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Hardwood flooring adds to the illusion of space in tight quarters

May 15, 2014

Hardwood FlooringThere are a host of design tricks you can rely on to make a small room look bigger, and some of them are based on an illusion. The lengthwise orientation of hardwood flooring, for instance, gives the appearance of adding to the size of a small space. The engineered floors in Anderson's Vintage Legacy collection are an example of warm, lustrous wood tones that sweep across a room.

Rather than feel hampered by the size of a small space, use light colors, careful furniture arrangement and mirrors to make it look larger. According to Better Homes and Gardens magazine, a mirror on the wall can create the illusion of greater depth by reflecting light and creating an effect similar to a window - the larger the mirror, the greater the sense of space. Although they're expected to be used in bathrooms and bedrooms, mirrors add an interesting dimension to any room.

To get the full benefit that light hues can bring to a room design, try a monochromatic color scheme. Painting a small room in off-white makes choosing window treatments and matching furniture easy. There's an abundance of furnishings in variations of off-white, beige and light brown that will blend well and provide depth through different textures and variations in color tone. If you use a light pastel for the walls, keep the color values of the furnishings in the same tonal range.

Use all your space
Don't overlook the little nooks and corners of a room with limited space. Shelves, cabinets, and bookcases provide decorative storage areas without taking up much floor space. To bring extra light into the room, use wall-mounted lighting fixtures instead of lamps that take up space on floors and side tables. By placing them up higher on the wall, they give the impression of more space in the heart of the room.

According to, using furniture that can do double duty makes sense in small spaces. An ottoman that doubles as a coffee table, a workstation that can be a place to set up a small buffet when friends come to dinner, a sofa that pulls out into a bed – all give you more bang for your buck because they're two pieces of furniture in one.

Moving your furniture away from the walls and toward the center of the room can also make your room feel more spacious. Furnishings also look better when placed at an angle or with some space around them.