Some areas of the home can be so tricky to furnish. The awkwardly shaped nook under the stairs, or the steamy conditions of a bathroom, can demand special resilient properties of the furnishings to be used.
High traffic areas of the home, such as the hallway, are a prime example of the need to balance practical purpose in a confined space, with a decor that welcomes you gently back at the end of the day.
Fortunately there are some clever techniques for maximising the sense of space in your living environment, without sacrificing the look that you want, regardless of square footage.
Let there be light
Though it may cause physicists to clutch their heads, light does equal space, at least within the home.
A pendant light hanging from the ceiling can cause gloomy corners, especially if larger pieces of furniture or awkward corners get in the way.
Uplighters disperse the light more effectively though this might mean eating dinner in the shadows, if the light fitting hangs above the dining table!
The most effective way to light a room is through multiple light sources. Strategically placed table or standard lamps help to banish the gloom, and can be used to highlight particular features too.
Reflect the space you have
Mirrors are wonderfully hard-working piece of furniture. Strategically placing a mirror opposite a window reflects natural light back into the room, rather than just one side having all of the exposure.
Narrow spaces like hallways are a great place to hang a wall mirror. One with a slim profile won’t take up valuable room, but will make the most of the light whilst giving the illusion of additional space.
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Using colour to give an illusion of space
Small rooms, or those without much natural light, can look cramped with too many clashing colours or dark shades.
A pared back colour palette in paler shades gives the illusion of space, whilst accent colours or a well-placed item of darker furniture give the room a sense of depth.
Items of furniture made from natural solid woods, such as oak, are light and airy, but with a glowing wood grain for warmth and comfort. Darker mahogany shades look wonderful against a lighter background as a focal piece.
Working with demanding spaces
Kitchens and bathrooms, with their extremes of temperature and moisture, need particularly resilient furnishings. Specialist fabrics which are mould and moisture resistant can be used for soft furnishings.
On hard surfaces, look out for items that have lacquer varnishes which provide effective protection from the humid environment.
The technology in these has advanced terrifically in recent years, so lacquer no longer means a shiny finish, and can instead give a luxurious satin or sub-matt surface.
When selecting furniture, consider items with a dual purpose so as to get the most usage from their footprint.
Items such as our Provence Secretary Desk combine useful shelving storage and desk space in an attractive design, whilst this bench can be accommodated by many hallway areas, and offers both seating and storage in one.
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