When working with a small space, perception is key. With the right techniques, you can change the outlook of even the smallest rooms and make them feel spacious and bright. Here are our top tips and visual tricks to make small spaces appear larger:
1. Vertical Elements
For rooms with lower ceilings, a vertical stripe on the walls will add height to the space. In Apartment 17 at Ham Yard Hotel, the smart vertical lines draw the eye up to the ceiling, making the room visually taller.
In Room 609 at Crosby Street Hotel, the walls go on for miles! A tall statement headboard covered in a bold pattern by Pierre Frey, coupled with a classic William Yeoward light blue vertical striped wallpaper creates the illusion of height.
The Sandra Blow Room at The Soho Hotel is not one of our largest event rooms, but with a few clever optical illusions we have created a sense of light and space. The graphic qualities of the ascending Himalaya wallpaper with a vertical stripe fabric on the back of chairs makes the room feel taller. The floating Tom Dixon Mirror Ball standing lamps sit alongside a bold artwork by Carla Kranendonk, drawing the eye to the back of the room and opening up the space.
2. Scenic Wall Coverings
For small rooms, landscaped wallpaper such as my ‘Mythical Land’ design for Andrew Martin, with rolling hills and the vision of a distant horizon, adds depth to any space. My ‘Mythical Lands’ design worked beautifully in The Loft at Bergdorf Goodman, adding a new dimension to the space.
The use of cleverly placed mirrors can make a room appear larger by reflecting the space and amplifying the light. In this small but beautiful Chelsea flat, mirrors have been carefully added on either side of the fireplace, creating depth and make the most of the space in every corner.
In Room 111 at The Covent Garden Hotel, we hung two large mirrors on the narrow side of the bed which makes the space feel wider and more open.
In the Lafayette Room at Crosby Street Hotel in New York, my ‘Monsoon’ wallpaper for Christopher Farr Cloth is echoed in the mirrored wall at the far end of the room. We placed another more ornate gilded mirror in front of the mirrored wall, creating the illusion that the ‘Monsoon’ design passes beyond the confines of the space.
4. Jib Doors
One final trick to make your walls feel taller and your rooms appear bigger is the use of jib doors. The absence of architraves and horizontal limits means the door disappears into the walls.
At The Soho Hotel, a clever jib door unobtrusively reveals a secret doorway to the bedroom but when closed, it will make the drawing room feel calm and spacious.
Follow the rules, or make your own illusions of perception to reveal a new dimension of space in even the smallest room.