For de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo, the trick is to go through your house systematically, sorting your items into categories. If any item doesn’t ‘spark joy’, it has to go
Whether you’re looking to sell your property or just want to give it a refresh, a few simple tricks can transform your home by creating the illusion of space.
There are practical steps you can take to create more space if you’re feeling hemmed in. On a big scale, an extension or loft conversion will bring extra rooms, while adding value to your home.
But what if a building project isn’t an option – because of limited budget, planning restrictions or because you live in a second-floor city centre apartment without room to extend?
Read on for five tried-and-tested ways to make your home feel spacious, without the need to remortgage.
1. Have a spring declutter
Could the amount of stuff you’ve accumulated over the years be weighing you down, not a lack of space? Spring cleaning season is a great time to have a big sort out, getting rid of items you don’t love and don’t need. The usual rule is that if something hasn’t been used or worn for more than a year, it probably won’t be needed.
For de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo, the trick is to go through your house systematically, sorting your items into categories. If any item doesn’t ‘spark joy’, it has to go (you should say ‘thank you’ to it first, however!).
Find wicker baskets and attractive storage boxes to tidy away items you need to keep. But don’t just stuff things in. Make sure there’s a place for everything, so things can be put away quickly, before the clutter starts to build up again.
Store out-of-season clothes in vacuum bags under the bed. For larger items or furniture, that you can’t part with, think about placing them in a storage facility. This is particularly useful if you are decluttering to sell your property.
Read more advice from decluttering experts in the Huffington
2. Make use of vertical space – and other nooks and crannies
Make a place for everything by installing smart storage solutions. Build upwards, making the most of the full height of your room. Bookcases, shelves and built-in cupboards will provide extra storage without taking up much-needed floor room.
An easy way to add storage is to install some stylish floating shelves - but don’t cram them full of stuff. The advice is to leave at least 10% of your bookshelves as free space.
Look around your home for dead space which could be filled with handy cupboards and storage furniture; beneath a desk, around a sink or where a fireplace used to be. Under the stairs is a really useful spot – add plenty of shelves to make it super-organised.
3. Light, glass and mirrors
Keeping a room well-lit gives the impression of more space. Maximise natural light with pale-coloured blinds or curtains and add several different light sources to illumine darker rooms, such as basements. Add floor lamps for an instant brightness boost.
Mirrors and glass surfaces reflect natural and artificial light to make a room look bigger. Make a big mirror a focal point to your room and maybe add a glass coffee table too. Just be careful to position the mirror so it’s reflecting the best view – not any remaining clutter!
4. Paint it pale
Pale, neutral tones are best for creating a spacious feel. Darker, richer colours may feel cosy, but don’t reflect light, and will make a small room feel even more closed in. With its amazing light-reflecting qualities, white is top of the list when it comes to making homes look larger – it’s no wonder modern art galleries often use white to maximise light and space.
This doesn’t just apply to walls, keep carpets and floor coverings light and avoid dark and gloomy pieces of furniture too. The more that objects in the room can blend into the background the better for creating space.
5. Think about flow
Move around your home – you should be able to travel smoothly from room to room without too many obstacles in your way. If it feels to crowded, you might need to remove some furniture items, but don’t go too far – empty rooms can sometimes look smaller than furnished ones.
Furniture shape is important too. While square and rectangular pieces fit well in corners, curved edges make a nice focus and people can move round them smoothly without banging their shins.
Try swapping things around to create the best effect – if it doesn’t work, you can always move them back.
Find out more
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now for expert advice on marketing your property to find the right buyer and achieve the best price.