How to use your flooring to make a room look bigger

Every home has rooms on the smaller side, and that’s no bad thing. Sometimes we complement their size with cosy decoration, warm colours and comfortable furnishings. But often we just yearn for a quick expansion and the appearance of more space, even if it seems impossible. But all hope is not lost the key to making your room seem larger has been right under your feet all along! By making some of the following changes to your flooring, you can increase the optical size of any room without even having to knock down walls or throw away furniture.


Bigger planks and tiles

It might sound obvious, but the bigger your flooring is in its constituent parts, the bigger your room will appear as a whole (even when the area of a room is actually quite small). This means using wider planks with a wooden or laminate floor, and using larger slabs with a tiled floor. To make the most of this helpful illusion, floor planks should run parallel to the longest wall in the room for a sense of breadth, and tiles expand a space better when they’re fitted diagonally.

By eliminating seams and grout lines from your flooring, your room will appear much less busy and cluttered. Likewise, the use of too many rugs or too much patterning on your floor can constrict the space, so try not to overrun a room with too many different ideas. Simplicity is a virtue!


Consistency is key

Start thinking about your space as one connected whole rather than dividing it into individual parts: this will help you to apply consistent designs throughout your home and give it a sense of continuity and size. In other words, the more consistent your home is as a whole, the larger it will appear. Apply the same colour scheme throughout your home to tie each room together and give your home a more holistic feel, and try not to differ too much with the materials and patterns that you use.

You might also want to consider using a runner on your staircase: this will draw the eye up the length of the hall and stairway, connecting both floors in a single movement, conveying a more stately first impression to visitors. We highly recommend you explore the beautiful range of runners supplied by Roger Oates and revel in their signature striped designs.


Lighter colour, larger room

Common sense dictates that lighter colours make a space more roomy and airy, whereas darker colours make a space warm and cosy at best, but cramped and claustrophobic at worst. As such, it’s an optical illusion that interior designers love to exploit when making smaller spaces appear larger, especially when it comes to the flooring of a room. Even boxy rooms with restricted amounts of natural light can gain a lot of space and brightness with this tactic.

Take a look at hardwood floors with whitewashed finishes, warm and shiny laminate floors, carpets in creamy neutral colours, and many more. There are plenty of light-coloured flooring options capable of opening up your space and making it seem more breathable and streamlined. We don’t really know how it works, but it does!


Using an area rug

Adding an area rug to a smaller room is a quick and easy way to give it more size. Just remember what we said about larger shapes in your flooring giving a larger feel to your space! However, bear in mind that if an area rug is too small it will only serve to chop the room up and make it look smaller, so make sure that all the furniture in the room is at least partly atop the rug. Don’t move your furniture further inward just to satisfy this rule, and don’t shy away from covering up a large portion of your original flooring (after all, that is the point).

It also helps to use an area rug which is the same colour as the walls: this helps create a more cohesive aesthetic, connecting each dimension of the space and therefore scaling it up a notch. If you’re stuck, check out Cheryl Simmons’ guide to choosing the size of your area rug.


Glossy flooring / reflective surfaces

Again, common sense: if your flooring is reflective enough, your room will visually increase in size due to the extra space seen in the reflections themselves. It’s a fairly simple optical trick but an effective one, especially in rooms with plenty of natural light to play around with.

For the shiniest of flooring options, look toward hardwoods with a lot of natural sheen or high-gloss tiles and laminates. Though the aesthetic is too ‘clinical’ for some, given the perfect lighting, the right colours and a good deal of open space, reflective flooring is guaranteed to work wonders on the depth and illumination of any space.


If you’re looking for more expert advice on how to make the most out of your new flooring, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Hudson Flooring team and we’d be delighted to help you out.