Designing to maximise space
Regardless of your home’s size, we all crave a little extra space to make our interiors function better and feel more open and welcoming. As such, creating the feeling of spaciousness is one of the most common problems people face when decorating their home.
We’ve uncovered 9 tips to help you achieve that ‘airy’ feeling in your home, regardless of how compact it is.
1. Make your space work harder for you
Source: www.remodelista.com, photography: Whit Preston
When you’re short of space, making every room work harder for you is imperative. After all, smaller homes often won’t have the luxury of a dedicated room for every function such as a study, dining room or rumpus.
Consider how you can incorporate other functions in the one room. Could up incorporate a study nook in a corner of the living room where you can shut the doors to keep everything hidden? Maybe that unused space under the stairs could house a desk or some additional storage.
For those with young children, increasing the storage in your lounge room is essential to hide away all the kid’s stuff and avoid the space looking like a toy room. It’s also worth considering how you furnish the space to make it useable and inviting for both adults and kids to use.
2. Optimise the natural light
Natural light can help improve the perception of space as well as make the home more inviting. Open up and take advantage of the natural light where possible. This may mean by creating a bigger window opening, installing sky lights or knocking a wall or two down.
If your natural light source is limited, utilise reflective surfaces and mirrors to help create the illusion of more space and light. Bright white lamps rather than those that illuminate yellow can also provide the effect of more light in an interior.
3. Create an indoor/outdoor connection
Creating a connection with the outdoors will help your interior feel more spacious.
If you have the ability to open up your home to a garden or courtyard, you’ll be rewarded with a more useable and expansive space. Consider this outdoor space as an extra room which could be used as a dining area, an additional lounge space or a great area for kids play and to store their toys.
Those with only a small outdoor space such as a balcony can still utilise this space to make the room feel larger. Ensure the doorways to your outdoor space are clearly visible and can be opened with ease. Make your balcony space is also visually appealing, even if you don’t use it often, by potting up some herbs or hanging some plants.
4. Furnish within your limits
Melba Sofa by Urban Rhythm
While you may desire a modular sofa that you can stretch out on and watch a good flick, it simply may not work with the dimensions of your space. Rather than filling your entire room with a big sofa, armchairs and tables, be realistic about what can actually fit.
Your room may be better suited to a finer sofa like our Melba with a couple of armchairs to allow for circulation. A round dining table may better suit the limited space than your large extension table which doesn’t allow your guests to move in and out of their chairs easily.
It’s also worth considering furniture that offers a multi-functional purpose such as a coffee table with drawers or shelving to put your magazines, remotes and coasters.
5. Consider custom-made pieces
Furnishing your home to fit its proportions perfectly will help maximise space and enhance its functionality. It also means you don’t have to go without or make a compromise on the overall style.
This may mean designing custom-made shelving that can be built into an area of your home or arranging for a table to be made at a shorter length. By incorporating some custom-made pieces into your interior, you’ll have a one of a kind home which considers the entire space and its aesthetics.
6. Show the floor
Encore Sofa Range with Malmo Coffee and Console Tables
Interior spaces read larger when you can see the full extent of the flooring. This means learning to levitate your joinery where possible. You can create this optical illusion in most rooms, like the bathroom by installing wall-mounted joinery or shelving a bedroom.
You can trick the eye further my choosing furniture that has legs allowing you to see underneath and for air to circulate. A sofa like our Encore or Olso occasional chair creates the illusion that there is more space simply with its lighter appearance. They also make it easier to clean underneath!
7. Unite the spaces through materials
Nothing can make an interior look and feel smaller than a mishmash of materials. This is especially true for open-plan layouts.
Instead of having different materials in your living, dining and kitchen, treat all the spaces as one single entity. This may mean by running the same flooring through all rooms or painting the walls in the same colour.
Think about the materials you’re using for your kitchen cabinetry and how you can bring these into your dining room or living area. This doesn’t mean you need to adhere to one look and create a dull looking interior. Subtle uses of the material or colour palate in each room will help create consistency and provide a greater feeling of space.
8. Embrace the feeling of intimacy
We often view smaller interiors negatively. However, you can decorate these spaces to be not only highly functional, but feel warm, intimate and familiar.
To create the feeling of intimacy, look at incorporating materials that are comfortable and inviting. Wool, linens, leather, felts and timbers are all warming thanks to their natural qualities.
Small interiors also don’t need to be kept bare to retain their feeling of spaciousness. Find a place to display personal treasures or family heirlooms in your interior. This will enhance the feeling of intimacy and give your home personality.
9. Edit, edit and edit
Just when you think you’ve nailed your interior’s décor, edit one more time. A little restraint can go a long way in making your interior feel more spacious.
Start with editing your materials and colour palette making sure they are all work together and not one is competing over another. Consider if you’ve squeezed in one too many side tables into your space. How does your space feel if you remove one piece of furniture or swap it for something smaller? Edit your soft furnishings, artwork and decorative items too.
Remember, if it doesn’t fit into your space or work harmoniously with the rest of your interior, it’s time to ditch it.