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It’s all about Psychology of Visual Perception: Interior Design Tips to Make a Small Space Seem Big

Psychology of Visual Perception: Interior Design Tips to Make a Small Space Seem Big by Maxwell Alexander

It’s all about Psychology of Visual Perception: Interior Design Tips to Make a Small Space Seem Big

by Designer Maxwell Alexander, Editor in Chief / Hudson Valley Style Magazine

Maxwell Alexander, Creative Director, CDO, Duncan Avenue Group
Maxwell Alexander, Creative Director, CDO, Duncan Avenue Group

Whether you live in a small apartment in New York City or want to make the most of a compact room in your suburban Hudson Valley home, decorating to amplify the feel of square footage is a must. Here are three design tips to help you do just that.

Maximize light and use of mirrors

What causes a room to appear spacious? Light. To make your home’s smallest areas feel bigger, flood them with light. Keep windows clean and make sure you don’t block them.

Be creative with lighting too. Professional Interior Designers often recommend rooms contain at least three sources of light. Low, indirect lighting is best, so every corner is visible and your eyes roam with ease. Warm light creates a cozy and comfortable environment, while cooler lights are perfect to stay alert and focus on a task at hands.

Keep clutter and shadow to a minimum as they make rooms feel small. Mirrors have the opposite effect, increasing light and producing the illusion of added space. Place them to reflect natural light and open areas.

Psychology of Visual Perception: Interior Design Tips to Make a Small Space Seem Big by Maxwell Alexander
Psychology of Visual Perception: Interior Design Tips to Make a Small Space Seem Big by Maxwell Alexander

Smart Storage

Small spaces don’t always offer helpful storage, but you can stow items out of sight with smart solutions. Always choose multifunctional furniture when possible. A coffee table with an inbuilt shelf beneath it for magazines, for instance, is more useful than a basic table without extra storage capacity.

Hang items on walls and doors too. Anything from musical instruments to bicycles can become wall art when not in use. Hang storage racks on the back of cupboard doors as well for unsightly items like cleaning materials.

Also, be mindful not to cram items into small spaces creating an overstuffed appearance. Leave a 10% gap, for example, on each bookshelf and other storage surfaces on view.

Psychology of Visual Perception: Interior Design Tips to Make a Small Space Seem Big by Maxwell Alexander
Psychology of Visual Perception: Interior Design Tips to Make a Small Space Seem Big by Maxwell Alexander

Prudent paint selection

Dark colors make rooms seem smaller while light paint choices expand areas. If space is tight, semi-gloss white should be your favorite color on walls, use the same paint for wainscoting, and pure white (eggshell) ceilings will lighten rooms and provide a bright atmosphere. Light fixtures and variations in their light frequency are what fills a white room with infinite shades of grey. Semi-transparent lampshades that create natural light patterns subconsciously remind us of safety and comfort of a tree on a sunny day. Add more color with soft furnishings like scatter cushions if you want to increase vibrancy and warmth. 

Your home might be bijou, but it need not look poky. Create the impression of space with clever lighting. Smart paint selection and multifunctional furniture will also add an expansive feel. Remember, it’s all about the smart choices!

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