With rising house prices and energy bills, there’s never been a better time to downsize and find somewhere cosy and modest. While something grand and extravagant can seem aspirational, what no one talks about is the astronomical amount of time, money and effort it takes to maintain these spaces and keep them up to standard.
If you’re trying to make the most out of a smaller living area, there are a few things you can do to enhance and elevate the room. With a few simple tricks, you can make something that might otherwise appear cramped and awkward look spacious and open instead. Here are some simple and affordable ways to achieve a successful small-scale living room and use scale, light and movement in your favour.
Use sliding doors and windows
If you have doors or windows that open up into the room, they can take up precious floor space and interrupt its flow. When it comes to the door, you could either remove it entirely or replace it with a sliding door instead, preventing it from imposing the space and getting in the way.
If you have windows that hang inward when open, installing double or triple glazed windows that slide open or hang outward will do the trick. This way you can avoid the room feeling too cluttered and allow plenty of natural light to flow through it, all while keeping your home well insulated and comfortable all year round.
Paint your walls light shades
Lighter paint colours are the best option for smaller rooms, as they will reflect the natural light and help it to carry across the room. Dark colours create a more intimate sensation, and even a feature wall will work against you in a small space.
Neutral colours such as greys, whites and beiges are the best way to go. If you want to add some pops of colour into the room then you can paint the trimmings or skirtings in lighter shades to add a bit of flair. Make sure you don’t forget to take into consideration the colour of your floor, and that the paint colour you choose is cohesive and makes sense in the space.
Use mirrors to spread light around the room
Mirrors are a quick and inexpensive way to add some space to any room, thanks to their ability to bounce sunlight around and create the appearance of a much larger area. Mirrors big and small can do the trick, so whether you want wall-to-wall mirrors or something more subtle is up to you.
If you can, place the mirrors where they can reflect the windows and the outside view for optimal results.
Minimise window accessories
When working with a small room, decorative window accessories such as thick, long curtains can take up too much space and make a room appear smaller. Instead, opt for something more discreet, such as blinds, that match the colour of the living room walls.
If you really want to hang curtains, one way to get around this problem is to hang them from the ceiling rather than the walls. Use a long, thin fabric that drapes all the way down to the floor to exaggerate the height of the room and make it appear longer.
Be smart with your furniture
When it comes to selecting your furniture, it’s all about proportions. Cramming large pieces of furniture into a small room will only bring attention to the lack of space, and make it appear even tighter than it truly is.
Make sure there’s space between your furniture pieces and the walls, and avoid bulky coffee tables or decorative pieces that take up all the air in the room. In a small space, more is less. Try and find multi-purpose furniture pieces that can play multiple roles and avoid too many clashing colours or patterns.