Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Making a small room look bigger:

Do you have a room at home that you think is too small to make anything out of? Home decorating experts never give in to that argument.
By AAP
Date: July 27 2012
Editor Rating:
bright-room

"A small room is relative," says interior designer Ines Wrusch. "A room is only too small when you plan to use it for something big." Because in most cases it's impossible to alter a room's dimensions you will need to fall back on a few tricks to get the desired look.

"The most effective thing you can do is exploit optical illusions," says home design expert Katharina Semling. Well-chosen decorations, appropriate furnishings and clever lighting can help.

But the most important factor to pay attention to is colour.

"Small rooms look bigger if they're painted in bright colours," says Professor Harald Braem from the Institute of Colour Psychology in Germany.

"Just as you can make a high ceiling appear lower by painting it a dark shade, you can also achieve the opposite effect with a lighter tone." White and pastel shades tend to make a room look larger than it is.

Semling recommends painting doors, window frames and bevelled edges a pure white colour. If you're planning on using a colourful wallpaper try painting a narrow white line on the walls directly below the ceiling. If you have chosen a primary colour then you can expect that to make a big difference to the way the room will appear.

"A dominant red colour will make itself felt very present in a room," says Braem. "It's a hectic colour and tends to push aside other colours in a room." Red should be used sparingly in small spaces.

In many instances the reason a room appears small is due to its design. Ines Wrusch illustrates the problem using an example of a bathroom that has been built in an old apartment: such bathrooms tend to be narrow and thus have disproportionately high walls compared to the ground space they occupy.

"The dimensions are wrong. But as soon as the ceiling is lowered with the aid of a dry wall board, for example, then it appears to be the right size."

Once again colour can also be of help. "By painting a dark blue colour on the walls above a height of 2.40 metres you will achieve the same effect." That's because dark colours make a "heavy" impression and give the optical illusion of the room expanding.

Another aspect to consider is furnishings. "Under no circumstances should a small room be packed full of decorations and knick-knacks," says Semling. "But a very spartan interior is also the wrong way to go."

A collection of decorations on the opposite wall to the doorway is sufficient. Big tiles in a bathroom will achieve a bigger look but large-scale, baroque-style wallpaper patterns will shrink a room.

Curtains made of lightweight materials will also make things roomier.

"They don't steal light and they can embellish a space," says Semling.

Large furniture and objects that go over the eyeline should be avoided. "Make every effort to concentrate on the lower regions of a room," says Semling. "But if you have to use a tall cupboard then it should be as brightly coloured at the top as possible."

Glass tables are also counter productive. "At first glance they appear to give a light look but because they're transparent you can see the legs and everything that's beneath the table." That only serves to disturb the optical harmony of a room.

And finally lighting can help determine a room's apparent size.

Semling advises creating islands of light. "That will allow you to customise a room's structure into separate areas."

Ines Wrusch recommends using what are known as wall washer lighting systems that consist of LED lamps that can flood a wall with light. "No matter if you use it to illuminate a single wall or the entire ceiling, it will make a room seem bigger."

So, light and colour are the keys to altering a room's appearance.

Bareness is the worst way to achieve a bigger look. "A small empty space usually looks even smaller than one that is furnished and has wallpaper," Semling says.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
0 Total Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343


Your Comment has been posted
Related Articles
declutter-your-home
Every year, millions of people vow to get organised, and…
Read more
1pending-arrival-of-a-sibli
Dr Julia Driscoll shares her tips to help prepare children…
Read more
hallway1
Five tips to improve the daily flow of items and…
Read more
valentines-day
With Valentine's Day looming, it's the perfect time to show…
Read more
Shipping-containers-freight-wallpaper-preview

Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Vtech giveaway motherpedia

Win 1 of 3 VTech Toys Pack Giveaway
Playtime is so much more with VTech

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!

Bruno-kelzer-zqzuigxcvrq-unsplash

Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.