepair, just because it’s quite old, so we’re hoping our landlady will take care of some of that this year too.
I think the only room we’re not doing anything to is the living room! However, once we get all of the moving around and rearranging done, our home will work a whole lot better for us.
When it comes to being productive, I definitely need some help; working for myself whilst caring for a toddler (and an 8 year old…and a 37 year old Husband…!) means that my actual work space is pretty ad-hoc. I use a laptop and tend to use it wherever I can so that Burrito Baby can watch TV or play with her toys, which means that my “office” has been everything from our lounge, the car or even outside on the garden bench whilst the kids are on the trampoline!
What I didn’t know (or maybe just didn’t occur to me, as it makes total sense) is that office layout can affect your productivity and how you arrange a meeting room can also affect how meetings go. I don’t currently have meetings at home but I do have the occasional Skype or Hangout meeting and having a proper space to conduct these in would be really useful. I’ve been looking at the office supplies from https://www.officemonster.co.uk/ and it’s been giving me some inspiration for how I’d like my workspace to be set up. I’d like something that will allow me to write, record videos and give me space for photographing review items, and if it could double up as a crafting space, that would be even better!
The irony is, we DO actually have an office space in our house, I just never use it! Husband has his PC set up in there and our wardrobes and clothes storage are also in there, so it’s a kind of office/dressing room, but everything in there is pretty neutral so it would be ideal for vlogging/Skype. Burrito Baby is starting nursery in September and this will give me the chance to start working at a proper desk and keeping everything I need on one place, rather than searching for my laptop charger every time I get a low battery notification!
I’m looking forward to seeing how this will affect my own productivity. It’s literally been years since I worked at a proper desk with a pen pot and a coaster for my coffee and I’m almost worried that the change from working on a sofa will be TOO different and will actually distract me! I’m so used to all of my work being done with Paw Patrol or Bob’s Burgers playing the the background that working in silence might be too weird – it might be time to invest in a radio!
Do you have a dedicated working space set up at home? Do you actually use it or do you find yourself working on a laptop wherever you can? Have you put a lot of time and effeort into nsuring you have the perfect working space? I’d love to hear from you and see links to posts about your own office so please do leave me a comment below.
One of the things that Husband and I loved about the house we’re living in now is that our landlady is happy for us to decorate. As with most rental properties, obviously we have a “within reason” guideline, so painting the walls black is a no-no and we’re not permitted to make any major structural changes, but other than that we have fairly free reign. When you rent rather than own, it’s wise to make choices that will last, which means avoiding ‘trends‘ or things which will seem passe by the end of the year.
Obviously, as with clothes, if there’s a particular trend which is big at that time, there will be a LOT of that in the shops – remember a few years ago when metallic furniture was all the rage and it was nigh-on impossible to find a Welsh dresser which hadn’t been gilded?! For us, it’s all about finding balance – items of furniture which are high quality and classic in their design, so that they stand the test of time.
Another thing to consider is lighting – lighting can change the whole look of a room and is so easy to add to. Here’s that the interior design specialists from Baytree Interiors had to say about lighting:
“Strategically placed lighting is a simple yet effective way to change the ambience in a room with minimal effort. Pendant lights and chandeliers are a great choice when it comes to lighting, as are filament bulbs which provide a warm glow with a vintage look. With a range of different styles available from industrial to vintage and modern variants, pendant lights can suit any theme.”
As much as we’d love to re-decorate our houses every time the trends change, what’s far more practical is choosing a style which can be amended if your tastes change. Opting for furniture in neutral colours and classic shapes and then accenting them with cushions, place mats or storage inserts in different colours is a far more practical (and let’s face it, CHEAPER) way to freshen up the look of our homes.
It’s also a lot better for the environment to opt for furniture which has been well-made. Yes, going to a massive warehouse-style shop and picking up a bargain may seem great but that furniture rarely lasts longer than a year, will add to landfill once it’s thrown away and has probably used lots of carbon-heavy processes to be made. Choosing real wood furniture which has been made by craftspeople is by far the better choice.