8 ingenious ways of making a small space seem bigger

This time last year, a quarter of 20- to 34-year-olds in the UK still lived with their parents. It’s easy to see why: if you live in the capital, you’ll know all too well that London rent prices are literally going through the roof, with pint-sized studios going for mind-boggling prices.

But even if you don’t live in London, older towns and cities with smaller houses may mean you pull the short straw and get the box room. But never fear – sometimes a less spacious pad is easier to manage, and can be made to look cosy in no time. Here are some of the brilliant ways which people have found to make peace with their small rooms…

painted ceiling

1. Painted ceiling

By painting a pattern on the ceiling, it draws the eye upwards, making the room seem taller. Take a look at these examples.

Images via army.arch at Flickr Creative Commons and Houzz

nook bed

2. Integrated bed

This fantastic sleeping-hole, spotted by Treehugger, cleverly integrates a bed into the wall, giving you ample extra space in a small room.

Designed by Antwerp-based Van Staeyen Interieur Architecten, this space-saver looks modern and stylish. The twin-size cubby hole also has lighting and shelves for extra stacking room.

nook bed collage

Images via Van Staeyen website.

3. Tall shelves

Like painting the ceiling, having shelves higher up the wall naturally draws the eye upwards and the room is given an instant size boost. Tall, skinny shelves have the same effect. It also makes a pleasant change from regularly-positioned shelves, as long as you can still reach everything you need!

4. Big mirrors

In this room at student accommodation at the University of Exeter, the mirror extends the size of the room by tricking the eye into thinking there’s extra space.

mirrored room

Image via University of Exeter at Flickr Creative Commons

5. Bright colours

Using bright colours on the floor, ceiling and walls reflects light, while darker tones absorb it. Clean pale walls will make a space seem fresh, and if you’re after some interesting, innovative lighting for your home, check out our list here.

Image via Houzz

6. Windows

If a room has windows, it not only adds loads of natural light but also draws your vision outwards, meaning the immediate surroundings of the room feel bigger. If the windows are high like in this photo, it makes the room feel even larger.

Image via Houzz

7. Wall-mounted lamp

If you haven’t got space for a bedside table, then a wall-mounted lamp is ideal – it removes the need for cumbersome stand-alone furniture on which to place it, and also gives a modern twist to the classic bedside lamp.

wall-mounted lamp

Image via Kyle Van Horn at Flickr Creative Commons

8. Striped rug

Buying a vertically-striped rug really helps to elongate a room, drawing its dimensions out to their maximum potential.

Image via Houzz

Sadie Hale