Marcus Hirst

Cosy Spaces

By Marcus Hirst, April 13, 2017 DESIGN & LAYOUT


Bigger extensions don’t always mean better – it all depends on your style and personal preferences.  The first thing to keep in mind is that the typical layout of a Victorian terrace does not generally allow for vast, open plan living. If you want to keep the traditional style then splitting up rooms and keeping cosy spaces is a fantastic way to do so.

If you don’t have much room to work with there are loads of clever strategies to turn a small space into something that feels much larger. These interior design tips work for larger spaces too, it’s all about being strategic and using the space to full efficiency.


Mirrors are the obvious trick to make any space look larger and lighter. Its common sense really, as you’re doubling whatever is in the frame! Sometimes full-length mirrors can look out of place if not done properly, and ‘the bigger the mirror’ certainly doesn’t necessarily the better it will look. You have to make sure the frame and the quality is taken into account. Often a full-length mirror, perhaps one you’d see in a dressing room, can be very effective when just lent against a wall. The angle can create an appealing visual effect and make the room look larger. You can also try narrower mirrors placed horizontally along the wall just below eye-height. This will prevent you seeing yourself in the mirror when you enter the room, and instead focus on the space. Placing one or two large mirrors at a slight angle or just off eye height creates the illusion that there’s an opening to another space, when in reality, it’s just the space you already have. For this reason large mirrors are often used in bathrooms as bathrooms are often one of the smaller rooms in the house.

Avoid Clutter

Making use of textures and fabrics can change the appeal of the room. Minimalist involves keeping things very, very simple, which would require lots of built in storage. Everything you have out on a worktop or surface only adds to the visual clutter. The other option is to vary almost everything you have. You need to be tactical so the room doesn’t become a cacophony of keepsakes. Keeping muted, warm colours or pastels are usually best for small rooms. ‘Feature’ walls don’t usually work in smaller spaces as they are distracting and visually designates the size of one wall – potentially demonstrating how small the space is. If you have high ceilings, try a feature floor instead to brighten up your space.

Maximise Light

Maximising light is the overarching goal of making any small room appear larger. Who said windows have to face on to a garden or street? We frequently use internal windows to create a quirky feature within the home, which encourages light flow and unity between rooms.

Borrowing space from other rooms is an architectural technique designers will use to make the most of the available floorplan. Borrow space and borrow light wherever you can!

To find out more about how to maximise the space you have, why not book a site visit with our Architectural team? Call us on 02072 425 353 or email

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