By : Florence Keh
21 February 2013
No matter how big or small a home is, one would always want it to look more spacious… and we know exactly how to help you out with this. Give your space a boost in size just by playing around with colours, proportion, and balance =)
If you can’t decide what colour to paint the walls of your home, agonise no more. Just pick from the spectrum of light colours and your choices are cut down by half!
Why use light colours? The answer’s simple – as light colours appear to fade into the background, they give your home a bright and airy feel. Dark colours, on the other hand, make the room appear to be closing in on you and leave you feeling claustrophobic.
That said, it does not mean that you cannot have that striking cobalt blue or mustard on your wall. Just make sure it’s confined to a feature wall. Strangely enough, this can do the trick of adding depth to a room and thus, making it appear bigger!
Also, keep the colour of your ceiling and walls homogenous. Keeping to the same tone will help open up the space visually as your eye will see a continuous, unbroken line.
Likewise, if you love floor rugs or carpets, unless the rug is the main focal point, choose one that blends in with the colour of your floor.
Propotion and Balance
It’s a myth that a small-sized room must have Mickey Mouse-sized furniture and accessories. By all means, go get that lovely, cushy sofa you’ve been eyeing. Just make sure it’s not too over-sized. A big sofa can dwarf your room but a tiny one will be dwarfed. Choose furniture that is just right – ‘mix small with big’ is the rule of thumb so long as you remember to keep a sense of proportion and balance.
This applies to room accessories as well – if you’re wallpapering, choose a simple graphic pattern over small, busy prints as they can appear chaotic and that is the last thing you want in a small space. Or, if wallpapering is too much of a hassle, stick on some wall decals to jazz up an otherwise blank wall.
Style It Right
Having decided on the basic colours and settled on the furniture proportions, the fun of styling your home now begins! In choosing the accessories that define your room, from lighting to window treatments and floor rugs, stay guided by these simple, commonsensical tips used by professional home decorators too.
• Less is More
Accessories are the little details that define your room. Just like how you would choose a piece of jewellery for an outfit, choose accessories with care. Be selective – choose a few items for display. You can always rotate your collectibles, like boutiques and museums do. It’s more fun this way too!
In a small room, the idea really is to keep a sense of openness. Too many knick-knacks and collectibles equate to clutter. For the same reason, avoid having one too many pieces of furniture; plus it will also restrict your movement. Less is actually more when furnishing a small space.
• Let there be light!
Lighting, like the right choice of accessory, is important in providing a sense of airiness. A properly lit room gives the room visual breadth. Use track lighting if you cannot spare space for table or floor lamps as you can direct the light to different spots.
Finally, use mirrors – they are the best friends of small rooms! Used as a feature wall or incorporated in your furniture items, mirrors reflect light and create the illusion of depth and space.
• Harmony, not Homogeneity
So you like the full, billowy window treatment? Style gurus will tell you to avoid fancy curtains as they can overwhelm a small room. Why not, I say? Your room is your castle, so if that is what you like, go ahead and install your festooned curtain – BUT make sure it is of a light fabric and in a colour that blends in harmoniously with the colour of your wall, AND avoid busy prints and patterns.
However, if you prefer a simple curtain style, such as roller or Roman blinds, you can choose a strong differentiating colour or print as a stylish counterpoint. What you want is harmony, not homogeneity.
• Space savers
Storage is always lacking in small spaces but there are clever ways to conjure up extra space. Use the vertical space – the walls of your room are not just for hanging nice pictures. Install a hanging shelf for your beloved books which can be artfully arranged. Or do built-ins from floor to ceiling and hide all the toys and things you don’t want to see lying around.
Home décor is a very personal thing. What works for one may not work for another but for small spaces, everyone is agreed on one key thing – let there be light and air!
Whatever your decorating style is – traditional, modern, eclectic, minimalist or maximalist – have fun doing up your very own castle in a flat!