Think Like an Interior Designer: Five Tips to Make Small Event Space Look Bigger

Think Like an Interior Designer: Five Tips to Make Small Event Space Look Bigger

Not everyone can afford the event space of their dreams, but with a few simple tricks based in the science of depth and size perception, you can make the most of an undersized room.

Hide the corners

Corners define the boundaries of our space. Place (simple) displays in the corners to trick the eye into glossing past these.

Use Colors to Push and Pull

Use color to deal with an irregularly-shaped space. You’ve probably heard that lighter colors make a space look bigger, while darker colors make a space look smaller. It’s also true that warmer colors look farther away, while cooler colors draw a plane close to the eye. As David Kent Ballast says in the Interior Design Reference Manual:

“These principles can be used to modify the spatial quality of a room. For example, a long, narrow room can be ‘widened’ by painting the end walls with a bright, warm color and by painting the side walls with a lighter, cooler color.”

Less stuff, but bigger stuff

You’d think small design accents would make an event space seem large in contrast, but they actually just create clutter. The best thing to do if you don’t have a ton of room is to choose a few well-placed larger design elements and furniture. For example, go with six larger tables instead of ten smaller ones, minimizing centerpieces, or a single, striking accent display rather than several.

Draw the eyes upward

Heighten low-ceiling’ed rooms by painting or decorating the ceiling with lighter colors or patterns (ever consider wall-papering up there?).

Spread the light around

A single light source in a room creates a single centralizing point, almost like a spotlight, which can make a small space feel even smaller as parts of the room fall into semi-shadow. Instead, use several sources of light spread around the space to pull the center of the room out to its own edges.

David Sonntag
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