How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

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.

Use Glass

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.


Light Up Your Life with a New Lighting Scheme

There are certain things that I like in a living room. A sofa which is big enough for the whole family to snuggle on, plenty of wall sockets for plugging things in, a fireplace, and plenty of flexible lighting options. I think the latter might be the one which is most important to me; I hate sitting in a room at night with the bright, overhead light on as it’s really not condusive to settling down and relaxing, so I need ways to light a room which aren’t so harsh. With this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some creative ways to light a room which give you flexibility on how the room is lit at different times of the day:

Pendant Lights

Light - Pendant Lights

Okay, so I know I said overhead lighting wasn’t my fave, but there are ways to get creative without having to alter the room too much. There are some beautiful lightshades which can be opened and closed with a little pulley to allow more or less light (or more direct light) to be shone from the fixture. They can be used with pendant lights from lights.co.uk and allow you to have complete control over how bright your room is.

LED Strips

Light -LED Strip

As time goes on, LED strip lighting has become cheaper and more accessible, and can now be used in all types of settings. I absolutely love the look of furniture with LED strips added in an almost hidden position, such as on the underside of the opening of a Welsh dresser to create a really subtle glow around a room.


Light - LED Candles

Gone are the days when candles were too much of a fire risk – LED candles are all the rage right now and they actually produce a really gentle light which looks like an authentic candle glow. We love LED candles so much that the kids have even got them in their bedrooms too – essential when you live in the middle of nowhere, like us, and have power cuts  more regularly than you have hair cuts!

Neon Signs

Light - Neon Signs

It wasn’t until I saw a programme a few years ago where the presenter went and made her own neon signs that I realised how accessible this type of design is for the home. I’d love to, in time, have custom-made neon signs for the girls’ bedrooms as I think they’re such a funky, modern way to add both style and light to a room.



The most obvious way to make your lighting scheme work for you is by placing lamps in all of the places that you want to add extra light. A well-placed lamp can change the tone of a whole room and I love experimenting not only with different locations for a lamp and what they do to a space, but also changing the types of bulbs that you use – at one point, we had a remote controlled bulb in one of our bedroom lamps which could be just about any colour of the rainbow, as coloured light is so much better for the eyes when you’re trying to get ready to sleep.


Use Your Garden to Make Extra Space

Our GardenAs you can see from the picture above, our current garden is pretty vast (paddling pool for scale!) and although it has a huge amount of potential, there’s not really a lot going on out there at the moment. Our house has three bedrooms and when we moved in Sausage and Burrito Baby were determined that they wanted to share, but how long this will continue, I don’t know! This means there’s a good chance that Husband and I will need to use his office as a bedroom and give one of the girls our room.

Having a home office might seem like an unnecessary luxury, but when you’ve got two freelancers in the house, it becomes pretty essential. I tend to bash my work out amongst the chaos, but Husband is definitely in the “no distractions” school of thought, so sacrificing the office altogether isn’t really an option. Oeco Garden Rooms are a fantastic way of adding space to a house without needing major building work or planning permission, and if you’ve got the space are a really excellent option. cuberoom1

One thing I love about the Cube Room is that it’s actually really beautiful – a lot of “added space” looks incongruous and not hugely attractive, but Oeco Garden Rooms have clearly made it their mission to make practicality and looks an equal priority.

The best part of all is that all of the rooms are designed specifically so that you don’t need to obtain planning permission, cutting costs even further:

“All our garden rooms are specifically designed and installed to meet the requirements of the current planning permission permitted development rules and building regulation requirements. Our garden rooms comply with the 2.5m maximum height requirements. Garden rooms up to 15m2 internal floor area (5.5m x 3m) are installed 0.5m from any boundary. For construction purposes the installation teams require a minimum of 0.5m around the garden office. Garden rooms over 15m2 internal floor area (5m x 3.5m) and up to 30m2 (8m x 4m) internal floor area are installed 1m from any boundary. It is our responsibility to install our garden rooms to the above guidelines.”

To be honest, the idea of having a space to retreat to, not just for work, but for five minutes of peace and quite is lovely too! I’m already imagining myself sitting in our garden room, reading a book, watching the bird coming and going and enjoying the view. Having read more about them, it seems that Oeco Garden Rooms are idea for use in winter too, as they’re fully clad and insulated, meaning that it’s not like a draughty old shed, but a proper room which will keep you warm.

And the best part? When we’ve got a 12 year old and a 17 year old in the house, we can banish one of them to the garden room to stop all the bickering!!

Family · Happiness · Home

The Dulux Kids’ Bedroom Project

One thing that Husband and I are really adamant about is that kids should be allowed to have opinions and preferences, and should be given the time and space to express themselves exactly as they’d like to. A few weeks ago, Sausage made a passing comment about how cool it would be if she was allowed to have pink hair and after a little bit of discussion between Husband and I we told her that we had no major objections…and then this happened:

Pink Hair, Don't Care!

It’s a dip-dye which means that it’s easy enough to trim the bottom few inches of her hair off once she’s back to the daily grind, and it’s made her feel really special and grown-up, being allowed to have such wacky hair!

By the same token, we think that kids should have a say in their surroundings too. I’m not talking about letting them choose the wallpaper for the living room, but their own bedroms should be a place where they feel a bit of ownership, which is why I love the new project by Dulux, getting kids involved in the design on of their rooms. The Dulux Kids’ Bedroom Summer Holiday Workbook is a downloadable .pdf which allows kids to gather and record their colour preferences, inspirations and input into the design of their own rooms, so that Mum and Dad can create a space which the kids feel truly connected to.

Dulux Kids Workbook

Dulux have conducted a load of research which shows that kids really value being part of the decorating process:

An overwhelming majority of kids (92%) would spend more time playing in their room and doing their homework if they have a say in how it’s decorated.

Research commissioned by leading paint brand Dulux found a whopping number of children value being part of the decorating process, with the majority saying it was the second most important thing they had ever done – even more important to them than their first day at school or losing their first tooth.

The study of 2,000 families shows that children also found decorating with their parents a really positive experience, with 65 per cent saying they felt happy and 58 per cent excited at the prospect of helping mum and dad.

Additionally, parents commented that decorating together helped to increase their child’s sense of ownership, pride and opportunity for creative expression. Some parents said it even ensured rooms were tidier, because they wanted to show it off to their friends and family.

Surprisingly, however, whilst an indisputable 92 per cent of parents believe that decorating their child’s room is important, the study found that only a QUARTER of parents actually consulted their kids or involved them in the process.

Dulux offers a whole range of paints which are perfect for decorating a kids’ room – Dulux’s Endurance+ range is the perfect paint for a kid’s bedroom makeover – it’s 20 times stronger than normal emulsion, so when you’re tackling sticky fingers and mucky paws it’s a great solution, allowing you to wipe away the stain and not the paint underneath, meaning your walls stay as fresh as the day you painted them!

We’ll definitely be using the Dulux workbook when we get around to decorating the girls’ room and I can’t wait to see what crazy ideas they come up with. They’re sharing a room at the moment but have very distinct little personalities, so there’s a good chance we’ll end up with a room completely split down the middle, with one colour on one side and a completely different colour on the other! We’ll be sure to share the results with you when it happens.

For more info on Dulux and their ranges, you can tweet them on Twitter using their handle, @DuluxUK plus the hashtag #KidsBedroom


The Perfect Bedroom

One of the perils of living in a rented house is never feeling like you’re able to make a real home of the house you live in. Sure, you can fill it with your furniture and personal belongings, but when the walls are white and you can’t hang pictures its really tricky to get a truly homely feel. One place where this is most obvious is in the bedroom. I’d love to have the walls painted a relaxing, sumptuous colour and give the place my own touch, but we have to make do with using bedding to add colour to the room instead.

duvet cover

Our bedroom isn’t exactly huge and with the baby coming along, it would be nice to have a place to sit where I can give her night-time feeds in comfort. A huge rocking chair is out of the question as there simply wouldn’t be enough space, but I’ve been considering other options. In an ideal world, I’d go for a nice window seat or hanging chair, but both are out of the question, so I’ve been thinking about a nice plump beanbag – it would be soft and supportive enough for the baby and I to sit comfortably during feeds, whilst being easy enough to slot into a smaller space, and completely moveable to a different room if we needed to.


Lighting is also an important factor in any room, especially a bedroom. It’s nice to have an overhead light for times like when you’re getting ready to go out and want to be able to see yourself in the mirror, but it’s nice to have the option of lower lighting in the form of lamps. One pretty way of adding light to a room which isn’t blinding is by threading fairy lights around the bedframe or picture rail. It means that you can have soft light when you want it which creates a nice, relaxing atmosphere whilst spreading the light over a wider area, unlike some lamps which make the room either too dingy or like its full of spotlights!

If you’ve got any other ideas for how we can create a relaxing boudoir without making major cosmetic changes or breaking the bank, we’d love to hear your suggestions.