Expanding the living space of your home is a large and expensive job. And if you live in an apartment, you can forget about it. But you can make any room look bigger. In fact, it is very simple. Read our 10 helpful tips for optical space gain.
The average habitable surface of apartments and houses shows a decreasing trend. In Flanders, for example, an average apartment in 2007 was 74 square meters. Seven years later, it was only 67 square meters. In the same period, the habitable surface of a house decreased from 140 square meters to 121 square meters.
10 tips for optical space gain
- Use light colours
- Let the daylight in
- Remove the curtains from the windows
- Opt for large furniture
- Hang up mirrors
- Play with stripes
- Keep it transparent
- Create unity
- Open the kitchen
- Look critically at fixed elements
Dark colours can create a warm living atmosphere, but they absorb the light, making the room appear smaller. Light walls and floors, on the other hand, reflect the light and make the room appear larger.
Tip: Paint the skirting boards the colour of the walls. It gives the illusion that the walls are further than they actually are.
The more daylight that enters a room, the larger a room appears. Large windows or sliding doors to the garden or balcony make a world of difference.
People usually install curtains for privacy, but they can actually make a room appear smaller. An alternative is to (partially) replace the panes with frosted glass. It will allow the light to pass through but also offers privacy and prevents any outsider from viewing inside. Read more in Replacing window glass in 6 steps.
It may seem contradictory, but a large sofa or large closet can help make a small room look bigger. A single “statement” piece of furniture works better optically than many smaller ones. And sofas, chairs and storage furniture on legs make a living room airier.
Or better yet, place one large mirror against the wall that receives the most daylight. A mirror reflects the light and creates an optical illusion that the room goes on.
Clothes with horizontal stripes make you appear thicker or wider and, clothes with vertical stripes make you look taller. The same goes for home furnishings. Choose elongated stripes to make a room look longer and horizontal stripes to make it wider. For example, you can think of a rug in a zebra motif, but this principle also applies to the laying direction of a parquet floor.
Glass is not only utilized for the windows. Placing glass tables or glass cabinets in rooms gives a feeling of space and airiness and also looks very stylish and chic.
Allowing the floor to run through the entire house optically increases space, and the same applies to the use of colour and unity in the furniture style.
In a small house or apartment, an open kitchen is the most effective optical space saver.
Some fixed elements – for example in the kitchen or bathroom – are actually in the wrong place. Take a look at how you can change the layout to save space and make it more open.
Finally, more space – if only for the eye – not only makes a house more pleasant to live in, but also easier to sell. “Make it light and airy” is one of the major tips in our blog article DIY jobs that sell your house.