If you’re looking for a little design inspiration, think big
Story by Meredith Coopman
Have you noticed that big is trending? But not the way that you think. I’m not talking about big homes, but big details within the home. Large-scale furniture and fixtures, as well as oversized art and home décor items, seem to be popular. Sometimes being bold and using big design ideas can make even a small space look larger than life. Here are a few ways to scale up:
Large-scale Pieces Give Small Rooms Massive Style
When furnishing smaller rooms, instinctually we tend keep the furniture small as well. That approach can render a room that feels cluttered and precious. It may sound counterintuitive but try working bigger elements into a smaller space. Adding over-scale furnishings, art or fixtures can actually make a space feel larger rather than smaller, even suggesting warmth and comfort.
Small rooms often have more room on the walls than on the floors. A large, upholstered headboard makes a major impact, allowing you to harness the trend without being too obvious.
Since small rooms often lack storage, you can group several bookcases together as a single, large unit, or take kitchen cabinets all the way to the ceiling for smarter storage and a bigger visual effect.
To make the ultimate luxe statement in your bathroom or shower, try a single wall with one or two large stone slabs to give the space a strong focal point. This doesn’t have to be limited to the bathroom. Go bold and do this anywhere to add high-end sophistication.
Bring a wainscot or backsplash up to a higher dimension on the wall to add vertical height to any space.
Choose Curved Pieces
Rounded tables, corners and other elements occupy less visual space than items with sharp corners and, overall, feel less cramped. Curves soften what would be rigid lines and edges into intimate spaces.
Less is More
Choosing large furniture pieces is always a good place to start, but you don’t need to have every piece supersized. Go extra big with only one element in a room to create a dramatic space. The best choices are substantial items that have visual mass, which gives them a bigger impression.
You don’t always need swanky crystals or showy materials to create drama with your lighting. Oversized pendants have been popular for a while and only seem to be getting bigger.
A few pendants in a simple shape on a large scale create a statement above an island, over a dining table, in an entryway or even over a seating group.
Like the idea of oversized lights but don’t want them to consume your view? Consider lights that have a considerable shape but with a lot of negative space. The visual impact is still strong, although without a bulky appearance.
Massive Islands and Dining Tables
A large island, one that even extends beyond the lines of the cabinetry and into an adjacent room, gives you plenty of room to prep and cook, as well as more versatility. Doesn’t everyone at a party end up in the kitchen anyway? This way, there’s room.
Big dining tables can be a big investment, but they’re nearly always showstoppers. A large dining table may mean having less circulation space available, but the tradeoff is that you can have more people at your table and more usefulness. How often is a dining table more than just that? It frequently translates into a homework station, a sewing spot, present-wrapping location or even a temporary home office.
Supersized Art and Wallpaper
Gallery-style displays are still a thing, but to get a big look for walls, use a singular, oversized art piece that gives the eye one focal point instead of a montage of tiny images.
Big, bold prints are definitely in when it comes to wallpaper. Have fun with these prints in the smallest of rooms, powder rooms, laundry rooms and pantries. Just make sure the pattern is eye-catching but not overwhelming.
We all know mirrors can make rooms feel bigger by reflecting light and adding the illusion of more space. An oversized mirror can feel decadent while making an artistic statement and also visually doubling the size of any room. A large-scale mirror can look like a piece of art, while also expanding your sightlines to make the space seem more expansive.
Large Format Planks and Tiles
There are so many flooring options to choose from, and no matter the material, consider using a big, wide tile or plank to make a strong statement that grounds the space. A large-format tile also reduces the amount of grout needed, which in turn helps create the look of a single seamless surface.
Area rugs are nice when they reach far enough to let all the pieces in a seating group rest at least two legs on the carpet. But they’re even better when they can fill the entire area, or even virtually the whole room.
A rug will always look more sophisticated and purposeful when properly sized, so consider going up a size from the minimum you think you need. The resulting is classiness, so it’s well worth the bigger investment.
A Grand Welcoming
Everything starts with the front door. The bigger the door, the bigger the welcome? Not necessarily, but what’s the harm in trying? Big doors will make you feel smaller but will also make your home more impressive.
When going big in your home, be creative with placement. In small rooms, sometimes you need to break the rules. People often notice when furnishings are too small rather than when they’re too big. Big equates with comfort, and who doesn’t want to be comfortable? Oversized lights, prints, kitchen islands, furniture and more show that larger decor is taking off. Use big to really make a statement.
Meredith Coopman has over 20 years of experience in architecture and interior design. She is currently the Design Director at InnSpace in Kalispell, MT. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.