There are lots of things you can do to create the illusion of space in a small room. Mirrors, light coloured walls, and small, uniform furniture are all favoured techniques for making a room look bigger, but well planned lighting is also a must have.
A good place to start is with your room's natural light. During the day your windows are a free source of sunlight and, as this is some of the best light you can get hold of, it is important not to obstruct the windows with curtains, nets or other furnishings. For awkwardly positioned windows, try using a mirror to bounce light into the room. A room that receives plenty of natural light will feel spacious and airy.
Electric lighting should always be used to complement natural light, especially if you have small windows or use the room on an evening. LED Lights are particularly good in small rooms due to their colour temperature and flexibility of design.
While the orangey hues of incandescent bulbs can create a feeling of cosiness and intimacy, they can also 'close down' the room and make it feel claustrophobic. LEDs are readily available in cool white, which, in contrast to warm white, is sharp and bright. This type of light is popular in minimalist design, which, as anyone will know, is synonymous with space.
You should also consider the types of lights you are using. Use bulbs with narrow beam angles to distort the true dimensions of the room by creating points of focus and accentuating the presence of shadows. Adjustable track lights will also allow you to change the direction of your lighting when you choose.
If your room has low ceilings, consider using flush or semi-flush fittings, such as track lighting or recessed ceiling lights. Always check that your recessed fittings are fire rated. LED Downlights are particularly popular as they generate very little heat, which can make a room feel oppressive. You can also use up-lighters or wall sconces to reflect light up the walls and against the ceiling to create an effect called 'washing.'
Remember, LED Lights are now available in many varieties and can easily handle the design difficulties presented by smaller rooms. Not only will you make your room look larger, you will also reduce your lighting bills, increase the efficiency of your home and benefit from a bulb that lasts for many, many years.
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