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Horowhenua Chronicle - - OPEN HOMES - Freshome De­sign & Ar­chi­tec­ture

MAGICIANS of­ten use op­ti­cal il­lu­sions to trick the eyes. Com­ing up with de­sign strate­gies for or­gan­is­ing a room’s lay­out, decor and colour scheme is no dif­fer­ent — you can use these sim­ple steps to make a small space, such as a stu­dio or tiny of­fice, seem much larger.

Let there be light

“Cream colours and icy blues are just a few of the best colour com­bi­na­tions that can con­vert a tiny in­te­rior into a seem­ingly big­ger liv­ing area,” writes Mi­hai for

mag­a­zine. Some shades for a creamy wall in­clude Re­sene Eighth Thorn­don Cream, Re­sene Quar­ter Pearl Lusta, and Re­sene Rice Cake. As for the icy, chill blues, you can paint on Re­sene Breath­less or Re­sene Cut Glass to use the power of light tones for cre­at­ing space.

Trick the trims

Paint your wall trim and join­ery in a hue slightly lighter than the rest of the walls and ceil­ing, be­cause this tricks the eye into think­ing the wall is fur­ther back. As a re­sult, your room looks much more spa­cious.

Walk­ing on sun­shine

Wher­ever pos­si­ble, try and let in as much nat­u­ral light as you can. Large win­dows, slid­ing glass doors or sky­lights can all help trans­form a tiny space into seem­ing big­ger.

Hoard­ing hor­rors

Clut­ter is your worst en­emy when it comes to mak­ing a space look big­ger. Don’t let things pile up in ev­ery nook and cranny, as this will only make an al­ready small area seem more minute. Grab a bas­ket or a bin, and de-clut­ter like a pro so your space is min­i­mal­ist.

Mir­ror, mir­ror on the wall

Who is the largest of them all? Your room is, if you put a big mir­ror up on one of the walls. This age-old trick re­flects the room to visu­ally ‘dou­ble’ its size. Bonus points if you can place it op­po­site a win­dow, as the light will bounce around the en­tire room to ex­tend the space.

Se­cret agent fur­ni­ture

Many fur­ni­ture stores sell cof­fee ta­bles with hid­den stor­age com­part­ments, or ot­tomons that can be lifted up to re­veal in­ter­nal hol­low space for keep­ing blan­kets or cush­ions. Investing in such pieces can dra­mat­i­cally free up floor space in a tiny room.

Soar­ing heights

Draw the eye up­wards to your ceil­ing — it makes the room feel big­ger. Achieve this ef­fect by paint­ing it in a com­ple­men­tary or con­trast­ing colour to the walls.

See right through me

Choos­ing ta­bles and chairs made of glass, lu­cite or clear plas­tic have the ben­e­fit of be­ing translu­cent, so they don’t fill up the space visu­ally. Such items can make a room ap­pear airy and open. Sim­i­larly, adding sheer fab­ric cur­tains or drapes in the same colour as your wall paint can unify your walls and win­dows to look big­ger.

Matchy matchy

Up­hol­stery on your big couches can match your wall’s paint colour for a seam­less blend, ex­tend­ing the size of the room.

Floored by beauty

In many ways, your floor and ceil­ing are like the fifth and sixth wall of the room. Don’t use dark floor­ing such as char­coal grey car­pets or deep brown wood, rather, lighten the ground so it too con­trib­utes to cre­at­ing the spa­cious il­lu­sion. Toss on a white furry rug or stain wooden floors in Re­sene Color­wood White­wash.

PHOTO / PIP GUTHRIE

In this Michael Mansvelt project, a wall mir­ror makes the room look big­ger, with walls in Re­sene Albescent White.

The thin stripes, us­ing us­ing Re­sene Wallpaper Col­lec­tion GC8752, make this room feel

PHOTO / AU­DREY FITZJOHN

Many fash­ion gu­rus will tell you that wear­ing clothes with ver­ti­cal stripes can elon­gate your fig­ure to make you look taller.The same ap­plies for hor­i­zon­tal stripes — find a rug or car­pet with long, hor­i­zon­tal stripes and lay it down on your ground to stretch out the room, or use a striped ef­fect on a fea­ture wall to make it seem wider or taller. Hor­i­zon­tal stripes in Re­sene San Juan and R. Thorn­don Cream makes a room feel wider.

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