Improving Space

How to Make a Room Feel Bigger

At some point in your life you’re going to be stuck with a room that’s on the wrong side of cosy, and well into the territory of cramped. There are a few different ways to go about making the most of the space that you do have and giving the illusion of a much larger room. Armed with years of experience living in tiny flats and student accommodation, I’m here to give you a few pointers on how to make a room feel bigger.

Light Colours for the Walls

If you’re able to choose the colours of your walls, then going for a lighter option is the best choice for a small room. Even if, like me, you prefer the cosy feel of deeper or darker shades when you pair that with an already small room the colours can overwhelm the space and make the room appear even more compact.

Multi-Functional Furniture

One of the best ways to make the most of your space is to buy some multi-functional furniture, like a footstool with inbuilt storage space. This will help to maximise the space you have, while allowing you to keep those bits that you can’t throw away, or if you’re like my dad, your collection of yellowing newspapers dating back to the 70s.

Light Window Covers

Window covers that are light in colour and material will help your room to feel airy and bright, and will save some space that a pair of heavy curtains just wouldn’t. They will also allow lots of natural light in, which will stop the room getting stuffy or feeling too cramped.

Exposed Legs

No, this doesn’t mean that rolling up your jeans will suddenly make your sitting room 10 foot wider, but rather that buying a sofa or armchair with exposed legs will give the impression of more space. Of course, this does mean sacrificing that favourite of storage spaces, the under-couch, where you can just chuck anything from board games to pizza boxes, but that sacrifice (as hard as it is) will be well worth it for the feeling of space you’ll get.

Mirrors

You know all those videos on YouTube of cats and dogs attacking their reflection in mirrors? Well this works in kind of the same way. Popping a mirror on the wall will trick your brain into thinking the room is bigger than it is, although hopefully you’ll be able to resist the temptation of attacking your own reflection.

De-clutter

If you have less space to work with, shockingly you’re going to be able to get less things in the room. It’s time to be really brutal with yourself and throw out some of that accumulated clutter. If you’re smart with storage you might be able to keep quite a bit of it, but it’s still goodbye to your collection of junk mail that has been sitting on the coffee table and slowly growing upwards for the last few months. Have a really good think about whether you actually need some of your stuff, and once you’ve had a good de-clutter you’ll be shocked to see how much space you actually have to work with.

With a little bit of work and careful thinking there really is no need to feel down about a small room. You’ll be able to convince visitors that even the tiniest room is a pleasant living space, and If you keep this up you’ll be ready for a career as an illusionist any day now.

Wood Care

Caring for Wood Furniture

Wood furniture might be attractive, but it can be a pig to care for properly. Luckily, I’m here to point you in the right direction with a few tips and tricks for properly dealing with your wood furniture.

Keep it Out of The Sun

Unsurprisingly for a great big ball of fire, the Sun can do a lot of damage to your wood furniture. The heat and light from the Sun will cause the wood to dry out, warp and become bleached. Obviously, this isn’t ideal, and it will severely impact the life and look of your wooden furniture. The solution to this is simple – don’t put wooden furniture anywhere that it’ll be in sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Regular care can help to alleviate any problems, but once your table has been bleached by the sun there is no going back.

Keep it Away from Heat Sources

Radiators and heaters can damage wood furniture in much the same way as the sun, causing it to warp and dry out, which will make it fragile and susceptible to damage. Either keep your furniture away from heat or minimise the time that it is exposed for – it’s that simple. Make sure you use placemats or cooling racks when placing hot food on the table as well. Keeping your furniture away from heat and at a consistent temperature will keep it healthy and make it last much longer.

Use Wax and Oil

Despite what you might have heard, you really don’t need to wax or oil your wood furniture every week, but doing so every couple of months will help it to keep its shine. The wax will help to protect the wood from dirt and damage and rubbing it with some oil will stop it from getting too dried out (especially important if keeping it out of the sun isn’t an option).
Don’t Use Silicone Sprays

Lots of household cleaning sprays contain silicone which can damage and ruin the appearance of wood. Using silicone sprays will cause a build up of the substance on the wood which can make it feel sticky and give it a very plasticky look – not exactly what you were going for when you choose to get wooden furniture.

Keep it Clean

Regularly cleaning your wood furniture is a must, build ups of dust or dirt can cause stains or a deterioration in appearance and shine. Wiping your table down with a cloth on the dry side of damp will get rid of any muck and dirt, without damaging the wood further. Just make sure you don’t scrub at it with a rough cloth as this will just leave it covered in annoying scratches!