Current tendencies in the decoration of living room are formed under the influence of its functional role. Previously in living room people watched TV set and had dinner, took in big companies of guests, danced, celebrated holidays. Nowadays it is more convenient to give parties outdoors, for example, in cafes or restaurants. Living area becomes more isolated from prying eyes and occasional visitors.
The small living room is not a reason for sad thoughts, like there are not enough square meters to implement interesting ideas and designer fantasies. Quite to the contrary. There are techniques, which can visually extend premises.
7 Optical Illusions Enlarging Small Living Room Area
As if by magic you can transform living room, even not changing its floor space. If your living room is small, try to apply some visual tricks in order to make the area look more extensional, more illuminated, higher, and everything will come out. It seems to be magic, but in fact, this is a science.
1. Make the area seem bigger, that it actually is
At the end of the XIX century, the German scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) explained, how to achieve the change of perception of the object size by means of Titchener circles. The point is that in one and the same circle a figure seems bigger, if it is surrounded by smaller circles, and it seems smaller when circles are much bigger. Why does it happen? We perceive size depending on elements, which surround us (relative size). Therefore, to perceive a small area as a bigger one, than furnish it with the furniture of small size.
Moreover, take into consideration the fact, that without an optical focus living room, although furnished with convenient seats, is poorly balanced. You can make a sofa be a focus in the living room, having surrounded it with seats of smaller sizes. The living room will seem bigger and more pleasant to the sight.
The color is one of the main tools for visual space extension and illumination of all corners of the room. The problem of excess covers color, texture and oversaturation will have a negative impact on the perception of clear and organized space. Dominating in small premises shall be beige, sand-like, and all shades of white. In order to destroy monotony, you can use bright acidic accents (in small doses) in the form of accessories, for example, cushions, carpets, curtains, cases made of flax, cotton, silk, bright or dull organza. The big pattern will visually narrow premises, and the small pattern will extend it.
2. Create the Sense of Perspective
To intensity the perspective, do not put any item of furniture in such a manner, that it will prevent overall space perception. For human brain an empty space as the cloudless heavens is associated with a distant prospect. That is why it is important to intensify the view of going beyond the bounds of premises. Leave the space in front of windows be free and pull back the curtains so that your eyes do not see obstacles and look almost unconsciously outwards.
3. Change Space by Means of Horizontal and Vertical Beams
Peter Thompson, an expert in perceptual psychology, giving a speech in 2008 in York University (Great Britain) stated, that horizontal and vertical beams, which showed symbolically spaces and objects, could create a difference in perception of the object size. In 1860 this effect was already opened by the German physicist Hermann Helmholtz, who carried out experiments with a perception of squares. He took 2 squares of similar sizes, where he drew parallel lines equal in width and separating strips inside. Square with horizontal lines was perceived higher and stylish. As to the second square, there was the impression, that vertical lines occupied the bigger area.
Therefore, if you want to make the wall seem higher, draw horizontal lines, if you want to make it wider – draw vertical lines. If you read somewhere inverse proposition, it is wrong. This fact was proved by numerous experiments.
Accessories and decor items (lamps, pictures, mirror frames) with clear vertical and horizontal components change the environment perception.
4. Choose Furniture, which Occupies Less Space
Prior to furnish house, first, make a general plan and remember, that if a room is small, do not encumber it, since extra furniture will occupy space and cut it. Every furniture item as a candidate for furnishings shall be carefully selected.
Nowadays market of furniture proposes a wide range of universal and multifunctional pieces of furniture of small sizes and perfect design. Modern furniture designers propose many constructions-transformers, which can be used in different ways, easily transformed, or assembled, if necessary. For example, it will ideal to foresee two items in a small room, namely, a single table, which will serve as writing desk and dining table, and a sofa, which can be transformed into bed, easily folding and unfolding.
The furniture is arranged in such a manner to leave more free space. A few elegant folding chairs can be put into the built-in closets and taken out, as and when needed.
It is impossible to imagine a comfortable living room without convenient armchairs, placed against the video system or near fireplace. To achieve a certain order, experiment with pairs of furniture items, put on both sides of an imaginary axis of symmetry.
The vertical line seems by one-third longer the horizontal line of the same size. What this illusion is based on? It is based on the eyes movement. According to the German psychologist Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt, visual passing in a horizontal direction is easier and quicker, and in vertical direction it causes efforts and consequently, it is slower. Bookcase, put in a horizontal direction, seems shorter (and occupies less space), than the one put in a vertical direction.
5. Try to Increase Lighting
With more lighting, a room is perceived more animated and energetic, and at the same time bigger.
If to play with contrast and shadow, you can increase illumination, without adding light. Light things will be perceived lighter and brighter, it will be enough to dye the fields around. This was demonstrated by the Professor optician Edward Adelson by his theory of clearness contrast. The task is simple: a source of light produces more light with the addition of some shadow.
To apply this effect in the room, you can dye window wood part in white color and window jambs in dark. Therefore, light, passing through the window, will be increased and intensified by the shadow framing.
One of the simplest and at the same time magic techniques, applied to decorate a small room and to make it visually bigger and lighter, is to use mirrors in the interior. To make a small room seem bigger, you may install mirrors opposite walls. Reflecting natural and artificial light, they extend the room visually. Mirror walls are suitable for a great many of ideas and are decorative components. They are also ideal for decoration of bare walls.
6. Isolate Space without Partitions
To make space be perceived as organized and broad, you can use an illusion of Canisius triangle. The Italian psychologist at the beginning of XX century discovered, that if we put furniture in every top of the angle of imaginary triangle (or square, or rectangular), brain will unconsciously close a geometric body and you will be able to isolate living room area from an area for studying or dining area, not installing any real partitions (which usually shorten area).
7. Show Sense of Proportion in Decoration
Some mingle-mangle of wall-mounted decor items can create an atmosphere of chaos in the room. It is recommended to review the collections and to demonstrate the favorites instead of covering the walls completely and fill up the bookcases with artworks. You cannot concentrate and the impression of chaos and disorganization appears. In the living room decoration, the less is indeed more.
Finally, we can draw optimistic a conclusion as follows: the size in not important for the room. Develop your unique style by means of pieces of advice from the best designers of interiors and your living room will be transformed.