Decluttering often helps to make a room feel bigger than it actually is, but it can come at the cost of cosiness and warmth. But this only happens when you don’t do it right. And with winter in full swing, you can never have too many extra cosy furnishings, lights and candles. Here, we will go through some common tricks that don’t actually work well when decorating and the things that do. So, from getting colours right to lighting and materials, here are some handy suggestions.
Why We Need Space in Winter
Winter is a time for reflecting back over the year before the spring arrives for rebirth. With all the festivities winter brings, such as Christmas, New Year, and, of course, birthdays, we can feel like there isn’t enough space. Guests, family gatherings, Christmas trees and gifts all take up space. Decorating and changing furniture can help, such as buying wall-huggers with hairpin table legs. But there is much more that needs to be done for maintaining cosiness and space at home.
Common Methods That Don’t Work
The web is full of methods of getting the feeling of more space in a room, and many of them are solid and reliable. However, there are a few that can counteract the feeling and work against what you are trying to achieve. You may have already tried a few of these before, including:
- Place all of your furniture against the walls to make space in the middle.
- Create bold statement areas with bright colours, textures and patterns.
- Try to capture the feeling of space by placing tons of plants in your room.
These all seem as though they will work, but they work against the feeling of space. Pulling out the furniture a little actually accentuates the space of a room. Bold statements and features can detract from space, and too many plants will actually add to your overall cluttering of a room.
Try These to Make a Room Feel Bigger
So, how do you make a room feel and appear larger than it is without sacrificing cosiness? The answer is using certain things in certain ways. And this is important to make your home actually feel like a home. One survey by IKEA found that a third of us don’t feel this way about where we live. There are many variables for this, but one of them could be that we feel bogged down and that our home doesn’t represent us, especially in terms of space. But there are some tricks.
Neutral colours on the walls
One of the first things you must consider is using neutral colours on the walls. There are many reasons why this works for creating a feeling of space. The main one is that they will reflect light around the room rather than absorb it, which tricks your eye and brain into thinking the room is larger. The other is that greys, whites, creams and beige all work wonderfully well with cosy decor styles for a feeling of cosy space, such as the Scandinavian style for the Hygge feeling.
Clever use of mirrors
Mirrors are one of the primary tools of any interior decorator. Why? Because they all know that mirrors, like neutral colours, bounce light. And this makes a room feel bigger. However, mirrors also reflect the room, so they can create an illusion that your room is far larger than it is. But of course, this all depends on how and where you place the mirrors themselves. They must be substantially large to have an effect and work best when filling gaps such as alcoves in a room.
Placing decorations and art
So, you love art, and you have some pieces you want to hang up. But how do you do this without imposing on the room and detracting from the cosy feeling? It is actually far more tricky than most people think. But here is some advice from some of the best experts in the business:
- Larger pieces placed carefully on the wall can add to the feeling of space.
- Place art at the focal point of the room, such as above the fireplace.
- It can help to tightly group frames of various sizes for a gallery wall.
- Make sure any artwork you hand up is always at the level of your eyes.
- Any hangings above or over furniture should be between 50% and 75% of the width.
- Play around with symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns before placement.
- Ensure any artwork accents the colour and pattern schemes of the room.
You must be very careful when placing larger pieces, as they can be imposing. The placement and size are important when hanging them over furniture. Of course, the colours must match the colours of the room, and the decor style of the art will mess with the cosiness and space.
Get the lighting right
Next to art selection and placement, getting the lighting right is also one of the trickiest parts of decorating. However, when you nail this, the feeling of space and cosiness is elevated to epic levels. Of course, natural light is incredibly important, and it can add something to a room at sunrise and sunset and also provide great task lighting during the day. But when it’s dark, multi-level lighting, dimmable warm LEDs and even different colours enhance any space.
Consider the materials
Most people will consider the materials they use in a decor project, but not all of them. It’s more than likely you thought about the materials of your sofa, throws and rugs, and that’s about it, right? But what about other furniture, such as end tables? These can take up space in a room, and some are imposing in smaller rooms. But with materials such as glass and lucite, you can trick your eyes into thinking they aren’t even there, given the transparent nature of them.
Make a room feel bigger with less
Finally, the one that can strike fear into almost anyone: clutter! Clutter is a major problem in many homes. In the US, for example, around 54% of Americans feel their home is ruined by clutter, and most don’t know what to do about it. A small room can be made to feel tiny when there is too much stuff. And it can never feel “homey” and cosy when it irritates you. So, clear the room, and slowly add back pieces you both want and need that add something to the room.
Maintaining the Space and Feeling
For all your efforts, you deserve to feel comfortable and cosy in your home. But it can be all too easy for old habits to creep back in. You must resist the urge to add random art, clutter and decorations, or you will lose what you worked so hard for. To maintain the room, try these:
- Carefully consider what you add to the room or risk losing the feeling of space.
- Clean and dust the room regularly to keep the shine for better use of light.
- Consider what you use the room for and use it only for that purpose.
The best way to maintain the feeling of home you wanted all along is to leave the room the way it is when finished. Don’t add anything unless you really need to, and try to keep it clean.
Why This Can Help You
Your home is your home, and you deserve the home you want. Of course, not all of us have a large enough home, and this is okay. That’s just the way it is. But you can take control of the space you have and make your house feel homey. A lot of research has shown that we have a strong emotional connection to our surroundings, which can negatively or positively impact our lives. This is why we need to feel space so we can flourish yet be cosy for our mental health.
During Christmas, we have less space than usual because of guests and decorations. So, we need ways to make a room feel bigger using methods such as neutral colours, mirrors and layered lighting when we decorate. This provides a positive emotional connection to our homes.
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