There is a subtle yet unmistakable opulence that a large room has the ability to impress upon anyone who enters. A tastefully furnished and designed great room can simply take your breath away.
In olden days, a cavernous dining hall or vast banquet room with a massive hearth whispered to visitors an unspoken message of wealth and prestige: “I can afford the fuel to heat this enormous room and I have more than enough social prominence to fill it with important people.”
Today’s luxury homes are less about self-glorification and more about comfort, style, and elegance. Large and well-designed rooms today make the statement, “I want to be comfortable in my own home and have the space to move about, display my interests, highlight my sense of style, and entertain the people I love.”
While simply having lots of space is a nice start, so much more goes into making a large room a great room. Furniture, design, color, and lighting all go into making the most of your space.
Here are a few tips for fulfilling the potential that a large room has to offer, as well as making smaller rooms appear bigger.
Using lighter, brighter colors in a room helps to make the space feel open and inviting. Dark colors absorb light and will make your room feel closed in and claustrophobic. Light colors, on the other hand, reflect light, making your room seem more airy and natural.
When choosing wall colors, opt for mild, neutral colors that will brighten your room, such off-whites, soft greys, or light blues or greens. Look for a lighter color in your flooring as well. Choose a neutral tone for your furniture, and if you have drapes, find fabrics that are delicate and breezy. In every aspect of your room, look for opportunities to incorporate color that brightens the room and gives it an open, flowing feel.
Shed the Clutter
To maximize the space you have, you must minimize the clutter. Too much “stuff” in any room makes it feel cramped and closed off. Try using furniture with exposed legs to make it feel less boxy and create the illusion of extra room. Or opt for low furniture to expose as much of the walls as possible and make the ceilings appear higher. Ask yourself if the items you see in the room are truly necessary, attractive, or add value to the experience of spending time in that room.
If you’re the type of person who hates to get rid of things, try boxing them up and storing them in a garage instead of throwing them away or donating them. Make a plan to hold onto them for a few months before parting with them. If it’s truly something you need or want, you’ll go back for it, but you’ll find that most of the items you purge won’t be missed.
Pull the Space Together
Create a main focal point in your room. Perhaps you can highlight an accent wall to liven the place up. Maybe you should draw focus to the fireplace, its mantel, or whatever you choose to hang above them. It may be that you want the eye to fall on a central coffee table with a few well-placed objets d’art. Whatever your hub of focus is, you can draw more attention to it by centering your furniture around it, making sure it is well lit, and removing distractions from the room that detract from its prominence. Another smart idea is to lay down an area rug that brings your pieces together into a cohesive unit.
Cater to the Eye
Bring in items that help the eye see more of what it should and less of what it shouldn’t. For example, mirrors help brighten a room and create an illusion of more space. Face your mirrors toward your focal point to reflect more of what you want to see. On the other hand, hidden storage can reduce distraction and visual confusion. Items such as nesting tables, ottomans that hold blankets and games, or unobtrusive storage pieces are all assets in making a room appear larger.
Plenty of light is key to helping a room appear accessible and expansive. Bring as much natural light into the room as possible by clearing the line of view to the windows. Consider using sheer or loosely woven fabric for your curtains. If you do not have a natural light source, chandeliers, recessed lights, or sconces are an elegant way to brighten a room and create an open feel without taking up floor space.
Don’t be hesitant to pick up a few interior design magazines or a home styling guide to get your creativity flowing. By imitating what you like, you can create a space that is inviting, luxurious, and practical—a room that you’ll love spending hours in!