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TORLYS Design Notes: Creating Space with Flooring

If you live in a condo or an older home with the original floor plan, chances are your home is space challenged. If you’re lucky and have the time to renovate then space can be created with money and a good contractor. But if rooms can’t expand and the budget is tight, how can we create the feeling of additional space in the same-sized room? Here are a few creative tricks that may not change the square footage, but will open things up visually.

Less Means More

First step, get rid of the clutter! If you are a passionate viewer of HGTV and watch carefully most of the WOW at the end of the show is that all the “stuff” that was in the “before” space has magically disappeared. Donate to a charity, have a garage sale or take it to the dump, one way or the other de-clutter! All possessions should have a permanent home, a place where they belong and can disappear when you need to create space.

Focus Your Colour Story

This long, narrow room houses a living area, office and entertainment centre in no more than 120 square feet! The light, bright neutral palette goes a long way to creating the illusion of space. Light wood tones combined with layers of cream keep the space almost seamless. When there is less definition it gives the feeling of endless space. Furniture with built-in storage and cabinetry in the same colour as the wall will hide all functional clutter.

Don’t be Afraid of White

When selecting your colour focus, depending on your lifestyle, white can be a great option. White, when applied in layers from the wall colour to the upholstery, will free up the feel of your room. Select a natural wood floor with lots of grain character to soften the sterile nature of white. The result is soft, relaxing and never feels cramped. Busy households with children and pets may have to opt for a different strategy.

Go Wide and Long

In addition to a monochromatic colour story space will open up when you install larger flooring planks. In addition, you will achieve an elongated feel to the room if the planks are installed following the longest room dimension. Gone are the days when hardwood was typically available in 2 ¼” widths and 48” lengths. Today, engineered hardwood planks can be found in excess of 5” in width and lengths over 70”. In the image above, we’ve included two great samples from TORLYS.

Focus on Height and a Touch of Drama

A small room will expand when you draw the eye up and away from the width and length restriction of the room. Vertical tricks using tall accessories, floor-length mirrors, and dramatic ceiling fixtures go a long way to creating the feeling of space. Your eye will take in the entire room right to the ceiling, well above the furniture where there is all kinds of open air and less clutter.

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