Is there really enough room in the house for entertaining? Create an illusion of spaciousness and in some cases, show you how to fit more friends into your house.
If there is nothing to stop the eye from travelling from one room to the next, the impression of greater space is created. Sofas with low backs make less of an obstruction in your view across the lounge. Chairs and lounge suites with exposed legs and space underneath help too. Glass coffee tables may take up room, but their transparency still allows you to see more of the room or the floor through the surface.
If you can see another room from where you are, hang an eye-catching piece of art there to draw the eye out of the room you are in.
Curtains can be mounted high up by the ceiling, giving the room a taller feel even if your home doesn’t have a high stud height. Pale colours and mirrors are used to reflect light and enlarge a room’s appearance. If your walls are dark, however, you may find that boundaries and corners seem to blend in, and the size of a small room may not seem so clearly defined.
These days flat-screen TVs are often wall-mounted, leaving more room at floor level for furniture or empty space. Keeping TVs and sound systems hidden behind cupboard doors can also help to de-clutter the area.
Some people naturally avoid large pieces of furniture in small lounges, but a few big pieces can save space as opposed to many little chairs and tables taking up a lot of room. Remember that large can still be slim, so try to look for streamlined lounge suites and avoid overly puffy ones.
Built-in furniture like cupboards, shelves, window-seats and benches take up less room than stand-alone pieces of furniture. They often double as hidden storage areas and save space by fitting close to the wall.
Take advantage of high spaces and choose tall cupboards or bookcases for ornaments, vases, books and sound system equipment. As well as maximising storage space, this will save on extra cabinets which would otherwise use up your precious floor area.
Enlarge your room by maximising natural light through the use of skylights or windows that aren’t obscured by drapes or blinds during the day. Hang curtains to the sides of the windows so that all the glass is exposed.
If your outside area isn’t useful for entertaining, consider future possibilities like decking or paving, using low garden walls as seating areas, installing a roof over the deck to keep out the worst of the weather, and using sun protection options like umbrellas or shade sails. If your space could potentially be used in the winter, try building partially-enclosing walls around the deck for shelter, and add a fireplace to keep it cosy.
If heading outdoors isn’t a viable option, at least open some windows. A fresh breeze or a garden scent can seem to open up a small room.
Remember that less is more. Tidy, clean surfaces, plenty of light, and the bare minimum of objects and furniture will give your home a roomy feel with enough space for guests to feel comfortable.