How to visually extend living spaces

Interior Designers have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to make any living space appear larger than it is...


Most homeowners don't have the budget to be able to hire an Interior Designer to offer advice on laying out the perfect floorplan for their homes. And when space is limited and you have no plans to move to a larger home, you'll be looking for ideas to make the best use of available space.

We take a look at some designer tricks for making a small layout look larger than it is - without having to hire an Interior Designer, or move to a larger home!

Use paint colour for best effect

Paint colour is your first - and simplest - resource when wanting to make a home appear visually larger than it is. White is a popular choice for walls purely for the fact that it creates an optical effect, enhancing the size of a room. You can further enhance the effect by painting trim in the same colour.

If you're not a fan of white and find it boring, you can achieve the same effect with almost any light colour hue. Cool down hot rooms by a hint of blue or blue-grey, or warm up cold rooms by adding just a hint of red.

Make use of mirrors and glass

Glass or transparent acrylic offers the advantage of closing off spaces without blocking lines of sight. It's also ideal for closing off rooms that don't receive any natural light. Use glass or acrylic panels in place of traditional brick walls in a small home, to create rooms within rooms, or section off a particular area.

Free up valuable floor space

Conventional doors are space-wasters. The amount of floor space needed to open and close a door could be incorporated into total area simply by removing conventional doors and relacing them with sliding doors. The only consideration for fitting sliding doors, is that there be enough wall space at one side of the opening, on which to mount the sliding hardware.

Create open spaces

While you may not want a totally open plan floor space, simply by partially removing a wall and replacing the top section with transparent glass, you visually enlarge the space. An architectural feature that measures less than a metre in height facilitates visual depth. Opening up rooms in this way will make a floor plan appear more spacious and brighter.



Flooring orientation

Did you know that by installing laminate floors at an angle perpendicular to windows or sliding doors gives the illusion of a large floor space? The line of the flooring draws the eye along the seams, visually extending the length. The same applies to large rectangular tiles.

Let in natural light

If the opportunity arises to replace existing window frames, install larger frames that let in more natural light. Alternatively, keep window treatments as minimal as possible, using blinds or shutters for privacy.

Between the lines

Where rooms have low ceilings, use accessories to visually achieve a feeling of height. Vertical lines draw the eye upwards and give the feeling of height.