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  • how-to-make-your-home-feel-bigger

    How to make your home feel bigger

    20 March 2018
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  • We can't all live in sprawling mansions, but that doesn't mean we have to feel crammed in. If your home is starting to get more cramped than cosy, try these simple tips and tricks. They'll help you to maximise your space and make your home feel bigger than it is.

    Let in the light

    Reflective surfaces can help make a room look bigger by creating the illusion of space. You just have to think carefully about where you place them. For example, large floor-length mirrors that point from one wall to another can make your room appear to be twice the size. And positioning your mirror next to or across from the window creates the illusion of another window, doubling your outdoor views.

    Choosing lamps, ornaments and trinkets in shiny metal rather than matte can also help to bounce light around and make a room look larger.

    Watch out for ceiling lights that pool the light in one spot, making a room feel smaller than it is. Use accent wall lights, floor lamps and table lamps to create pools of light all around the room – again, making it look more spacious.

    Declutter

    From shoes and bags in the hallway to blenders and spice jars across your kitchen counters, the more bits and pieces you have out on your home's surfaces, the more crowded it'll look.

    It's worth remembering the 'cantaloupe' rule when choosing which trinkets to keep on surfaces and which to relegate to a drawer. Target's home decor expert Sabrina Soto explains that "decorative accents smaller than a cantaloupe (melon) crowd a room".

    Update your hallway so that there's plenty of space to hang jackets and bags, getting rid of any items on your coat rack that are no longer being used. Add some boxes for shoes too. This will help keep it nice and streamlined.

    Swap your curtains for roller blinds. Curtains can take up a surprising amount of space, while roller blinds simply fold up when they're not in use.

    Choose your furniture wisely

    Multi-purpose furniture with hidden storage is great for keeping surfaces free from clutter.

    Choose a coffee table with drawers and keep magazines, pens, tealights and other bits and pieces in it. You can use the same strategy in your bedroom with the bedside table, and by adding a small chest of drawers to your bathroom. If there's no space for this, consider swapping your sink for a unit with a built-in cupboard.

    Wooden furniture is classic but it's also worth opting for Perspex or glass, as see-through materials give the impression of more space. They also distribute light around the room better than wooden furniture, which absorbs it.

    When you're choosing your sofa, go for one with exposed legs. The ability to see underneath the couch adds an extra element of space (and also makes it easier to vacuum). Speaking of couches, one big corner unit looks less cluttered than a three-piece suite. It sounds counterintuitive, but it should open the room up.

    Decorate carefully

    Lighter colours make rooms look bigger and brighter while dark shades make them feel smaller and more cosy. Keep to the lightest end of the spectrum, painting rooms in white and cream. If you do want to add some colour, go for a pastel hue.

    You can make a room seem larger by drawing the eye towards the ceiling. Add some floating shelves along the top of the room, decorating them sparsely with colourful vases or books.

    Stripes are used in fashion for a slimming effect, and you can do the same in your home. Use a striped rug to lengthen a room or striped wallpaper to make your space look taller or wider.