Living in a small flat might be fun, but sometimes you need more space for your things. Other times you start realising that the smaller the room – the more claustrophobic it feels, and that’s not a good thing. The way you view your home has a direct impact on your mentality and mood. To see our bedrooms, living rooms and home offices in the same room gives us an underlying feeling of anxiety – the exact opposite of what a home should feel like.
But what can you do about it? It’s not like you can build an extra room and a hallway overnight. Moving to a new place is probably out of the question, else you would be reading a “how to move” article. Fear not, there are more than a few changes you could make to your home to see your tiny flat look more extensive.
Mirrors are almost magical items. Scores of illusionists use them to confuse their audience about the actual proportions of a given space. That’s exactly what you can do as well. However, simply placing a mirror or two in each room might not provide you with the desired effect. You should think carefully about each of your rooms and decide what main activity you do there.
For your bedroom, this is obviously sleeping. Following that chain of thought, your bed becomes the focal point of your bedroom – the main attraction. Everybody knows why a bedroom could use a mirror – you will want to look at yourself in the morning while getting ready for work or school. However, try to angle your mirror towards the bed (the “focal” point). A good position for a mirror is also near a window – that way, you get even more natural light into your room.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one standard mirror. Be creative – incorporate reflective surfaces onto mundane objects, like your wardrobe, and get ready to stand in awe before your magnificent, spacious rooms. Another clever idea is to use mirrored floor tiles. Let your creative spirit take over and consider where and how you can put mirrors around your property, and, don’t forget: angle your mirrors toward the focal point of the room in which you put them.
First and foremost, every room will look bigger if it’s well lit. When creating space, the first thing you should do is to spread light around. A single light source might have trouble illuminating an entire room, even if the room is small. Renovation experts from Fantastic Handyman recommend that you use light curtains and other small light sources to enhance the light in your property. So put a few wall lights here and there, invest in a night lamp, a bright digital clock, even an RGB LED strip along your walls, assuming you like the idea of colourful lighting.
Once you have your light sources ready, you should think about how you arrange them. If you decided to get those LED strips – they would be best used as backlights to your furniture. Backlighting creates an illusion of space and gives you a sense of depth, making your rooms look more spacious than they are.
As for additional light sources, try to stick with those you would put on a lower level. This practice is called uplighting – when the lighting in your room goes upward, the ceiling appears to be higher than usual. An excellent way to create this optical illusion is by putting a lamp on the floor or in the low part of a wall. Another good idea is to place uplighting light fixtures on top of shelves or wall cabinets.
Every self-respecting interior designer knows this simple truth: light paint colours create the illusion of a larger space. Soft colours such as the lighter shades of blue, green, yellow and purple, as well as off white, will make your rooms appear way larger than they actually are. The reasoning behind this is simple: the frequencies of blue-based colours hit your senses slower than those of red-based colours. Physics experts explain this by telling you that darker colours absorb more light particles, but you don’t need to learn the science behind it – just copy the answers.
Another essential thing to note when adding depth to a room is to use more than one shade of the same colour. Painting alcoves and recesses to lead the eye further in the room will leave you surprised about how much space you have. The shades shouldn’t be too different – keep it subtle and stay within the cool colour palette. If your rooms are narrow, paint their sidewalls in a paler shade than the end wall and watch how the space opens up and feels squarer.
Other than colours, you should also think about your furniture and items. A cluttered space will look drastically smaller than usual. This can negatively affect hygiene, but also your mental health. Living in a small, cluttered space is proven to increase feelings of anxiety and depression. You can use multi-purpose furniture to get extra storage space without sacrificing any actual space in your home.
Here’s a list of multifunctional furniture you can invest in to save space:
- Folding bed
- Space-saving table
- Wall table
- Storage chairs
- Extendable kitchen trolley
- Armrest tray
- Overbed desk
Of course, you shouldn’t just go and buy all this stuff because you read something about it on the internet. Think about what you can practically use in your own home. Different people will have different needs, so choose what’s best for you.
Mini Home Office
In the recently growing Covid-19 crisis, home offices have become the everyday life of many people. However, it gets tricky when you have to give up your precious living room space for a large desk with lots of office tech. The best thing to do in such a situation is to think vertically. Use wall-mounted or hanging shelves for all your working supplies.
You can use a single hanging shelf with three or four levels which get smaller the higher they go. The lowest level can act as a desk. You can even keep a foldable chair underneath it. The levels above can be your storage option – put a lamp, a small printer, a pen case or any other helpful item you can think of.
Another good idea is a mini home office cupboard – everything you need, including your chair, computer, and all your supplies, can be stored inside while the top of the cupboard remains available for your important work. Pretty awesome investment for a 60x40cm space, isn’t it?
To summarise, your home doesn’t need to be as crowded as you see it. Once you consider proper lighting, colour schemes and furniture arrangements, you can make it feel pretty significant. Throw in a mirror or two, as well, and you’ll see why Alice decided to go through them.