A Sense of Spaciousness
Previously, we left off with introducing Ms Proportion and Scale. Now, while keeping in mind what she is all about, let’s dig deeper into smart and savvy space-saving hacks and space optimisation tips. Create an illusion of spaciousness in your interior, even if your interior space is very small. Below, you can learn how to create a sense of spaciousness in a small interior space.
Want to know how to create a sense of spaciousness in a small space?
Get unity of scale and decide to purposely under-scale or over-scale a room’s furnishings. Intentional under-scaling or over-scaling means that furnishings are either smaller or larger than expected. However, only attempt this if you are bringing together a room from scratch.
Perhaps you want to use your slightly undersized chairs or somewhat oversized sofa in a small room. In this case, your only hope is to create unity in scale through size, pattern and colour.
With under-scaling, you can include more items within a scheme. A space like this can feel safe and cosy. Equally, over-scaling can generate an expansive feeling and make a living space seem bigger.
Better Proportioned, More Spacious
The better the proportions of furnishings in a small space relate to each other, the more spacious it will appear. Surely, even one piece out of proportion with the rest can make a room seem cramped.
A clever aid in creating an impression of space in this way is to choose space-saving furniture pieces. The design of such furniture allows for exposed rather than covered floor area. Instead of solid blocks of furniture dividing a floor, the eye can sweep across an unbroken stretch of floor space. This will create the illusion of more space.
A good illustration of this concept is thin and/or long metal or wooden legs on furniture. However, make conscious decisions when applying this method. For instance, two or three chairs in a row can be replaced by one bench. The result will be “fewer legs” (vertical lines) and no chair backs taking up vertical space.
If you use only a few pieces, the uncluttered (vertical/diagonal) lines of “legless” furniture may enhance a sense of space. Yet it still depends on their lighter colour value among other things.
Under-scaling is the more obvious way to create an illusion of more space.
Selecting small-scaled furniture for a small room is the most common and logical tactic. The most effective use of under-scaling is when you require many items in a small room.
As mentioned before, certain furniture pieces will ensure more free floor space. It will create the illusion that they do not fill as much space in the room as they actually do.
You can neatly put aside some furniture pieces when you don’t need them. By its nature, lightweight nesting side tables are a good choice in this regard. Other examples are a small scale low lounge chair or a sleekly designed, low sofa.
Another suggestion to consider to create a sense of spaciousness is using more rounded shapes and curvilinear lines.
To clarify, use less rectilinear lines and shapes in furniture for a small space. It is easier to move around rounded types of furniture than bumping into bulky rectangular pieces. Equally, curved lines have a softening, graceful effect and suggest movement and rhythm. If you want to let a space flow, curved lines are a great way to do it.
Furthermore, use horizontal lines to make walls seem to widen, or vertical lines to make a ceiling seem to lift.
The bolder and more daring way to create a sense of spaciousness in a small room:
Deliberately overscale the furnishings slightly. This requires clever, careful planning and a practised eye. To make sure over-scaled furnishings in a small room are effective, approach it thoughtfully.
Carefully consider the values below.
Use only a few pieces of furniture in a small room. Each piece should be of the same scale and they should make sense proportionally.
Choose very simple styles and designs of furniture and other objects. It is crucial to consider the type of line of objects. Avoid patterned fabrics, heavy textures and design detail.
Let over-scaling be in physical size and not in weight. For example, choose a light-coloured bed or lounge sofa instead of a darker one. This will strengthen the sense of size without adding weight.
Use similar values (lightness and darkness of colours), in other words, use little contrast on walls, floors and furnishings. So, try to stick to light or medium values instead of darker ones.
One will allow for added exposure of floor space when using furniture on long legs. This helps to ensure that the area has a more expansive feeling. Just keep in mind that you don’t want too many legs or cluttered lines.
Likewise, shorter legs lift the bulk of furniture off the floor. A piece won’t appear as a bulk block stuck to the floor, plus this allows for easier floor cleaning. When using only a few pieces, the uncluttered lines of “legless” items may enhance a sense of space. Again, keep a lighter colour value in mind.
You may ask, but how does an over scaling treatment safeguard an illusion of spaciousness?
By letting the eye sweep over longer lengths of line at a time. To wit, this involves a degree of psychological craft. It presents the mind with steady oversized furnishings and registers a sense of size. It does not bother to classify that only the furnishings are big and not the room itself.
Over-scaling in a small room calls for the distinct treatment of emphasis and accent colours.
So, what not to do? Repeated accents usually work well in a more commonly proportioned scene. It is however not suitable for over-scaled décor in a small room. The accent colour scattered about the room in a tiny ceramic vase and patterned cushions, just won’t cut it.
Again, and very importantly, avoid weightiness. Darker fabric and dark wood will make over-scaled objects look heavy and overpowering in a small space. Usually, a monochromatic scheme is successful in a room of this kind.
In some cases, you may absolutely want the walls and floor to be fairly dark for a cosier atmosphere. Furnishings of similar values will certainly create a better sensation of spaciousness.
Then, in terms of accents, what to do when decorating a small room?
Over-scale minimal blocks or pops of accent colour like the rest of the décor. One oversized cushion and another oversized decorative object in the accent colour will suffice. If you include additional pieces or clutter at a later stage, the room will no longer work well.
As mentioned previously, value contrast should be less in an over-scaled room. Accent colours are typically the darkest values in the room. Scatter accents in proportion to the amount and size of furnishings in an under-scaled or over-scaled room.
Check out the next post continuing on the topic of being space-savvy. Wishing you a savvy, smart and spacious interior.
This will help with the above. Use the important points and considerations I provide you within this FREE Decorating on a Budget WORKBOOK! It will guide your planning choices and determine what outcome a job requires, especially when working with a tight budget and a small space.
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