Surprisingly Useful:
Maintenance Advice

Creating the illusion of light and space

July 17, 2015

Light and space are two of the most important things that people look for in a home. Unfortunately, not all properties are blessed with an abundance of space and large windows that allow for lots of natural light. If you own a small basement flat – don’t be disheartened, we’re going to share some tricks of the trade that property stylists use to make spaces appear larger, brighter and more appealing to potential buyers or tenants.

Light walls, skirting and coving

The lighter the paint colour, the more light will bounce around the room – simple! Make sure the ceiling is white and smooth and that your skirting and coving is as pale and unobtrusive as possible, to eliminate visual barriers and create the illusion of space.  While you might choose to have a feature wall or wallpaper in your own home, this isn’t such a good idea in a rental property where there is a risk of losing the broad appeal essential to the lettings process.

Flooring and tiling

Lines and stripes will always appear to narrow a space, so if you are laying wooden or laminate flooring, go for wider boards so that there are fewer joins. This is especially advisable in hallways, where lots of vertical lines can make an already narrow space feel even narrower.  If the floor area in the living room is at a premium, avoid putting down rugs, as this will visually clutter the space. 

In the kitchen and bathroom, where you may be looking at tiling the floor and/or walls, larger wall tiles (such as standard white A4 size ones) will make the room feel bigger, and laying square tiles on the floor in a diamond orientation, rather than perpendicular to the walls, will also give the impression that there is more space that there really is.


Mirrors are excellent for creating the illusion of light, space and depth in a room, and are particularly good for making narrow hallways appear wider and therefore more spacious.  Large mirrors placed on walls opposite, or at 90 degrees to a window will bounce light around the room, making it feel larger and brighter. Hanging mirrors and pictures in portrait orientation will also give an illusion that a room has a higher ceiling, as the vertical lines draw the eyes upwards, rather than across a wall.


You can create atmosphere and brighten dark corners with strategically placed lamps, particularly if you are advertising the property during the winter months when there is less natural light anyway. Where natural light is really at a premium, for example in basement flats, a good array of ceiling mounted spotlights will often make a world of difference.

Arranging of furniture

Always make sure there is enough space for people to walk into a room without feeling instantly crowded, but don’t fall into the trap of pushing all the furniture against walls or into corners.  Keep furniture minimal and try to place it away from the windows, where it could block the natural light.  In smaller rooms, glass tables work well, as they are less of a barrier to the eye than solid wooden ones.

How we can help

Adding light and space to your property – whether you’re trying to rent or sell it – will also add value, ensuring you achieve the highest price possible, in the fastest possible time. It’s therefore definitely worth spending some time and money trying to create the illusion of light and space, whether you do it yourself or consult a stylist for some help.

At Portico, we actually offer an Interior Styling service as part of our Concierge sales package. After our in-house cleaners have worked their magic, our team of Interior Stylists will then stage the property and ensure it’s presented in the best possible light in preparation for the professional photographs. The stylists use light colours, furnishings, furniture and mirrors – and some expert tricks of the trade - to ensure your property looks light, spacious and stylish.

If you’re interested in selling your house or if you want more information on our Interior Styling service, give us a call on 020 7099 4000.

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