Making Small Spaces Look BiggerFeeling space challenged in your home? Don’t worry; there are numerous effective ways to use flooring choices to create the illusion of more substantial square footage. Use the following flooring design tips to help expand the space visually in every room of your home.

Light Colors Create an Airy, Open Feel

Choosing lighter color palettes in flooring as well as wall paint, furniture, and window treatments can expand the perceived size of any room exponentially. Plush cream or tan colored carpet draws the eye back into its open hue and soft feel. Light neutrals or even whitewashed wood flooring can help expand the space of kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms.

Make the most of great rooms and open concept spaces with an attractive light neutral wood or laminate floor color in your choice of wood grain. Wider plank sizes can help maximize the space-enhancing effect. Vinyl flooring can work as well; just make sure any patterning on it is light and subdued. If flooring looks too busy, the pattern can contract a space. Tile flooring should feature large tiles at least 12 inches square. Use light colored grout to help maximize the space-expanding effect.

Strategic Juxtapositioning

How one room relates to another can move the eye through it in a way that creates the illusion of more “real estate” than there actually is. Light colored flooring in a foyer or hallway can give way to gradually darker tones in adjacent rooms to create the effect of receding space. Alternating solid colors in some rooms with tasteful patterns in others can help a home’s flooring to look bright and open while preventing it from looking too homogenous.

Creative Room Divisions

For larger open spaces or studio apartments, dividing the available space in artful ways can cause it to look much larger than it actually is. Delineate a living room area, office, and bedroom through different flooring choices or area rugs. More subtle color transitions can create a gentle flow while a more dramatic color change has its place for areas that serve very different purposes.

Carefully Chosen Patterns

While some flooring patterns should definitely be avoided in smaller rooms (think extremely busy florals or too-intricate patterning of any kind), some patterns can assist with making a room look more substantial spatially. For example, vertical stripes in carpeting, vinyl, or wood flooring planks can help to elongate a space and make it seem to go on and on. Find the longest length of the room and orient the most visually impactful vertical flooring in this direction for an optimal effect.

Bringing it All Together

Consider keeping furniture and design accent pieces in the same basic color family as your flooring to help enhance your space expanding objective. Consider also playing with paint colors such as dark, rich mysterious tones on far walls to give the illusion that they are receding far back in space.

Space-expanding flooring choices can be further played up with room accents that continue the illusion. Long floor to ceiling window treatments in a similar shade as your flooring and walls can help a space to look its largest. Floor to ceiling cabinetry has the same effect. Accents should be light and bright as well; avoid shapes that look too bulky and favor sleek, compact surfaces.

When it comes to flooring, a smaller space doesn’t equate to sacrificing style and impact. There are a number of ways to make strategic design choices and make the most of the square footage you have. Light colors, strategic placement/juxtaposition, elongated patterns and careful accent selection can all help to create the illusion of a larger living space.

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