Fact: property in London is at a premium. With real estate prices through the roof, most London homeowners are making do with smaller spaces than they would like. Decluttering can help, but before you resort to throwing out all your possessions, try these clever ways to make your small space seem a whole lot bigger.
1. Bright and light
Using light neutral paint colours, like white, light grey or cream on the walls and ceilings will make the room feel brighter and more expansive. You can use your furniture, potted plants or pieces of artwork as accent pieces, bringing dashes of bolder colour to your room. Also avoid rugs – they shrink the space. If you can’t resist, go for minimal designs.
2. Let the outside in
Heavy drapes and curtains stop you being able to see the whole view and block out some of the light. Leave your windows uncovered as much as possible to give the room depth, especially in living spaces. Retractable blinds or drapes made from translucent white fabric are perfect for this, providing privacy when you need it.
3. A clear path
Furniture with exposed legs positioned cleverly in a room can really open it up. The narrower the legs, the better. Avoid bulky furniture that blocks your view of the floor. Grouping furniture in functional areas rather than pushing all the pieces to the edges helps create a clear path and space to move. Situating all furniture at least a few inches from the wall gives the illusion of more space.
4. Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
A well placed mirror can really enhance the perception of space. Using it at angles to or opposite a window can make it look like you have two of them. Alternatively, position your mirror to reflect a large, open and uncluttered part of your room. Hang large mirrors if possible, rather than letting them take up valuable floor space.
5. Functional furniture
Statement pieces are lovely, but with a small space you need to think practically too. Smaller furniture with built-in storage is ideal for those who need to make the most out of every square foot. Instead of stools or bean bags, considering an ottoman. If you purchase a coffee table, get one with drawers. Beds take up tonnes of space, but under-bed drawers also provide plenty of storage.
6. Vertical challenge
Emphasising a room’s height creates the illusion of more space. Positioning art and mirrors on the lower half of the wall and using low-to-the-ground furniture is a great way to achieve this. Another option is transforming an entire wall into floor-to-ceiling shelving, giving you plenty of room for all your possessions. You can also get creative by designing your shelving in different sized boxes, like a giant puzzle.
7. Less means more
Go for a few large pieces of furniture instead of lots of smaller ones. Having, for example, one large couch instead of trying to fit in a smaller one with additional chairs will actually make a room feel less cluttered. But don’t sacrifice functionality just to get more floor space; there’s no use in a living room which can’t seat enough people.
Still feeling the squeeze?
Sometimes you just need more room, and the best way to achieve this, without the cost and inconvenience of upsizing, is to add space to your existing home. Many properties in the capital are suitable for loft conversions, which add space AND increase the value of your property.
Landmark Lofts is part of the Landmark Group - the only group in London specialising in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments to include a Chartered Building Company (CIOB), Chartered Architectural Practice (RIBA) and to be regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The Landmark Group specialises in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments.