How to make a small room look bigger?

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Following a recent trip to the South of France I noticed an interesting commonality in the traditional French style; small rooms, large pattern. Although the choice of pattern design on the walls is often somewhat dated in these traditional French chateaus and apartments, the concept was spot on.  It confirms my view that large, flamboyant patterns are at their best in small spaces. They add character and charm to what would otherwise be a dull, uninspiring ‘box’ of a room.  Often these small spaces are infrequently used (unlike a sitting room or kitchen) so it’s your chance to really go to town and release those guilty pleasures!

How to make a small room look bigger?

How to make a small room look bigger?

Don’t get me wrong, bold patterns can also work in larger spaces, but ideally only on one wall and be careful with your choice of pattern/colour; remember you have to live with it.  When used on a larger scale, you also run the risk of it looking a bit naff and something off a cheap makeover programme, so chose wisely.  For wallpapering larger spaces we would recommend – So here are our top tips for decorating small spaces:

When decorating small spaces we, at No77 Interiors, only have one rule: Bigger is better! This not only refers to how we want the finished space to look but also to the patterns we love to use in them.

Decorating a small space, like a powder room or a small bathroom can feel like a daunting and sometimes pointless task. We often hear people say ‘there is no point, we never use it’, but if that room were to be more inviting, maybe it would serve a more useful purpose in your home.  We believe that bold prints and large patterns can add depth and substance to a small space, giving life to that lonely unused room. Some great example of this is Zoffany’s Best in Show.

Not only does this involve a large print, but it has a lighter background, which opens up the space considerably, however we suggest you have a love of dogs to partake in this particular wallpaper. Another good example is Cole & Son’s Woods. This design comes in metallic, light and dark colour ways. Instinctively, designers would suggest the lighter option, bringing light into the space, however, with this particular design the darker option provides a depth that opens up the room beyond the confinements of the walls, (and into the unknown).

Another effect that opens up the space is a 3-dimensional effect. With wallpapers such as Cole & Son’s Nicchie, the perspective and shading gives a 3D effect that descends into the walls opening up the space and giving the illusion of a larger; more interesting room. If you prefer something a little less abstract then an alternative would be Zoffany’s Ivy Leaf, which, though not as obvious, it’s light reflecting qualities really helps open the space up.

Nevertheless, if bold prints and 3D effects are not for you then why not try a horizontal pattern. Much like vertical stripes can make people look slimmer, horizontal patterns can make our rooms look bigger! Horizontal prints, at first thought, seem rare, however, thanks to Harlequin’s new collection Landscapes, you can add horizontal patterns and bold colours to your room. You can, of course, railroad vertical stripes, making them horizontal. This technique works really well, however there are some things to look out for. Firstly, when choosing patterned wallpaper avoid single colour pallets and intricate details, and here is why. Compare Cole & son’s Procuratie  and Zoffany’s Façade.

Both have very similar patterns, however, with the contrast in colours on Procuratie, it adds depth, whereas the use of shading and detail on Façade creates a busy pattern, which will enclose a space dramatically. Another, more obvious point is that Façade is a smaller pattern than Procuratie, thus supporting the claim that: Bigger is better!

How to make a small room look bigger

How to make a small room look bigger

Another way to create more space in a room is to add more light. To do this using wallpaper, we suggest light reflecting, metallic designs. Now to all those thinking ‘Metallic wallpaper?! This isn’t a nightclub bathroom!’ Don’t worry, we mean tasteful metallic, for example Osbourne & Little’s Sherwood . The beautiful bold leafy pattern coupled with the metallic, light reflecting elements will brighten even the smallest of rooms, making them seem significantly bigger.  If you are feeling more daring why not try a wallpaper from Zoffany’s Quartz collection?

Sometimes you’ll find the perfect wallpaper but it’s too expensive, or there isn’t enough stock to do the whole room – well never fear! An effective way around this is just to wallpaper one wall. The trick here is not to make your feature wall the one opposite the door, as that one decorated wall can enclose the room. If the wallpaper is to the side of the door, it can be seen in your peripheral vision, thus creating the illusion of space. Any of the aforementioned wallpapers or similar would be very effective in this case.

Using any of these tips and tricks will immediately open up your small space. There are so many wallpapers out there for you to choose from so start looking now, and bring life to that small room that you’ll love to use.

If you have your own suggestions on how to make a small room look bigger then let us know using the comments below.

About 

Megan is one of our cherished bloggers at No.77 Interiors and has an eye for detail when it comes to interior design.


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