As newer HDB units become more compact, the struggle to make more room is real. However, with efficient use of space, clever placement of furniture and objets d’art, and making use of colours and designs, you can make your living space look bigger.

Below are some clever tricks to make your small HDB unit appear more spacious.

1.    Evenly Placed Artificial Lighting

Small studio flat with white furniture and plenty of natural lighting and lamps

For a small area, you may assume that an overhead light in the middle of the room is enough for the entire space. However, this only makes your room feel smaller than it already is because of the vignette effect.

To create an illusion of a more expansive space, consider distributing your light source evenly around your room. Lights distributed evenly across the room creates a brighter and more spacious atmosphere. Besides ceiling lights, you can consider adding a sleek lamp as an additional light source at different corners of your home.

Of course, if you have large windows, keep your curtains drawn open to allow natural light to flood the room. As the day draws darker, you have the option to switch on your lamps.

2.    Hidden Storage

Isn’t it wonderful to have everything stored within reach, yet out of sight? When there are lesser items in view, your living space automatically becomes more spacious, and less cluttered.

Achieve this by using clever hidden storage that is disguised behind the wall and under your floor. Besides these clever installations, you can also purchase furniture that doubles up as a storage place such as ottomans, sofa beds, tables, beds with drawers, mirror cabinets, etc.

You can also check our article on other smart storage ideas for your small HDB.

3.    Light Coloured Walls and Surfaces

The choice of colour for your large surfaces such as your walls, ceilings and flooring is important. Different colours can change the mood of a room.

A vast and expansive room can be made to look cosier with a darker colour scheme. However, a small room can feel more claustrophobic with the same set of colours. Hence, make your room look more spacious by opting for a light coloured backdrop.

4.    Minimal but Larger Decorative Items

Small living room space with minimalist statement pieces of decoration

A small space doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be devoid of pretty objects. You can still personalise your space with larger statement pieces. But keep it to the minimum to avoid cluttering your room. Pick a corner you’d like to decorate and limit it to not more than three statement pieces.

5.    Glass and See-Through Fittings

Glass panels and furniture gives the illusion of space because you can see through it. It allows more light to flow through the entire room with minimal obstruction. Glass partitions and sliding doors offer you the flexibility to create privacy when needed, and also open up when you need the space.

6.    Mirrors and the Power of Reflection

Modern bedroom with solid wood statement mirror to create illusion of wider space

Placing mirrors in a small space can double the size of the room in a jiffy. Such is the power of reflection. Hence, a full-length wall mirror can do wonders for your tiny space.

In low light rooms, mirrors help reflect more light into your living space. And the brighter the room gets, the bigger it feels.

7.    Drawing the Line with Horizontal and Vertical Designs

Depending on the size of your room, lines can be used creatively to elongate or widen your visual movement across the room.

A low-ceiling room will look higher with vertical designs such as a tall cabinet, full-length curtain or wallpaper with vertical lines. If you want to create a wider and longer space, you can place rugs with horizontal stripe designs on the floor.

These lines intentionally draw the attention of the viewer across the room giving an illusion of a wider and taller space.

8.    Expose a Little Leg with Sleek Legged Furniture

Sleek wooden legged armchairs in the living room

Leggy furniture makes the room look less stuffy because it provides a lot of legroom for light to flow. It creates an illusion as if there is more room on the ground.

Make sure there is a clear pathway for movement without obstruction. This is also a great feng shui method to allow the flow of positive energy around your home.

9.    Light and Airy Fabrics for Curtains

If you must have curtains, you will need to pay attention to the materials used for your curtains. Keep your curtain fabric light and breezy to allow natural light to weave through the material. Heavy and dark coloured curtains will absorb all the natural lighting from your window and dim the room.

Making Your Space Look Bigger with Optical Illusions

Doing all the above does not change the size of your home. A 1,200 square feet apartment will not turn into 2,000 square feet. These clever designs employ the science of optical illusions to trick your eyes and brain into perceiving otherwise.

You cannot change the size of your home (unless you buy a bigger unit). But you can always employ these nifty ideas and transform your home into a more inviting and chic living space.

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