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How to Interior Design Like a Professional.. Tricks of the Trade



How to make your room appear larger:

  • Keep all surfaces the same colour – including furniture, even large items will seem to shrink as they blend in.
  • Keep your floor light in colour and only use one type of flooring as it visually expands the space.

  • Similarly the ceiling should be light as it will appear higher – this is particularly good in shorter rooms (see images right)

  • Whatever colour you choose should be lightest in tone at the top of the room graduating to darker at floor level.

  • Is it best to uses “cool” colours like greens and blues as they recede and trick the eye into thinking they are further away. (see images right)

  • Limit your furniture or choose smaller, compact pieces – Does your sofa really need those big chunky arms? Do you really need that many side tables? Shouldn’t you have just one large storage shelf for all your bits and bobs?

  • Use built in storage in alcoves or under stairs.

  • If you have a flat-screen TV that can hang on the wall – do it !– it will free up precious floor space.
LIGHT CEILING - makes a room seem taller and larger.
DARK CELIING - makes a room seem cosier and shorter.
 DARK BRIGHT END - makes room look shorter.
DARK MUTED SIDE - makes room look wider.


How to make your room cosier or smaller:

  • Darker shades on the ceiling will make it seem lower.

  • It is best to use warm shades such as yellows, oranges and reds as they visually project forward and appear closer.

  • Use shades of the same colour to create focal point behind a sofa, sideboard, fireplace etc to draw your eye in.

  • Ground your room and create zones as this will give purpose to areas and break up a large space – arrange sofas around a large rug with a coffee table, hang a large photo or painting over an occasional table, group potted plants together.

  • Create levels – a room will feel much large if all of the furniture is below waist level – use standard lamps, tall leafy foliage plants and large artwork to break up the space.





How to make a long thin hall appear shorter and wider:
  • Paint the end wall a dark shade and it will seem closer.

  • Repeat wall hangings such as paintings, photos or mirrors in the centre of the longest wall in a row to focus your eye on the centre of the space – only do this on one side as you risk making the room narrow.

  • If you have wood or wood effect floors make sure the strips run side to side which will make the room seem wider and more in proportion. (see images right)
LENGTHWISE FLOORING - makes a room look longer.
SIDE TO SIDE FLOORING - makes a room look wider.




How to create visual flow into your outdoor space:

  • Try to use the same type of flooring inside and out – this will create a visual flow.
  • Use plants in similar pots both inside and out.
  • If possible paint a wall or fence or even a bench or pots in the same colour as your inside space.
  • Create a visual entryway in your garden directly in front of the doorway from your home or position a focal point, a fountain, sculpture, specimen plant in full view.