Your Home’s “Goldilocks’ Zone”

by Creative Style Interiors

Does your living room feel as cavernous as the local school hall? Or is it small and cramped? One of the key elements of excellent interior design is using colour, furniture and furnishings to create the illusion of a perfectly proportioned room or space. Here’s some tips and tricks that you can easily use in your own home.

Help! This room feels like a confinement cell!

Smaller rooms have a more intimate feel, which can be perfect for snugs, studies or bedrooms. However, to prevent claustrophobia from setting in, there are a few simple fixes you can try.

We usually assume that by painting a room in a lighter colour, we are ‘opening up’ the space, while a darker colour will close it in. For rooms such as a study, a darker colour can be perfect since you will almost always be using artificial light, which will immediately brighten the room’s colours.


Tone-on-tone styling is ideal to give the illusion of space, mostly because you can’t see where one ends and the other begins, whereas strong contrasts are more visually disruptive, and may close in the space; the trick is to keep the eye moving smoothly rather than focusing on a point within the space.

When working with a monochromatic or tone-on-tone colour scheme, adding different textures and finishes will add interest without closing in the space.

Cooooeeeee! This room feels like an enormous cavern!

We all dream of owning a home with large open spaces and plenty of room to move. An expansive living area is perfect for entertaining guests and enjoying family life. On the other hand… if these spaces are left without any definition, they can feel cold and impersonal.

An area rug is an ideal way to establish the boundaries within an open space, and can be an amazing accent if you choose the right colour or pattern. Make sure your chosen rug is large enough for the room, and doesn’t look like the proverbial pimple on a pumpkin. In a living space this is most often 230cm x 160cm. If you’re considering a rug to go underneath your dining table, be prepared to size up to avoid getting chairs caught or becoming unbalanced on the edge of the rug.


Be adventurous with the upholstery on dining chairs. A contrasted back panel can make a fab feature of your dining setting, and help to define the space rather than simply being a dining table in a big room. A stunning pendant light over your dining table, or the addition of a decorative centrepiece can also be a great way to highlight your dining area.

If you’re still feeling that your living area is a little too open, you can use certain pieces of furniture to ‘partition’ off a space. Don’t be afraid to have your sofa ‘floating’, that is to say, not against a wall. This will work just as well as any rug will to define your living room. Another option is to use a decorative screen or partition to create a small (but not permanent) wall to enclose the space a little more.


To create a distinct kitchen zone within an open-plan living area, nothing works better than a return or an island bench. This can be further highlighted by using a coordinating yet contrasting colour or material to the rest of the kitchen on the benchtop or outer wall of the island or return.

If you’re still unsure of how to define the spaces in your home, feel free to call me on 0416 190 792 or email me at [email protected]. Also visit my Pinterest page for some home inspiration.

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