Interior designers have a talent at making small spaces appear larger.
When they can’t knock down walls or make structural changes to a room, they have to make clever use of homewares to create a sense of space.
Here are seven tips to steal for your own home.
1. Hang a mirror opposite a window
This is an easy way to reflect light around a dark and poky room, creating a sense of spaciousness.
“If you’re feeling creative, play around with different shapes or multiples to reflect as much light as possible,” Athina and Amy said.
2. Continue hallway flooring
Extending the flooring of your hallway to other rooms creates a consistent look and lengthen the lines of your home. This opens up other rooms and creates the sense of a wider space.
3. Transparent furniture
Lots of bulky and dark furniture makes a room appear cramped and small. Transparent or open furniture creates an illusion of lightness and opens up a small space.
“Glass furniture, sofas raised on legs, skinny framed shelving — these will all help,” they said.
4. Go dark in small spaces
We traditionally think we need to open up a space by painting it in light colours. However, Athina and Amy recommend using colours like charcoals and navies to make a room appear bigger.
“Don’t feel like you have to ‘Brilliant White’ absolutely everything to achieve a sense of more space — trust us, it works,” they said.
5. Light sources
A single light source can create shadows, contributing to a closed-in look and feeling. Instead, you should choose multiple light sources for areas including the ceiling, floor and surfaces.
“You should aim to have around 6 light sources around the room which will ‘replace’ natural daylight and flow through the space, as well as being reflected from mirrored and metallic surfaces,” Athina and Amy said.
6. Make use of walls
When you’re limited by space, think vertical. Add floating shelves to a wall or mount hooks, knobs and lights.
“Also make use of dead space areas such as corners – adding wall mounted shelves into corners is a great way of maximising storage space,” they said.
7. Paint everything the same colour
Athina and Amy recommend that you try “painting your walls, skirting boards and door frames all the same colour.” This elongates the lines and opens up the room.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.