7 Design tricks to breathe space into small rooms

With rental rates rising up, and space offered by apartments scaling back, interiors need to be practical, make use of every inch of space, and at the same time be aesthetically pleasing. Learning how to maximise the value of your space is instrumental.

We’ve listed down seven design ideas you can apply to make your rooms feel bigger, increase storage without cluttering up your room, and create a better atmosphere.

Play with scale

It may seem counterintuitive, but don’t be afraid to think big when it comes to the furniture in your space. Using a few large-scale pieces helps your space feel bigger and is always a better option than a cluster of small items actually, which can make a room feel cluttered.

For example:
If you’re eyeing your living room, make sure you choose a larger rug — even in a bold pattern — as it actually helps to ground and define the space.

Rethink your coffee table

Ottoman acting as a coffee tableOr more directly: replace your coffee table with ottomans. Ottomans can easily double up as extra seating spots when you have friends or guests over.

But if you want to stick with the coffee table, be smart about it: Use two small tables to take the place of one big coffee table. They’re better for traffic flow and easily moved to wherever else you may need them.

And if one big coffee table is a must, make sure it can serve multiple purposes: Find a table that can function as a desk and a dining table.

Keep your colours calm and cool

'Warm' and 'cool' colours wheel

Colours have weight: warmer tones will make your room feel cosier and more intimate, ‘cooler’ colours such as light purple, blue, and green have a receding optical effect on our perception, making them great for small rooms that you want to visually enlarge. Try painting the walls a light blue or light green. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to add pops off warmer colours through accents and decorations, just don’t overdo it.

Hang curtains well above your windows

To add height and dimension to your room, opt for tall curtains that you can hang well above your window, and that can reach down to the floor. There is a reason older churches and palaces are filled with narrow arches and columns – vertical lines add gravity.

Spread light

Large mirror to lighten up the room

This is the oldest design trick in the book: a well-placed mirror can transform an otherwise shuttered room into a grand, airy space.

Float furniture

Resist the urge to push all of your furniture up against the walls. If you create space behind the furniture, it makes the room look wider than it is.

Mount shelves on the walls

Laptop workstation mounted against the wall

Know when the walls are actually the perfect solution. Think you have no room for a desk? A mounted wall desk takes up way less room than traditional desks and can have shelves mounted above it for even more storage space.

Ask any mother: children and teenagers are committed passionately about two things: Playstations and media consoles. Unfortunately, they also waste space. Mount your TV on the wall or use shelves to regain the floor space.

Do you know any tricks to save up on space and make a small room feel bigger?

Share them with us! Our list is meant to serve as a guideline for those who want to free up space in a room, but they’re not set in stone. For example, designers are now experimenting with using dark colours on the walls to make the corners disappear and create the illusion of depth. We’ll write more about this in our next article, but for now, we’d like to hear your thoughts and opinions.