Five ways to maximise space in a compact interior

Let’s look at five ways to create the illusion of space and light in the smallest of rooms.

Five ways to maximise space in a compact interior

1. Colour

Although white may seem like the obvious choice for adding light and space, it is not necessarily the right one. White walls can leave a room feeling cold and stark; instead, there are lots of light-reflecting paints and a huge range of pastel colours and off-whites available that will give the illusion of space.

By painting other features in your room – shelving, skirting boards, cornices, architraves, doors and even the ceiling – the same colour as your walls, you open up the space further.

2. Walls

Although your room is on the small side, there is plenty of wall space you can utilise. You can free up floor space by choosing tall or wall-mounted shelving, which will make the room feel bigger and provide clever storage whilst drawing your eye line up. Make sure any tall pieces of furniture are fixed to the wall for safety reasons.

Five ways to maximise space in a compact interior

You can also position mirrors to reflect light around, add tall lamps, and even use clever linear wallpaper patterns to trick the eye.

3. Furniture

Sofas and beds are two of the bigger pieces of furniture, so it is worth choosing their style carefully. Choosing furniture that is elevated on legs creates more light and gives the impression of space. Slimline, low-backed or armless sofas won’t feel so imposing, while beds with inbuilt storage underneath reduce the need for other pieces of furniture that can clutter up a small room. Wall-mounted shelving instead of bedside tables can also contribute to a spacious feeling.

4. Materials

You can create interesting focal points within the room by mixing up the textures and patterns of your soft furnishings; in this way, your eye is drawn to these rather than to the size of the space. Shutters that sit close to the window or fold back against the walls will also create an airy, open feel as opposed to curtains, which can often block out the light unless pulled right back.

5. Rugs

A clever trick employed by interior designers is to use a large rug that runs underneath all the furniture. This will make the space feel wider, whereas using a small rug will draw the space in.