As the cost of housing soars ever higher, many Aussies are downsizing or looking for ways to do more with smaller living spaces. Check out our guide to making a compact room feel comfortable and generous in size, no matter what its actual measurements are. We’ve listed your five best options to achieve this goal, in order of how much effort they’ll take to accomplish.
1. Roll out a rug
Start from the ground up to add a burst of colour to the room. Pale-coloured flooring such as tiles or blonde laminate floorboards are a great start if you already have them, but even if not, there are countless cheerful, bright rug designs available. It’s a low-cost, zero-effort way to make even the tiniest home office or living room look vibrant and fun.
2. Maximise natural light
Throw open the blinds and remove dark objects such as bookcases near windows where they can reduce the amount of light reflecting into the room. Hang large mirrors wherever possible, which not only create the illusion of more space, but actively increase the amount of ambient light if they are in the vicinity of a window.
3. Use hidden strip lighting
Ceiling-mounted light fittings or pendants are an effective way of lighting a space, but in small living rooms, they can create a focal point with less-than-flattering results. Illuminating large expanses of walls or ceilings has the opposite effect. Low-voltage LED (light emitting diode) light strips are inexpensive to buy and incredibly easy to install, yet the designer look they can offer is stunning.
4. Add a lick of paint
Whitewashing the walls to maximise brightness is old news, but colour can actually be even more effective in making a room seem larger. A single feature wall painted in a bold primary colour can create an illusion of perspective, while using a more subtle tint behind white furniture and accessories can make the walls seem to recede away from the centre of the room.
5. Install a light tube
In hallways and similar areas with few or no windows, your options for natural lighting are limited. A tubular skylight can make a breathtaking difference, and it can be easily installed within a day. Another option is to use solar-powered LED (light emitting diode) ‘skylights’ which mimic the action of a tubular skylight but are even easier to install.