Most people would love to live in a vast palace complete with beautifully decorated rooms, a vast dining hall, sumptuous bedrooms, and acres of undulating gardens. Unfortunately this will remain a dream for most of us and so we are obliged to make the most of what we have. A lack of space does not necessarily mean a ugly home that you dread returning to each night, and which you could never invite guests. Here are a few tips on how to maximise your home’s potential and truly turn into the castle that it should be.
In order to add some sophistication to the home one of the first things to try and do is to create the impression that the space is bigger than it actually is. The age old advice of adding a mirror does work, but it also means that everything within the small room is reflected back by that very same mirror. A better way to emphasise size is to take advantage of any windows within the home. Windows add light and depth naturally to any room by drawing the eye beyond the confines of the home.
No home looks sophisticated if it full of clutter. Clutter includes not only things like coats, shoes, and bags which may block up an entrance way but also small unnecessary pieces of furniture. A great way to kill two birds with one stone here is by introducing some kind of built in cupboard to a room. This addition not only then provides an elegant space where things can be arranged more aesthetically but they also make small rooms seems more gracious and substantial by providing vertical interest and some much needed architectural detail.
Colour is also essential. Lighter colours are less oppressive and give the illusion of more space. Any window blinds also need to light and elegant rather than heavy and functional. Another way to add to this feeling of space whilst also evoking sophistication is to hang art or painting on a distant wall, ideally in an adjoining room. The simple trick of taking the eye beyond the room it is in helps to expand the perceived depth of field, naturally adding an “over-there” feeling.
Get rid of any doors that are non-essential. This automatically increases space both in real and perceived terms. Not only doors can be removed but the frames of doorways can be removed and extended all the way up to the ceiling. This is a much more economical option than removing entire walls and really does make a striking difference.
Once you have managed to maximise the space within the home it is paramount that the furniture you choose to go inside this newly created living environment adds to the theme of sophistication you are looking to create. The designs of tables, chairs, and other essential pieces must be solid in colour but unique in style or texture. Glass is a classic and never fails to add a touch of style and cool surfaces of polished stone and marble continue the theme of space extension more than wood which tends to dominate the room.
It is also important to bear in mind that sophistication does not mean boring. It is easy to become obsessed with subtle simplicity at the expense of character. Look for small things like lamps which can be small and delicate in design but which possess real elegance in their shape and colour. It is the little unexpected and understated surprises that help to define sophistication.
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Guest Post by Tom Faulkner – Designer furniture by Tom Faulkner.