The feeling of space in a room is governed by far more than its actual dimensions, with the colour scheme, placement of furniture and amount of light let in all affecting how spacious your room is.
Curtains, particularly thicker luxury curtains, can have a significant effect on how a room feels, which is why some living rooms can look bright and spacious with the curtains open but can look more compact and cosy once closed.
To explain how this works, and determine which type of curtains and blinds are right for your room, we need to understand how we perceive space to begin with.
Light And Space
Light is the most vital part behind the perception of every space because through a complex interaction between light, objects in front of us and our eyes.
Light interacts with colours differently depending on if they are brighter and darker, which is why if you wear lighter coloured clothes on a sunny day you feel cooler than if you wear darker clothes.
Dark colours absorb light and light colours reflect it, and the latter can be used to make a space look bigger than it is.
This is, in part, why people who sell homes tend to paint them in neutral, light colours. It creates a larger impression of space, and if you want that in your home, the best way is to team your lighter walls with complimenting blinds or curtains.
This effect can be utilised in more unique ways as well in a room. Rooms with a lighter coloured ceiling feel taller, for instance, and rooms with a single accent wall and darker ceiling will feel wider.
Curtains can help with this too; by having an accented wall and full-length darker curtains, you can have a room that feels spacious during the day but narrower and cosier at night.
So the biggest way to make your room feel more spacious could be to change the colour of your curtains.
Keep It Simple
Minimalism is a big part of interior design, and the reason for it is that the less your eye has to focus on, the larger a room will look. To that end, try to avoid curtains with patterns if you are looking for size in favour of more neutral colours.
However, if you do have a small room and want to create an accent wall, lighter, bigger patterns can still add a lot of space to your room so long as you are brave with your choice of patterns.
Vertical details are exceptionally good at adding height, much like vertical stripes on clothes
Hang Your Curtains High
Many people fit their curtains at the top of a window frame, but this can sometimes have the effect of making the room feel smaller overall. Instead of this, try hanging the curtain rod at least a foot (30cm) above the window frame, or as close to the ceiling as you can get away with.
Some really amazing effects have been achieved by hanging the rod or rail from the ceiling, which helps make the floor and ceiling look more distant as there is no frame of reference.
As well as this, you can enhance the effect by extending the curtain rod up to 14 cm on each side of the window. This allows you to only conceal the edge of the window frame, which allows more light in and makes the room feel aerier and more spacious.
Try to buy floor-length curtains that drape all the way to the floor, as this will create the illusion of a taller room. They also provide a beautiful wrinkled look that can make your ceiling look taller.
If you are worried about them getting too dirty, still ensure they do not hang more than an inch above the room.
Whilst this does not directly relate to curtains, try to hang mirrors on the opposite wall to your window. Mirrors reflect light and give the illusion of space, and are so effective at this that mirrors can sometimes make your room look considerably bigger.
The material your curtains are made from matters, and whilst weighty blackout curtains are ideal for keeping the light out, this can make your room look smaller. Try to ensure that if you use heavier curtains that you offset this by using lighter shades and patterns.
Dark-coloured, bulky drapes can make a room look considerably smaller than it actually is.
Look for smocked or box-pleated curtain headings as well, as the simple texture pattern can extend a smaller space.