Having a small, cottage-esque home sounds idyllic, but it can just feel cramped and dark.
I love the idea of living in a small home. You’re only surrounded by the things you love, and furniture is smaller, and you have gorgeous beams running along all the ceilings. But realistically, I don’t think I could hack it.
Smaller homes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, cheaper to furnish, and quicker to clean (a huggeeee bonus!). But making your small home feel bigger is almost an impossibility. This tends to be because of the low ceilings and the small windows. But how can you create the feeling of more space without having to physically move the walls or get new windows?
Here are just some of the ways you can create the illusion of space.
Very light colours on the walls will make your small home feel bigger. Natural light will reflect off it. Light pastels or light neutrals work well, as does standard white. Darker colours and bold patterns will draw the room in, and make a small room look even smaller.
Unless you’re using white, always use a tester and paint a section of the wall before committing to the colour. Paint often looks darker once it’s on the walls, so make sure you’re choosing a colour that’s as light as you want. If you do want to use wallpaper, keep it to the feature wall and use a light colour with a subtle pattern.
When you’re living in a smaller home, you don’t have the luxury of being able to go out and buy any piece of furniture that you want. Large pieces will crowd and dominate the room so you need to shop smart.
Always take measurements, and mark out the sizes on the floor with tape so you can see exactly how it will look in the room.
Think about ways to maximise the space you have. You could mount your TV to the wall to save space, or choose wall mounted mini-shelves instead of bedside tables. Have a think about what would work best for you, and if you could live with it.
To keep a small home looking streamlined and free of clutter, you need to invest in the right storage. Built-in wardrobes are a good idea, but they tend to make a room feel smaller, because they’re quite imposing. A free-standing wardrobe might actually be a better idea with a chest of drawers sitting next to it.
Shelving will be your best friend when trying to make a small home feel bigger. Choose light coloured shelves and use them for books, ornaments, mugs, and more.
Finally, lighting. Dim rooms will always feel smaller, so you need to make sure your home is properly lit without just using one ‘big light’ (as we say in the North).
You should try to make the most of natural light, so avoid heavy curtains, and choose a lighter material in a lighter colour. You could encourage the little light that you have by hanging a large mirror on the wall opposite the window.
Doors block natural light, so consider using glass doors on the inside of your home to allow light to flow between rooms. Or choose no doors at all: modern archways look equally as nice.
Making a small home feel bigger is all about illusion. You’re creating the feeling of space when there isn’t actually much there. Do some research, and make some changes.