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modern kitchen with all white walls and decor

We share high-impact hacks and top tricks and tips to help you make the most of small spaces.

Keep colours consistent

Paint the walls, trim and ceiling in slightly different shades of the same colour and you’ll find the room’s boundaries seem to disappear, creating an instant impression of space. Start by using the darkest shade on the walls, and finish with the lightest on the ceiling

Go for warmer tones

Tiny living areas, especially those that don’t receive much natural light, will appear bigger and brighter when painted in warm, pale shades such as primrose yellow or cream. Always paint the interior window frame a crisp white to reflect as much light as possible.

bedroom with under bed storage

Light the space wisely

Lighting tricks can visually expand a room. For example: direct beams upwards, as an illuminated ceiling will make a small room feel bigger than it is, or consider wall lights instead of table lights to save on valuable surface space.

kitchen bench top and a window overlooking the garden

Choose slide-away doors

Sliding and pocket doors work wonders in small spaces, as they don’t need room to swing open. Barn doors or sliding doors are a good variation, with the added bonus of being an easy retrofit project.

laundry with a study space

Improve kitchen storage

Benchtops in kitchens are important real estate in a small space, so include as much concealed storage as possible to keep work surfaces clear. Utilise drawer dividers, corner carousels and wire drawers within cupboards to accommodate kitchen essentials and take advantage of the room’s height to extend wall cupboards to the ceiling.

Show the floor

The trick to making a snug bathroom feel larger is to extend sight lines, so more flooring is exposed. “Opt for a wall-hung vanity,” says Bunnings’ bathroom buyer Dan Gibney. He also suggests a wet room or frameless shower screen to avoid the closed-in feeling that shower doors and frames can create.

cabinets in a  bathroom

Tuck away the loo

“For the ultimate space-saving toilet, go for a concealed style,” says Luke Di Michiel from Caroma. “By hiding the cistern in the wall, ceiling or under-counter, only the pan remains visible, significantly reducing the footprint of the toilet.”

Opt for space-making tiles

“The right flooring can do wonders for a small bathroom,” says interior stylist Louise Dammer. “Large neutral or white tiles will bounce light around the room, creating the illusion of space.”

Use the height

Storage in a home office is important. Try a tall wall-mounted shelf system that can be customised. Flexi Storage wall strip systems include shelves and drawers that can be put to this purpose. (Ensure they are securely fixed to the walls.)

study table with shelving units

Keep flooring consistent

Using the same flooring across as many rooms as possible in a house will create a seamless effect that helps each room flow from one into the next, creating the illusion of space. If using timber or vinyl planks, choose wide planks over narrow ones, as fewer seams gives a less busy feel.

Add double-duty seating

A built-in bench in a bedroom, living area, hall, kitchen or dining area is a great multitasker, as it can house custom storage for all kinds of things, such as files, toys or sports gear. For easier access and to pack more in, consider a drawer unit rather than a box with a lid.

Installing a kitchen?

Have a read of our top design considerations for the perfect kitchen island.


Photo Credit: Dulux, Sue Stubbs, Tim Williams, Brigid Arnott, Anna Robinson and Flexi Storage

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