Dec 09, 2020 | Allie Veinote
Airy, open rooms are any homeowner's dream. Watching your kids play in the living room as you cook dinner in the kitchen—all under a spacious high ceiling—sounds ideal, but not all homes are structured for open living. In reality, many of us are trying to make smaller spaces—from our bedrooms to our bathrooms—appear a bit bigger than they actually are. Whether your home has a compartmentalized structure that's full of character or cozy nooks and crannies, it does not have to be completely open to feel spacious. Luckily, there are many clever design principles that use flooring as a helpful tool to open up and maximize your spaces. Here’s how to make even the smallest rooms look bigger with smart flooring choices.
The key to making rooms look bigger with flooring starts with the diagonal rule. Diagonal lines work to create the illusion of more space. When entering a room, our eyes are drawn to the widest part of a pattern—the same is true in art. So whether you’re installing a lined carpet in a bedroom, or hardwood floors in a kitchen, opt for a diagonal pattern to create the illusion of space.
It’s fairly intuitive that lighter walls often create an airy, open feel, whether found in a kitchen or bedroom. (Just think of the dark, cozy vibe of libraries or offices—usually, they have dark walls!) But interestingly enough, when light wall paint is paired with a dark floor, the contrast works to create an effect of openness and the feeling of a larger space. If your average-height ceilings aren't capturing the ambiance of the elegant cathedral ceilings you desire, a dark floor—whether hardwood, tile, or carpet—can make a light-colored ceiling seem even higher. Additionally, this elegant, timeless design matches an array of interior decor.
When choosing the dimensions of your flooring planks, opt for a wide cut. Larger planks stretch the eye, giving the appearance of more square footage. On the other hand, it's important to avoid narrow or thin planks, as the many small lines offer a more crowded atmosphere. Whether you’re installing hardwood, laminate, or luxury vinyl planks, wider is better. Use this tip in tandem with a diagonal installation pattern, and you will immediately feel the difference. When renovating your small studio apartment, compact living room, or undersized bath, remember that plank size has the power to create an entirely new, more comfortable aesthetic.
Speaking of bigger being better, the same logic applies to tile floors. Large, wide tiles make a room appear larger than numerous small tiles. When smaller tiles are used, there are many more lines and grout spaces for the eye to land on. This busy pattern can foster a sense of claustrophobia in an already small room. When you choose larger tiles with less grout space, you are expanding the lines so the room feels larger. Pair this technique with the contrast of light walls and a dark slate, stone, or ceramic floor, and you will be living in luxury! The next time you renovate your bathroom or kitchen floors with tile, choose less grout and more sizeable tiles.
Don’t let the thought of working with small square footage get you down. By choosing larger planks and tiles, or having hardwood floors installed diagonally, you’re on your way to making every room a “great room.” If you need help choosing a new type of flooring or desire a design professional’s expertise for making your small space appear larger, we have just the resources you need.
Talk to the experts at your local Flooring America today to find the perfect floors for smaller spaces, as well as professional installation services for a job done right. They’re here to help make your space the most inviting environment it can be!