Sleeping While The Rest Of The World Doesn't

Light It Up: Tips for Opening Up Your Home's Space

Home design, especially for family-sized households with high storage needs and lots of family members to accommodate, is often a battle between functionality and design — and function tends to emerge the clear winner. Furniture is fitted into the space as best you can, and it can leave you feeling cramped or overcrowded. Because every item in your home is necessary or hard to part with, it's not as simple as removing elements from the room.

So — how can this problem be solved? Making the room lighter is one sure-fire way of making it look bigger, and there are several of great options for doing this.

Use Blinds, Not Curtains

Curtain fabric is heavy and cumbersome. No matter how beautiful the print or colours are, it will spend some portion of the day taking up space on either side of your window.  It will also be blocking a lot of light, even when not drawn. Blinds are far more preferable; they're easy to open and close, and won't be in your way when you don't want them covering your windows. Also, as blinds tend to be simpler than curtains in design, there'll be no busy pattern to distract the eye from the openness of the window view.

Create Colour Contrasts

You should let lighter colours dominate the room; these will let bounce off them, and make the space look broader. However, these effects are limited without dark contrast colours to accent the light. For example, you could choose thin dark frames for your windows, photos and mirrors. Without adding too much heavy, overwhelming colour to the space, they help to emphasise the effect.

Reflect Light with Mirrors & Metallics

Trick the eye into seeing more space by incorporating reflective surfaces where possible. At its simplest, you could use this idea by placing a mirror in your room — preferably on a wall adjacent to your windows, not directly opposite them. However, it doesn't stop there. Think about reflective accessories for your room; mirror-effect vases, for example, or chrome-plated candle holders. Anything that will catch light will have a subtle lightening effect that will widen your room.

Of course, there are limitations to what you can achieve with design; the room will only ever remain the size that it really is. However, it's how you feel in the room that really matters, and by following these tips you can create a space which feels roomy and comfortable rather than closed-in and oppressive, no matter the square footage.