Interior designers and home experts often resort to tricks for tiny spaces – from clever lighting to bold colour choices – which can transform a small room in just a weekend. Good Housekeeping UK’s Homes Editor Carolyn Bailey has this advice to maximise the potential of cosy rooms…

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Choose colours carefully when dealing with a small space. And be bold about where you use the paint. ‘A couple of colours will help a small room feel spacious and calm,’ says Carolyn. ‘Paint walls, skirting and even the ceiling the same colour.’ Picking furniture that compliments the walls will also have a major impact. ‘Sofas and curtains in the same shade as your room will blend in well and help create a sense of space and make your room seem bigger than it really is,’ says Carolyn. But what colours will really open out a space?

‘Blush pink is very much on trend at the moment and is a lovely soft alternative to neutral tones and is perfect for small rooms. My favourites include Pink Ground, Calamine and Middleton Pink from Farrow & Ball. Be wary of white as this can make a room look stark and appear cold, especially where there is little natural light.’ says Carolyn.

Use light well

Use mirrors to reflect light, instantly creating an illusion of space. ‘The easiest way to trick the eye into believing that a space is larger than it actually is by installing a couple of mirrors in a room, the larger the better,’ says Carolyn. ‘The reflection carries the eye giving the illusion of more space. Also, it’s a good idea to position mirrors opposite a window to reflect the light to brighten up the space at the same time.’

Also think carefully about how you light the room. A standard lamp in the corner isn’t quite going to cut it. ‘Wash light up walls from a number of sources dotting around the room. Low lighting works wonders as opposed to a central pendant which has the opposite effect, pulling everything into the middle of the room making it appear much smaller.’


Less is definitely more when choosing how to fill a small room, so dial back on the ornaments and edit the knick knacks and give small interiors a chance to breathe. ‘Limit accessories and leave some empty space on shelves to create a light airy look,’ says Carolyn. ‘Built in shelves will also maximise on the space available and will help create an illusion of space.’


Heavy curtains either side of the windows are going to cut out some of that precious light which will have a negative impact. ‘If possible leave the window unadorned to create a sense of space,’ says Carolyn, or if you’re looking for privacy opt for roller or roman blinds.


Filling a room full of furniture is guaranteed to make the walls feel like they’re moving in on you, instead be clever with what you choose to furnish your room with. ‘Furniture made from Perspex or glass all trick the eye into believing there is more space than there actually is,’ says Carolyn. Time for some decorating?

From: Good Housekeeping UK

PHOTO: iStock/in4mal

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