Setting out on the tough but creative task of decorating a room can be an inspiring time, as possibilities jostle for importance in our imagination and the hallway slowly fills with new-smelling furniture and pots of paint. However well we plan, though, the reality of how a room feels once it has been decorated does not necessarily bear much connection to our original ideas. Playing with light, space, and that intangible quality we call Feng Shui, can be an unpredictable process – but thankfully, there are a few principles to hold in mind to help preserve the feeling of space in a given room.
Lighting is a delicate art, but defaulting to a single ceiling-bound fixture is the quickest way to flatten a room – so experimenting with lamps and mirrors can be a rewarding effort. Dark walls can be difficult to illuminate, so while deeper shades of paint can be very stylish, it is best – in a small room – to keep them to one feature wall. Curtains that begin at the ceiling, and/or end at the floor, can accentuate the presence of the windows and make the ceiling feel higher, also contributing to a greater sense of space.
One counter-intuitive idea is to pull the furniture away from the walls. While actually making the navigable area of the room smaller, by opening up more space between the walls and the armchairs, a more roomy feeling is created. Likewise, while an abundance of ornaments can quickly cramp the feel of a room, variety is to be encouraged when it comes to color and pattern: decorating every aspect of a room in an identical style will create the illusion of being surrounded by a single, claustrophobic mass. Instead, try adding contrast between the walls and the upholstery, adding throws or cushions to draw attention around the room.
Check out this handy new infographic by Wimdu, which provides further insight into how simple decorating decisions can keep a small room feeling luxurious.