My former neighbours and I had the exact same loft layout. And yet their home looked about 1,000 times bigger ­– even with a kid living there! The reason: They were magicians. No, not the top-hat kind. They were masters at creating the illusion of more space.

So how do you turn a 600-square-foot shoebox in the sky into a spacious pad and thus, make your home look bigger? When you can’t find your wand? Here are some tricks (no wand required).


Pick your paint carefully

Light, neutral paint colours are the way to go. Use similar shades on your walls, trim and ceiling for maximum impact. This will make your ceiling seem higher, and create a nice, airy space.

 

Edit your accessories

Limit yourself to a few key pieces – an awesome vase, some funky frames, a couple of colourful throw pillows. Trust me. When you live in a 3000-square foot suburban home you can afford to have a love affair with Home Sense. But clutter is a small house in the city or condo’s undoing.

 

Go bold with furniture

It seems counterintuitive, but one large sectional sofa will look better than a loveseat and a couple of chairs. It’s the same idea as with the accessories: You don’t want a room to look like it’s full of stuff. You want people get a sense of space, not things. Space = spacious. Makes sense, right?

 

Be transparent

You can literally see through clear, acrylic furniture – a look that’s popular now with tables and chairs – which means your gaze takes in more of the room. On the other hand, the hard lines of chunky furniture can appear to “cut” a room up into smaller spaces. An easy way to make use of this trick in the bathroom is to use a clear shower curtain. Plus, that’s kind of sexy.

 

Play with mirrors

Mirrors are one of the easiest ways to open up a space: Hang a large one on a wall and – voilà – you’ve got yourself a second room. Just make sure you’re reflecting a scene you want to see twice. So, yes to your glam dining-room table. No to the cat-litter pan.

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