You’re building your dream home. But to be honest, it’s simply not that big. While for some people this can feel frustrating, there are ways to ensure your small space feels bigger than it really is. It’s all about being creative and utilising what you have.
1. It starts with the floor plan
When building a home from scratch, figuring out the best floor plan option for your space is crucial, especially if you want to make smaller spaces feel bigger. If you do a lot of entertaining, ensuring you have adequate space in your kitchen, dining and living areas is a must.
Consider creating an open-plan layout as it creates a sense of space, rather than closing in rooms. It also may be necessary to ‘steal from the rich to pay the poor’. To put it simply, if you need more space in your living areas, take it from somewhere else. The key thing to remember when building a house is that you may have to compromise.
So if you need a study or bedroom downstairs, size it sensibly with the space of your land and necessities of other rooms in mind.
2. Furnish it correctly
Nothing makes a room feel smaller and cluttered than furniture that has been poorly placed. You need to be strategic when it comes to furniture choices and furniture placement. When planning your layout, consider functionality first. Ask yourself what is the purpose of the room and how many people are likely to be using it at once? Prioritise large pieces and make sure these fit into the room. If they start to look like they’re crowding the space, pare everything else back.
It’s also important to ensure adequate flow of foot traffic. If people feel like they’re skirting around furniture just to get from through a room they’ll feel cramped. Try ‘floating the furniture’. This means leaving a few inches between the wall and the piece.
This creates the illusion that the wall is actually further away than it is, giving the room a sense of space. It’s also a good idea to sneak storage into furniture and design options so things can always be put away.
3. Bring in the light
Colours and light sources are just as important as the layout and furniture. As a general rule, the lighter the space, the bigger it will feel. This means, when choosing the placement of your living areas, you should always put them in the area of the house that’s going to get the most natural light. When choosing the colour palette, go with light, bright and pale colours.
Neutral tones tend to make a space feel light and airy, so consider whites, beiges and greys. Another good tip is to paint any trimming the same colours as the walls, as this will make the walls feel taller and longer. If you want to bring colour into the room (and don’t be afraid to do so), accent pillows, blankets and artwork are a great way to mix it up without enclosing the space with heavy, dark colours.
Also, consider the colours the adjacent rooms are using, as different colours will close off the rooms. If you want the space to feel open, use the same colour all the way through.
4. Play with textures
Textures help make the home feel warm and friendly. It also helps to zone an open-plan living area so you can ensure your home’s layout feels spacious, but still zoned for different activities. This is probably most relevant when it comes to living and dining areas.
Pop some unique timber shelving in the space to separate the living and dining – just ensure the shelving unit is open so you can see through it. Texture isn’t limited to rugs and paint after all, so something like this will create a dynamic environment in your home.
You can also create texture by:
- Bringing the garden inside with some indoor plants
- Mix the warmth of couch fabrics with timber and metal.
- Utilise glass and mirrored surfaces wherever you can as reflective surfaces bounce light around the space, creating a sense of openness.
5. Declutter and stay organised
The one thing that will impede on the open feeling of an area is clutter and mess. The more that’s in the space, the more closed off it will feel. Make sure surfaces are clear and things are put away. Make sure cushions are orderly on the couch, rather than just strewn anywhere and everyone.
Enlist the help of some excellent storage solutions – think ottomans that open, or under couch storage options – so you can put things away when you’re finished with them. And give the home a spring clean at least once a season. Get rid of things you no longer use or need. With almost $60 billion worth of clutter taking up space in homes Australia-wide, that’s a lot of stuff encroaching on our well-loved space.
Keep your home organised
Keeping your home organised will do wonders for everyone, especially if you have a small area to work with. We get enough stress in our jobs, finances and kids; we don’t need to feel stressed about our homes as well!