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Tips and Guides

This Designer Trick Can Help You Make Small Spaces Look Bigger

Are you familiar with the expression—go big or go home?

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Photography: Dairy Darilag and Miguel Nacianceno (Main Photos)

If you've been living in a compact unit for quite some time, chances are, you've done everything in your power to make it look and feel bigger. Aside from working with mirrors, we're sure you've eliminated partitions, painted the walls white and opened the windows to allow natural light to stream into the space.

While these are tried-and-tested solutions, you may want to explore another scheme that designers count on—working with an oversized piece of furniture! This tip can trick the eye and open up the room even more. Given the unwritten rule that small items are ideal, it seems ironic to put a large sofa in a 10sqm living area, but doing so can change your space. If you want to go big and experiment, here are tips on how huge tables and seating pieces can work in your tight space:

1. Work with a few, but well-chosen pieces.

If you have a scaled-down sofa in your living space, you might have to furnish the area with ottomans, an accent chair, a coffee table, and even a floor lamp. Having a large sofa can help you save money on furniture as you would only need an area rug to define the space and a small coffee or side table where you can put books and decor.

2. Expand your wall area.

Floor-to-ceiling bookcases and shelves can draw the eyes upward, to the corners—tricking the eye that the span of your wall is wider and taller than it seems. Opting for these storage pieces is similar to having vertical or horizontal stripes as both options create the illusion of having a bigger area.

3. Learn to love empty spaces.

To achieve visual balance, items around the room must complement each other. For example, a large bed takes up a lot of visual space in the bedroom, to offset and balance this, there must be empty spaces around the bed, and in certain table surfaces and shelves. The more empty spaces in a room or area, the bigger it will feel

4. Add drama with big accent pieces.

A statement piece can be a work of art. Your chosen piece—a sculpture or a painting—can be the focal point and help keep your space neat. Since it's meant to stand out, you don't need to surround it with different accessories and other decor.

5. Large pieces of furniture are more inviting.

Imagine bonding with your friends on one large sofa or sleeping on a king-size bed with the whole family for movie night—sounds fun, right? A compact space with this upside can never feel too crowded.

PHOTOS: Dairy Darilag.

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