Small houses often feel cosy and intimate and usually more affordable to maintain and live in. But sometimes life in those precious few square metres can get a little cramped and you wished things could at least feel slightly bigger.
Well, there is more than one simple way to achieve this. For example, homes will always look bigger when they engage the senses; petite rooms can feel bigger with the inclusion of windows and mirrors as good lighting can alter perception. It's all about innovative use of space to give the impression of extra space even if, in reality, this is none.
The most hands on way to make your house look bigger is by opening up the living space. As this image shows, the kitchen can open into the living room to create a contemporary multi-purpose room with an abundance of space. You can eliminate those doorways and widen the passages that connect the kitchen with the living room.
By bringing down the separating walls between rooms you will secure those extra square feet and the benefits will be manifold. If the rooms you decide to bring together are, for example, the kitchen and the living room, you will have a more versatile use of the space. Dinner parties suddenly become more easier to accommodate as people feel less crowded and can easily transition from dining to lounging.
If taking a sledgehammer and demolishing walls seems a little extreme you can always just let the sunshine in. With larger or more windows, your house will bathe in natural light, stimulating the optical senses.
The square window frame shown here opens up the room from the inside and it also gives access to an amazing landscape view that soothes the eye. Imagine taking your morning coffee in a living room dancing in light. And with new energy efficient windows you can also save on heat and electricity bills.
If you opt for larger windows then you might also want to hang light, flowing curtains to harness the full benefit.
Black and darker colours absorb heat and light making rooms appear smaller and cramped. To make rooms look bigger in your home go for white walls as they do the opposite. This minimalist example shows how a white bathroom interior can help walls appear taller and the room larger.
But perhaps you feel that complete whiteness does not suit you. By keeping three walls white, you can get creative with the remaining wall and still accomplish the same effect. From turquoise to contrasting red and blue to elongated stripes, the surfaces that they touch will stretch in sight.
Ensure to use light décor coloured counter tops in both kitchens and bathrooms. If your tiles have darker accents then soften them with lighter hues. And since we are talking about decoration, fewer and bigger pieces will always make rooms appear larger. Minimal is the key in smaller homes.
It's time to get creative with the storage. In small houses finding place for storage can become menacing but with a little ingenuity anything is possible.
Using dual-purpose furniture can increase the functionality of the space. A divan bed can be the perfect solution for storing your linens and spare duvets in the bedroom. Flip-top ottomans can be a blessing for organising those magazines and books in the living room. A bench with a fitted storage space in the hallway can hold your shoes out of sight and out of your way.
You should utilise the space under the stairs to organise your home clutter. But in small homes perhaps the most unexploited space is its corners. By fitting shelves with narrow edges those corners can become a valuable help. The petite office in the picture illustrates perfectly how corners can effectively salvage precious space. The basic idea behind clever storage in a small house is to find use for those often ignored areas and utilising them to open up space.
For more ambiance in your home do not heavily rely on overhead lighting. You can take advantage of windows to illuminate rooms during daytime and at night, floor lamps and table lamps are the best option to create the illusion of spaciousness. If you are the romantic type, candles can also added.
In this picture we can observe how a single floor and table lamp can blend into a white accented living room and effectively help the room seem bigger than it is.
Finally, mirrors can become your best friend in a small house. By reflecting light back around the room they manipulate your senses into perceiving a room as having grander dimensions.
In tiny bedrooms, such as this one, a large wall mirror creates the illusion of a double sized room, adding additional space, albeit just in your mind. Mirrors can be used all over the house to similar effect.
If your house starts feeling cramped and clustered do not become dismayed. Creativity is the key to change it into a more spacious, free-moving and satisfyingly proportional place to live.
For more small home inspiration you might like to check out: The Less Is More House.