Mirrors: Mirrors create an illusion of space by ‘doubling’ the room in your eyes. Fit large vertical mirrors on 3 of the walls. You can have them as wide as possible and they are beautiful and ‘fresh’ as well.
Another space ‘opening’ factor of mirrors is the fact that they multiply the light in the room by reflecting onto strategic angles of the room. The ‘crystal’ appeal of mirrors make your room look and feel more ‘expensive’.
Light: The brighter the room the fewer the shadows and the bigger it gets because your eyes can see and capture more. Both natural light from large windows as well as artificial light from light bulbs and candles do this for you. To maximise the light, expand the windows in the house and use light coloured window curtains. Use thin and light fabric for them. Use light (preferably white and pale yellow) lamp shades and light bulb shades to ‘expand’ the electricity-light, the same goes for candle light.
Cut down: Sadly people cramp their homes up with extra sofas and couches just because they can afford the extra furniture. If you walk into a showroom and the settee set you happen to fancy has 7 pieces, if you only need 3 pieces, ask to buy only 3 of the pieces. If the shop owners say no then find another set. The fact that you can afford it does not mean you should buy it. Settees are usually bulky and occupy space. Opt for a few and have pretty puffs on the floor for people to sit on whenever you have crowd.
Centre pieces: People have a tradition of placing a round table in the middle of the arch of settees. It is something we inherited from our parents. Then we have little stool beside each sofa to put our drinks on. The little stools make it difficult to walk in between the sofas and the large center table (usually glass) gives you no alternative. One of them has to go and since the little stools are more useful, the center table should go. It is difficult to let go of tradition but once you let this one go you would be relieved. You would have more space and it would be a lot easier to move around.
The glass shelf: This is usually a huge show glass case in which we keep nothing but bric a brac and maybe the TV set. If you living room is not ‘mansion size’ then forget it. Today flat screen TVs are fitted to the wall and if you don’t use a flat screen have a carpenter build a sturdy shelf on the wall for your TV. You can line up CD racks underneath it.
When you need storage space instead of going out to buy a cupboard or glass show case, have someone build one into the spaces and walls. The home should not fit the furniture; it is the furniture should fit into the home.
Corners: Use up all the corners. Build shelves and drawers to fit into the corners of the walls. This frees a lot of space for you.
Off the ground: Build most of your storage spaces above the ground. You can have your carpenter build shelves from hip height all the way up to a few inches above your head. This includes everything from cabinets to clothes hangers.
Open shelving: This ‘releases’ more space than closed shelving because the empty spaces in the shelves are visible and add to the ‘feel’ of space.
Paint and wall paper: Use light and pale colours. This maximises the light in the room and boost the illusion of space. Light colours for the ceiling gives an illusion of height while light colours for the floors gives the illusion of width.
Think Multipurpose: When you have to purchase appliances or fittings find an appliance that does the job of two or three, or even four to save you some space.