How can I use colours to make a small room feel larger? The short answer is to keep everything light and bright. Here's the longer answer:
Light coloured walls and ceilings push out the proportions of the rooms in your home. Dark colours draw them in and make everything feel more crowded. To use paint to make your room feel larger go for white, off-white, pale pastel or other fair shades on the walls and ceilings. If you go for the same colour throughout your home it will make the whole space feel bigger too.
Wallpaper or wall murals can work in a small home too, just opt for a light colour and ideally a pattern that is not too fussy or detailed. A wall mural with a central perspective that takes you into a realistic photographic scene, such as a beach scape will make the room appear to go on for ever.
A light-coloured floor also helps a small room to feel larger. It doesn't have to be a shade of white, which will be hard to keep clean. A pale oak wood floor, pastel tiles or a mushroom-coloured carpet will all help to create the illusion of space that you're after. And remember, if you want your room to feel wider lay your wooden planks so that they run width ways. If you want the room to feel deeper, lay your wooden planks to that they run length ways.
As long as you keep the back drop of your room - the floor, the walls and the ceiling light – you can then go to town with every colour in the rainbow with your fabrics, soft furnishings and accessories. Bright pops of colour in the blinds or curtains, towels or cushions will add an extra layer of airy freshness to any scene.
Fed up with the doormat by your front door being littered with discarded shoes? Check out these neat hidden shoe-storage ideas.
Made.com's slim hidden shoe storage unit conceals several pairs of shoes.
This vintage-style hidden shoe storage unit from The Wooden Furniture Store also features a useful drawer for smaller accessories.
It's always particularly tricky to find a place tall enough to store wellington boots in, but Loaf's vintage-style Welly bench has been designed with their height in mind. It's ideal for other shoes, school bags, and perhaps dog toys too and it doubles up as a bench.
We discovered this stylish shoes-storage unit, featuring a powder-coated aluminium stand with solid walnut top, down under at the Design Hunter. It's perfect for a bedroom or a hallway.
More cool clothes storage ideas to be found here
If you're looking for some new cupboard storage jars, make sure they have corners. Rounded jars will waste space in your cupboard. These ones stack too.
Go for square storage in the bathroom as well. These little cuboids fit perfectly in the bathroom vanity unit too.
The more floor space you can see in your home, the more spacious it will feel. Where possible, opt for furniture that is raised up on legs, like this Rocco sofa. The same goes with beds, wardrobes and sideboards.
Whether you're installing kitchen units or fitted wardrobes, always take them right up to the ceiling, you won't be left with a dusty, redundant space at the top.
Choose reflective surfaces, over matt wherever you can. This will help to bounce more light around your home and make it feel lighter and larger. This even applies to details like handles and accessories like kettles.
Opt for sinks and toilets, kitchen units and sideboards that are cantilevered out from the wall, so that you can see the floor beneath them. Your rooms will instantly feel larger. This wall-hung sink even comes with a towel rail.
Glazed doors will bring in more light and draw the eye further into your home, making your place feel brighter and more spacious.
Mirrors automatically make a room feel much deeper than it is, but placing them so that they can reflect a window or doorway will enhance that feeling even more. The shiny surface of this Curling Sun mirror helps to bounce light around the room too.
You can't hide everything away, whether it's washing up liquid or coat hooks, if it's on view, see that it's pleasing on the eye. Draining racks, for example, are often harsh plastic affairs, but if you dig a bit deeper you can unearth lovely pieces, such as this vintage-style rack.
A glass-topped dining table allows the eye to see through it, further into the room, making the room feel larger as a result.
9. Go square
To get the most out of the space in your kitchen units, you need to go square. Opt for square storage jars and even consider right angles for your plates too. That way you can push them right into the corners.
10. Lose the handles
Handles protrude into the room and take up unnecessary inches. Instead go for handleless furniture or units where the handle is cut into the door itself, like on this sliding door cabinet.
As shown here in this Santini kitchen, light colours help to create an optical illusion, they push the walls out and make a space feel larger.
You don't need to cut down on your whitegoods, because of lack of room, just opt for slimline appliances. You can even get narrow wine fridges.
It's unlikely that you have space for a utility room, so you want to make sure that your washing machine and tumble driers are as quiet as possible.
14. Flatten that hob
Induction hobs are best for small kitchens as they sit flush with the worktop and so help to visually extend your worktop space.
15. Streamline that sink
The latest worktops can be created as one single surface with a sink and drainers moulded in to them. As the worktop space is one whole seamless piece that includes the sink, it will make the whole area feel a lot larger than it is.
16. Be Transparent
It's time to be clear. Transparent pieces of furniture that you can see through, such as the iconic Philippe Starck ghost range, lead the eye further into the room and will make it feel larger.
By opting for a pedestal table you reduce the amount of table top supports by three, this means that there are less obstacles crowding your room and that you can squeeze more people around it.
18. Get nesting
Occasional tables are useful, but when they are not needed you want to be able to tuck them away, so be sure to buy the nesting variety.
19. Open up stairs
Make sure that your stairparts are as open as is safely possible. Don't hide away your stairs, show that they are going somewhere. This will help to add depth to your home.
Heaters shouldn't just heat. They can double up as towel rails, shelves, benches and even mirrors.
21. Cut those cords
Don't have wires snaking across your walls and floors. Instead, opt for wireless music systems, wireless printers and wireless keyboards.
Don't clutter up your wall with a giant TV screen. Just paint it white invest in a little projector and project an image on to it when you want to consume some media.
Don't block any part of your window with a curtain, blind, or other window dressing. Let it sit so that it doesn't cover any part of the glazing. You want to maximise the light that shines through. The more natural light filtering into your space, the larger it will feel.
Wherever possible, choose multifunctional furniture. This bed doubles up as a bookcase, look also for dining tables incorporating drawers, sofas that double up as guest beds and stools that offer storage, for example.
25. Let things lean
Don't let four legs support your furniture and take up floor space when two will do. The more floor you can see, the larger your room will feel. Desks, shelving and console tables can all be found leaning.
If every drawer and surface in your home quickly fills up with bits and pieces that you regularly use, it's time to start making your walls work harder. This animal wall pot is designed for a plant, but I've repurposed it as a pot for my makeup brushes. It's helped ease the load in the overcrowded make-up bag and it looks cute hung up on the bathroom wall. Alternatively, it could be used for pens and pencils in the hallway or study area or a washing up brush in the kitchen.
An ironing board is a cumbersome thing to store. If you don't have a tall broom cupboard, you need to be creative about hiding it. Maybe tuck it away behind a door, under the bed or beneath the sofa. On those all too often busy days, however, it just gets left out at the foot of the bed, in front of the TV or taking over the kitchen, as you've had to quickly decrease something before rushing out of the door. Well, now you might be able to get rid of the thing all together.
Brabantia has just launched this ironing blanket. Spread it over any surface - work top, kitchen table, desk - and you have an instant ironing board. It has a non-slip back to keep it in place whilst in use and will protect the surface beneath from heat and steam. The underside of the blanket can reach temperatures of up to 80 degrees celsius, however, so you need to check that whatever you are ironing on can withstand this heat.
When not needed, it folds away into a neat little rectangle, which you can slip into a drawer or it has a hook for hanging in a wardrobe or on the back of a door.
* Brabantia sent us this ironing blanket, but it has only been featured because we've tested it and feel that it is particularly well suited to a small home.
Staying with the washing theme, find out why us little home dwellers need our washing machines to keep the noise down here
It's very easy for a small home to feel claustrophobic. To ensure that the walls don't appear to be pushing in on you, you want to always be leading the eye further into your house. Glazed internal doors are ideal for this, even when they are closed, you can see into the room beyond, plus they bring light deeper into your space too.
You'll find both modern and traditional glazed door styles that can be varnished, painted or bought ready to hang. They are perfect for every room, except for bedrooms and bathrooms, where more privacy is required.
Just be sure to opt for toughened glass and the largest possible glazed panel.
If your wall space is limited and you resent cluttering up what you have with radiators, this infrared heating panel that doubles up as a mirror, should take your fancy. The Funky Heat mirror heating panel will also stay mist free, so it's great for any room in the house.
They can be hung horizontally or vertically and just plug in to your electricity system.
Why let four legs support your furniture and take up space on your floor when you can get away with two? The more floor you can see, the larger your room will feel, so the latest double-legged, wall-leaning furniture is perfect for a compact home.
Ladder-style furniture is everywhere at the moment, again using the physics of leaning to stay upright.
And, this is a rather special two-legged desk or dressing table for those who can splurge. Hidden within is a plug with a USB socket, a Qi point to wirelessly charge smartphones and tablets and several organiser compartments.
Small homes need to look as light as possible so that they feel more spacious. This doesn't mean that you have to paint everything clinical white and fix mirrors to every available wall, but by opting for gloss over matt when it comes to the finishing touches, you can subtly bring more light in and, consequently, make your rooms feel a little larger. These copper coat pegs, for example, not only look great, but they also help to bounce light further into the room.
When making those final decorating decisions, just take a minute to think what switching, say the taps, from matt to reflective could do for your bathroom.
And, make your kitchen unit handles multi-task too, by opting for polished chrome, copper or brass.
The same goes for those kitchen accessories. You don't have to stick to metals, just a few items that can, quite literally, take a shine, such as this milk-white, enamel-coated utensil canister. Choose saucepans and a kettle that can catch the light too.