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Heather Nette King is a Melbourne-based interiors stylist and writer for many leading interior titles and newspapers. The hallmarks of her styling are colour and vibrancy, and she writes passionately about peoples’ homes and how they live in them.

Small spaces can be a blessing and a curse. Yes, they can be cosy, intimate, and environmentally low-impact, but if you really just wish the room was a bit bigger, here are my top three tips on how to create a sense of openness and depth to make your small space seem more spacious!

1. Floor plan – keep it simple

The floor plan of a small space is critical for both practical and aesthetic reasons. Whilst it may seem sensible to use lots of small-scale furniture pieces and accessories to increase the feeling of space, this will, in fact, add to the visual clutter of the room. Using good-sized (not necessarily oversized) furniture pieces and accessories like artworks creates a more streamlined, more visually pleasing look.

This brings us to the actual floor treatments. Again, we want to avoid anything too bitsy and intricate. Firstly, I would use only one type of flooring – not combine two - like say tiles and concrete. By using the same type of flooring throughout, you will create a lovely visual continuity, without any interruptions. This seamless flow will help the room to appear larger, and excellent way to achieve this is with plain carpet in a solid hue (avoid patterns or heavy texture). The Birman range of Australian made twist pile solution dyed carpets is absolutely perfect for this. If you would like to install floorboards, select wider boards and run them lengthways from the doorway, rather than across the room from the door. This will again draw your eye into the space. Take a look at the Refined Oak range – it’s engineered nature ensures that joins are less visible, creating an even more seamless look. As lovely as they are, herringbone and chevron floorboards may be a little more visually overwhelming in a small space that you wish to make appear more generous.

2. Light it right

Petite spaces generally come with petite windows, so the way you use this minimal light source, and the kind of artificial light you add, will play a huge part in creating a feeling of spaciousness. Sheer curtains are the perfect solution for maintaining privacy whilst letting in light - and they can add a feeling of airiness. I love the Marley range which is an incredibly soft and flowing S-Wave curtain . For a really clean-lined look, think about motorised blinds as they eliminate the need to have chains for manual adjustment.

Small spaces can be made to appear larger by utilising several different light sources. A typical central pendant light is always practical; however, a couple of strategically placed floor, desk and table lamps will illuminate other corners or areas, and that extra light will really enhance the feeling of space.

One last clever lighting hack is to make use of mirrors as they create a feeling of depth and expansiveness – they are the ultimate creator of interior optical illusions! Placing mirrors opposite windows or in smaller spaces will help bounce the light around and visually enlarge the space.

3. Clever colour

Colour is the third crucial tool in your space-increasing bag of tricks. To make a space seem larger, opt for a light colour palette for your walls, ceilings, and furniture upholstery. These brighter tones reflect natural light better than darker hues will, making the space feel brighter and more open. White walls are always popular, however the current trend is for warmer whites and soft natural hues, so if you’re after a really contemporary look, check out the warm neutral pages of your paint colour guide.

If you are a lover of colour, stick to using two or three hues in a smaller space. Just like using minimal furniture and plainer flooring options, by limiting your palette to a few cohesive shades, your space will be much easier on the eye.  Most colour schemes work well with a little black, so if you’d like this light, open space you have created to be a little more grounded, make black a minor part of your scheme.