May 28, 2020

8 ways to make your home feel bigger. You’re welcome!

Working with a small home is something that most of us have to deal with, at least at some point in our lives, and making the most of said small space isn’t always easy. Quite often, what seems like the most obvious of decisions, isn’t the right one for a room and we end up with poorly designed layouts that actually help to make a home feel more cramped.

Fear not though city dwellers and suburban settlers, these tips and tricks will ensure you make the most of your space. Here’s 8 ways to make your home feel bigger.

Californian rented bedroom by Emma Jane Palin

1 | Declutter!

Let’s face it. This is probably the one you didn’t want to hear. But if you want to make your space feel larger, the best way to do it is with a nice ol’ spring clean. Unnecessary clutter and furniture will just make the room feel busy and in turn smaller. Be ruthless and if in doubt, just get rid!

Modern bohemian living room by Jessica Sara Morris

2 | Pull your furniture away from the walls

While it might seem obvious to push furniture against your walls to maximise floor space, this can actually just emphasise the boundaries of the room. If possible, you should aim to create zones within the room; e.g in a living room you would use a coffee table as a central point and work the sofa and chairs around this. Layouts aren’t always easy to get right, so don’t just settle on what you “think” will work and try a number of different options.

Multi-functional dining room and office by Forward Features.

3 | Make clever furniture choices.

Multi-functional is key for a smaller space so think about how you can double up on function before you take the plunge. Keep furniture such as expandable dining tables at the smallest setting or use them for another purpose, as seen in Forward Features eclectic London home. Don’t forget to utilise storage. Pop baskets in your hallway to capture clutter and hide other items on the backs of doors (preferably cupboards).

Boho pink bedroom by Three Birds Renovations

4 | Incorporate a large rug.

Rugs are wonderful for helping to add colour and texture to your home but also help to anchor your furniture and zone the room. While it might seem like a natural choice to go for a smaller rug in a smaller room, this can actually leave your space looking visually tight. I’m a big fan of layering rugs, and this trick works perfectly for a more compact space. Layer a large jute rug under the smaller rug for a more considered space.

Small living room by Jess Bunge via Emily Henderson

5 | Hang your curtains higher.

The curtain rail goes just above the window itself, right? WRONG. By hanging full-length curtains closer to the ceiling, you’ll create the illusion of a taller space. And who doesn’t want that?

6 | Utilise mirrors.

Mirrors reflect light around the room which helps to create a brighter and more open aesthetic, not to mention the visual illusion of more space. If you’re renting, think of ways you can add in mirrors on shelving to avoid drilling into the walls, or opt for lighter rattan styles that can be hung with adhesive strips. 

Soft minimal living room by Abi Dare.

7 | Light it up.

Your interior design scheme is only ever as good as your lighting, and surprise surprise, a good lighting scheme can help to make your room feel bigger. By incorporating table lamps and floor lamps in your home, you can brighten the room and eliminate any dark corners that might make the space feel cramped.

gallery wall in retro living room
Mid-century living room by Emma Jane Palin

8 | Think vertically.

What your room may lack in square footage, it will probably make up for in height, so use that wall space wisely. Storage that goes up instead of out will help to give you more room and an area to hide any bulky or more functional items. I use my unit from Tylko (above) as storage and an extra surface for decor, while the large gallery wall also helps to give the illusion of more space.

For more interior inspiration, colour clashing and general life admin, check out the rest of my blog. Follow me on InstagramPinterest and Twitter for more EJP in your life.


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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