Anatomical magnification has been a speciality among men for centuries, but it’s not the skill’s only practical application.
Your aptitude for enlargement can transform even the tiniest nook into a gentleman’s palatial pad. With some smart planning and innovative decorating, it’s easier than you think to create the illusion of depth and space.
Take a look at these seven simple tips to help you make every inch count.
#1 Bare Naked Windows
Forget about matching the carpet to the drapes (or making any stale jokes about it) and discard window dressings entirely. The more natural light you can cram into your pint-sized space, the more open and airy it will appear.
If you live on the ground floor, and curtains are inescapable unless you wish to give the neighbours an eyeful, pick a light blend in the same colour or a similar shade to your furnishing.
Petite succulents and leafy indoor plants are also a welcome addition to windowsills. Not only does the flora make you feel less exposed while retaining maximum sunlight, it also shows mothers and girlfriends you’re responsible enough to care for living things without killing them.
Experiment with placement and make the most of changing light to afford the room depth and warmth.
#2 Monochrome Magnificence
The power of a light-hued wall in a small space cannot be overstated, but that’s not to say dark colours should be banished completely.
Instead, choose a monochromatic scheme that uses subtle gradations, leaving the darkest shades (fifty or otherwise) to small areas and trims. The continuity created will streamline the room and offer the illusion of spaciousness.
#3 What You Can’t See Won’t Hurt You
Storage is a huge factor for any man trying to squeeze modern life into something the size of a packing container. An army of iDevices and their respective chargers alone can already tip you dangerously close to clutter territory.
The higher your room’s clutter rate, the smaller it seems, so opt for smart storage. Multifunctional furniture is ideal and a large storage ottoman is a must, while an old trunk works well as a coffee table and storage area for blankets and pillows. Save the hoarding habits for your deranged old age.
#4 Mirrored Perception
One of the oldest tricks in the interior designer’s book is adding mirrors, and plenty of them. Looking glasses of all shapes and sizes provide instant transformation, add dimension, and indulge vanity.
This is particularly true for rooms featuring compact – or no – windows. Combine a full-length or floor-to-ceiling mirror with smaller mirrors positioned opposite windows and glass doors for optimal effect and amplified lighting.
If you’re installing wardrobes, we recommend a sliding mirrored design to deceive the eye, and catch and dispense light. Resist the urge to snap too many shirtless mirror selfies.
#5 Crack The Colour Code
Clutter has a nasty way of creeping up on even the tidiest of neat freaks. To remedy the problem and instill a sense of order to the room, colour-code your bookshelf and knick-knacks. A bright ceiling, or vibrant art placed up high, encourages necks to crane and minds to believe the room is more spacious than it is.
#6 Add Masculine Statement Pieces
A small room doesn’t demand small furniture. Indeed, the opposite is true. Large statement pieces, strategically placed, are better suited to cramped spots. Try a generous L-shaped or sectional sofa with a narrow console table buffering it against the wall.
No console table? No worries. Simply angle the sofa a few inches away from the wall to lend the impression of space.
Pieces with exposed legs and contoured lines are preferable as they create empty, open areas, and appear lighter than their chunky Lawson-style counterparts. For something different, experiment with backless sofas (divans) or daybeds.
#7 Lighten Up
Ditch overhead lighting in favor of lamps. Single top-down illumination can be harsh and tends to focus attention on one area of the room. To achieve a more expansive result, position lamps around the room and in corners.
A combination of tall, freestanding pieces and table lamps dispense light evenly around the space and highlight each and every hidey-hole. A photographer’s tripod floor lamp could be a unique alternative to traditional lighting and can be packed away easily when darker mood lighting is called for.