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Growth Spurt: how to make a small room look bigger


Wallpaper is still a hot commodity, and if you’re thinking of decorating some walls with, pick a pattern that’s simple and light. If the paper is too bold or dark, the room will look even smaller. - Getty Images/iStockphoto
Wallpaper is still a hot commodity, and if you’re thinking of decorating some walls with, pick a pattern that’s simple and light. If the paper is too bold or dark, the room will look even smaller. - Getty Images/iStockphoto - Contributed

Less furniture and clutter create the illusion of a grander space

Some decorating tricks are really just common sense while others are of the fool-the-eye variety. If you want to make even the tiniest room in your home appear bigger, keep on reading for tips.

1. Position furniture to ‘enlarge’ a room

While pulling furniture away from the walls is a classic way to fool the eye into thinking a room is more spacious than it is, this trick may not be feasible in a smaller room.

“If you have to put a couch against a wall in a small room, put shelves or a mirror behind the couch, which will make it feel larger,” says Nicole S. O’Dwyer of NS Designs, an interior design firm in northeast Pennsylvania.

2. Keep everything in proportion to the room size

When you have a small room, the fur niture shouldn’t overwhelm the space. A good fit: couches with less obtrusive arms and legs. “Minimalistic and modern styles are great for small spaces,” says O’Dwyer. “It’s simple: less clutter equals more space.”

3. Use wallpaper wisely

Wallpaper is still a hot commodity, and if you’re thinking of decorating some walls with, take O’Dwyer’s advice: Pick a pattern that’s simple and light. If the paper is too bold or dark, the room will look even smaller.

4. Get rid of some of your stuff

Evaluate everything in the room — do you really need that extra table or a bookcase full of CDs you haven’t listened to in years? If not, purge! Soon it will get easier. Once you get over any sentimental attachments to things, you’ll be able to get rid of even more stuff.

5. Go minimal

Don’t make “go big or go home” your manta. “Stick to mirrors on the wall,” says O’Dwyer. “They’ll reflect light and make the room seem larger.” Keep furniture to the minimum — do you really need that love seat in your bedroom that’s in the way? “Rugs are always great but make sure they aren’t too large.”

6. Use the draperies trick

Curtains and drapes can make a room look bigger when you mount a rod above the window as close to the ceiling as possible. “This creates a spacious feeling but you need to stick to neutral and light colours,” says O’Dwyer. If you’re not concerned about privacy, try using a sheer fabric so natural light will carry through the space even more.

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