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Thursday 3 July 2014

10 Ways to Make Your Flat Look Bigger

Let’s not mince words - flats in London are a little on the small side. Living in one of the coolest & most exciting cities on Earth does come at a minor cost to space & roominess. While your guests probably won’t be spending that much time in the flat since they’ll have so much to explore, it’s still a good idea to give them a little space to stretch out...or at least the illusion of that. We’ve already put together some tips for hosting in general, but let’s get a bit more specific with these 10 ways to make your flat or room look bigger!

AnnMarie's Lovely Notting Hill Flat
1) First and foremost...A great big mirror
One of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to making small spaces look bigger, this is a classic for good reason: it works! Hang floor length or long, skinny mirrors to make walls appear taller or longer respectively. Cluster some small mirrors together to give easy depth & ambiance to a room. Mismatched mirrors give off a cool boho vibe, whereas the same mirror repeated can look artistic & sleek.

2) Let the sunshine in
Another great tip is to keep the windows open as much as possible! When your guest first arrives, it’s definitely a great idea to have your windows open & the curtains drawn apart. While you’re letting all that light in, don’t forget to place windows strategically so that the sunshine can reflect throughout the room.
Sophie's Airy Wimbledon Flat

3) Choose your colours wisely
Opening up your room to light & reflection is all for naught if you have nothing but dark furniture and jewel tones inside, as they absorb light. Pastel colors & pale neutrals will bounce the light around the room & make the flat look more airy. Paint your walls a sky blue color or another light tone & use furniture that isn’t dark.

4) Elevate your furniture & elevate your spirits
Give your room the illusion of more floor space by keeping furniture off the ground. If possible, suspend a bookshelf or cabinet from the wall, and find seats & tables that have long ‘legs’, rather than low to the ground models. Skip bedskirts & other floor-skimming materials, and invest in a smaller accent rug rather than one large area rug. Furniture made from lucite is also an interesting choice to increase the perceived size of a room.

5) Get rid of the clutter
It’s certainly the cheapest & easiest step you can take to make your room appear bigger - and it will make a big impact! The more you can just toss out, the better. However, for those little things you just can’t get rid of, it’s best to find a suitable place for them. Acrylic, lucite, or other lightweight materials are great choices for storage as they keep the room looking light but also remove clutter. Or, double up on two of these tips and use a mirrored storage unit!

6) Lights up!
The best light source for your home is natural light but if that’s not possible the next best thing is multiple, soft light lamps. Overhead lighting casts more shadows & draws the eye towards only what it is illuminating. When there are many points places lit, the room is given a softer ‘glow’ rather than a harsh ‘spotlight’ to only a few features.
Marina's Central 1 Bedroom Apartment

7) Limit accent pieces
With a small space you have less room to add accents - so when you do want to display something in your room make sure it’s big & bold enough to make that statement by itself. Try not to clutter up horizontal surfaces with multiple, smaller bits & pieces. One large statement piece, think the size of a cantaloupe, will make a greater impact.

8) Turn down the contrast
When it comes to color in a small room, it’s best to keep it in the family. Specifically if that family is neutrals or cool tones, as these make walls seem to recede. If you’d like to add a splash of color, make that your one statement piece in the room - such as a painting or vase in a bright shade. Accent walls are popular these days, however these don’t work for small spaces so resist the urge and instead hang a solid-color painting of small to medium frame size.

9) Know when to fold them
One of the best furniture innovations of the 20th century for small spaces is foldable furniture, such as end tables and dining chairs. There’s no reason to clutter up your space with these unnecessary pieces of furniture when you don’t have guests over. Keep them stowed away until they’re needed.

10) Consider the adjoining rooms
Going along with our ideas of contrast & color, make a point of keeping things consistent with your adjoining and visible rooms throughout the flat. By maintaining the same color palette you’ll maintain the illusion of large, airy space in the entire home!

These 10 tips should make your room feel more spacious indeed! Feel free to use them to make yourself more comfortable, or even better, give your FlatClub guest room to stretch out & relax. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list - if you have any great tips on making a room look bigger, we’re happy to hear them!

Have you used any of these tips, or any others that you think work well? Tweet us a pic or leave us a comment on Facebook, and please do share this article with anyone else who wants to style their room or flat!