How To Create The Illusion Of Space In An Inner-City Terrace

January 18th, 2019 - by Brad Gillespie

Sydney’s inner-city terraces are high on charm but can sometimes be low on room.

Create more sense of space in your home or investment property with these easy renovation ideas and interior design tricks.

Reign in your colour scheme

While a riot of colour can be cheerful and captivating, too many clashing colours can also make a space feel smaller, particularly if a room is small to begin with. Choose a neutral colour palette for your overall scheme and then add one or two complementary highlighting hues for colour pop.

Create indoor-outdoor flow

It’s become a buzz phrase in renovating for good reason. Not only does ‘indoor outdoor flow’ make your space more liveable, and entertaining more seamless, but it definitely makes a home feel more spacious. Ways to achieve this can include adding a timber deck extension to a dining and kitchen area or replacing a single door to an outside area with wider sliding doors or French doors.

Keep flooring consistent

Keeping the flooring one type throughout a terrace lends a sense of flow that makes the entire space seem larger. Conversely, different types of flooring can call attention to the contours and confines of a room, emphasising size where you may not want to. If you must use different materials, say for the kitchen floor, try to choose materials in the same shade.

Use furnishings and cabinetry to build height

While it may seem like installing anything floor-to-ceiling in a small space will be overwhelming, it actually creates a sense of height that can make a space appear longer. Hang extra-long curtains that go all the way to the floor or install floor-to-ceiling shelving or cabinetry.

Clear and lighten staircases

Keeping a staircase clear of any clutter or objects maintains focus on its design, making it appear more spacious. Ideally, flooring and wall paint around the staircase should be in light, neutral tones. Installing a skylight above a stairwell can also help lighten, and therefore widen, the space.

Choose see-through furniture

Large, bulky, dark furniture can be quite oppressive in a smaller space. Not blocking off the line of sight makes space look larger, so consider glass coffee tables and side tables. In a bathroom, a clear glass screen or even a see-through shower curtain can also help the room seem bigger.


If you haven’t already gotten on the minimalist bandwagon, now is the time to do so. When space is limited having too much clutter absolutely makes space feel smaller. There are lots of blogs and articles online about how to declutter, as well as Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. Whether it will change your life or not, a few trips to the skip or the Salvos with stuff you don’t need is a guaranteed way to give yourself more room.

Add more storage

If you want to reduce clutter without getting rid of things, one simple way is to choose furniture with built-in storage. Look for beds, tables and sofas that have drawers built into the bottom so that you can easily tuck things out of sight.

Let there be light

Without a doubt, natural light is the single best way to make space seem more spacious. If you can’t create more natural light through renovations, then consider if you can add better lighting – even if it’s just in the form of a well-placed floor lamp or ceiling spotlight.

Don’t forget mirrors

An old standby in the interior decorating trade for making small spaces seem lighter and larger, mirrors reflect light in a room and can also extend a space when strategically placed. Consider also using oval or round mirrors in rooms that already have a lot of sharp angles for contrast.

Contact me today if you’d like more ideas on how to maximise the appearance of your home or investment property.