20 September 2019 How to make a small room feel big How do you make your less-than-large living area feel comfortably spacious? Here's 10 simple tricks from the experts 1. Avoid bulky pieces It's a no brainer that in a small room, furniture needs to breathe. Look to slimline pieces to furnish the space. "Thanks to Scandinavian design, slim, mid-century furniture design is on trend," says Ross Clayton, founder of Vast Furniture and Homewares. "Use those athletic lines to keep it airy." 2. Go for symmetry Fact: A balanced room is technically more beautiful and is therefore more sympathetic to smaller spaces. Try placing a lamp and a plant stand of similar heights on either side of the room, a lounge in between, cushions on either side of the lounge and a rug in the middle. 3. Choose white and light Paint all the walls white and only use light timber. The space will feel instantly larger, says Ross. Cherie Barber, founder of Renovating for Profit, says dark and warm colours advance, where as light and cool colours recede. "That means a dark colour will tend to close in a small space, especially if it gets no natural light", Cherie says. "It doesn’t mean you have to go for stark, clinical white. Any light neutral colour will help make a space look bigger." Picture: Lefty Kasdaglis 4. Add pictures Drawing the eye upwards will detract from the size of the room. "Try hanging a picture or painting of an outdoor landscape – a panoramic beach or bush shot can trick the eye into thinking about faraway places," Ross says. 5. Invisible(-ish) furniture Lightweight and durable, rattan furniture is easy to shift around the room – and thanks to baby boomer trend forecasters, it’s cool again. Ross explains: “For very small rooms, nothing beats rattan furniture. Because it’s not upholstered, you can see right through it. In the furniture game we call it 80% air.” Picture: Nathan Van Egmond 6. Add plants Filling your tiny space with plants may seem counter-productive, but it can help blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors, Ross says. 7. Go monochrome It’s not for the fainthearted but decorating with the same colour is a sure-fire way to add space and dimension to a small room. 8. Add mirrors Another tried-and-tested method to make a room appear larger is to fool the eye with mirrors. Picture: Milada Vigerova 9. Try feature lighting Again, focus on drawing the eye upward with feature lighting. A pendant light, for example, can force people’s attention away from eye-level and give a real sense of the entire room. 10. Make use of vertical space Low on storage? Go up."Use your wall space smartly,"says Jessica. "Floating storage and shelves will take your storage upwards." Originally published on realestate.com.au as ‘16 simple tricks to make a small living room feel big’.