If your bedroom isn’t quite the spacious sanctuary you want it to be, use these smart ploys to make it look larger
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Maybe your bedroom is a cluttered, space-starved boxroom rather than the airy suite of your dreams. Perhaps you have a decent-sized room, but have managed to visually shrink it since you decorated, furnished and generally lived in it. Or are you considering putting your house on the market and hoping to sell it as a generous master bedroom?
Whatever your scenario – and your bedroom’s size – you can’t argue with having a ruse or two up your sleeve to make its proportions seem ample. Try these favourites.
Build floor-to-ceiling storage
Using vertical space – in other words, that bit of air over the top of your wardrobes that might otherwise remain unexploited – is a wise move. Fitted wardrobes will give you that streamlined hotel style so popular for master suites, and will make practical use of every available inch.
By using the high cupboards for items you might only need to get to a couple of times a year, such as out-of-season clothes, you can free up more accessible storage, too.
Find carpenters and joiners in your area to take on this kind of job
Create perceived depth
There are many ways to make a solid wall feel just that bit further away than it really is. One is with a genius wallpaper design like this, which suggests visual depth without overwhelming the scheme (the soft details and light background colour are key to its success).
Another way to perform this trick is with mirrors (more on that in a moment), or with backlit, open shelving built into alcoves – and kept neat and clutter-free.
Opt for all white
You can’t beat a white scheme for a super-space-stretching effect – and carrying it through to the floor, walls, ceiling, furniture and even bed linen will have maximum impact.
However, in a north- or east-facing room, it can seem a little cold, so choose a warm white rather than a brilliant tone, and add texture with knitted or faux fur throws. Up the light-reflecting ante with the odd piece of mirrored furniture and filmy white curtains.
Minimise the colour palette
A small room needn’t be white – or even light-coloured – to feel larger, however.
This room may not be weeny, but you can see a clever colour trick at play all the same, keeping it feeling spacious. You can indulge your love of deep, dramatic shades and even pattern, and still keep the room feeling spacious, by limiting the scheme to a single colour in a range of different tones – with the odd area of white to keep light levels up.
Want more contrast without spoiling the effect? Keep accent shades to splashes – in accessories, for example.
Declutter the window
Increasing natural daylight is a priority – and replacing blinds and curtains with shutters does two handy space- and light-enhancing jobs. First, unless they’re pulled right back or up, curtains and blinds will block out light, while shutters can be folded back to let in maximum daylight.
Curtains take up space, too – both at floor level and visually; shutters, on the other hand, are all sleek, straight lines and slim proportions.
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Be clever with the basics
This room’s architecture is a little unusual, but its space-saving tricks might be just as easily applied in a three-bed semi.
Firstly, there’s discreet storage beneath the bed, which neatly declutters the room of both mess and a space-hungry chest of drawers or two. Secondly, there are sliding doors, which don’t need to swing into the room like hinged ones; a pocket door recess could sit neatly behind fitted wardrobes.
Play with proportion
Vertical stripes on walls and at windows can trick the eye into seeing a room as taller than it is; horizontal ones will make it seem wider. Here, the ceiling is raised – visually – with a trompe l’oeil wallpaper.
The concrete-effect panelled grid pattern also regularises the room’s awkward angles – and, as a bonus, adds texture to the small space. Choose wide stripes for a contemporary feel – and neutral or receding colours over bolds.
Go for mirrored wardrobes
Putting mirrored doors on wardrobes will make your room feel twice the size. For best effect, position them on the longest wall (this will help to make the room look squarer), and choose sliding doors, which take up no floor space when opened (unlike hinged doors).
Not keen on mirrored doors? Pick a pale, receding paint colour that tones with your walls, rather than a bold one that advances to make the space seem smaller.
Place lights in front of mirrors
Talking of mirrors… Putting lights in front of yours will boost the space-enhancing effect they have – and double the amount of light given off. (See how the light is thrown backwards into the mirrored wall here, making the room seem deeper than it is?)
Considering this ruse? Ensure your bedroom lighting is on a dimmer switch – this effect is just as successful when the light is soft and soothing, and no one likes an over-lit bedroom.
Exaggerate ceiling height
To make a small room feel taller, buy low-slung furniture under which you can see the floor. So although this bed has a valance (perhaps to hide the clutter beneath), the bedside tables have feet, so you can see underneath to the wall behind – a neat visual, space-stretching trick.
Both are contrasted with the ceiling-high headboard, which, with its vertical lines, draws the eye upwards, making the room seem loftier than it is.
What are your bedroom’s space issues, and which of these ideas would you consider trying? Tell us in the Comments section.