Small rooms or spaces with little light may give you a somber and claustrophobic feeling.
Smart use of light can positively affect the feeling of space. That’s why, in particular for small areas, it’s essential to maximize lighting.
You can make optimal use of the space when paying sufficient attention to the daylight and artificial light.
Daylight, use it where available
Large windows allow more light in and also make you feel more in touch with the outside world, automaticallymaking the space feel bigger.
By removing doors and non-supporting walls, the light is able to flow from one room to another.
Also, if you break open sights between rooms you can create a more spacious feeling.
Don’t place (large) plants or other obstacles such as vases in front of windows. This directly blocks light coming into the space.
Adjustment of window coverings can make a huge difference
It is unfortunate if the light that enters the room is blocked by window coverings. They tend to close a room. Therefore, where possible, keep windows uncovered.
When, for example for privacy reasons, you will want to put something before windows, make sure to keep window coverings as simple as possible. Think of strips of wood or metal, or curtains in a light color.
Make sure the window is completely visible when you open the curtains.
When you can see when you open the blinds / curtains, hang slats well above or next to the window. If there’s, on either side of the window enough space left, then let the curtain rails protrude far enough so that the curtains don’t hang in front of your windows.
Smart use of artificial light
Make sure all the corners of the room are well lit. A single ceiling light lighting will make the corners of a room appear in a dark shroud, making the room appear smaller.
Built-in spotlights in the ceiling offer an easy solution. In addition to they make a low ceiling appear higher. ( low hanging pendant lights have this effect too). They throw a highly concentrated light down, which makes the space above fade)
Research shows that the use of wall lighting, instead of the majority of the lighting coming directly down from the ceiling is perceived as pleasant. Use a non-uniform distribution of brightness in the space. Here’s more on the psychological aspects of lighting in your home.
If you still want central light, ensure that there are enough other sources and variation in the room, such as wall-, floor- and table lamps.
A simple trick to make a small space look bigger is to focus lights on wall and ceiling. Provided that the wall or ceiling are colored white or another light color. Focusing light on an object, for example a painting, will make the walls surrounding seem to fade thus make the room appear larger.
Type of light, mix it up
The type of light affects the feeling of space in the room. Bulbs* give a warm, yellowish glow that make a room cozy. Halogen emits just a very bright white light, which helps to open up a small space.
For the best results combine different types of light. * Incandescent light bulbs are getting scarce. LED lights are often used as an alternative but often give off a cold harsh light. Warm, ambient LED bulbs however are making their way to our homes.