How to Make the Most of Large Spaces

Added on August 18th 2020

If you’re living in a larger property, or a barn conversion with a large main living space, then you’ll face some design challenges that are different from those faced by people in a three-bed semi. 

You can’t use the same techniques and furniture in a larger space because everything will look too small and, in some cases, more like clutter than anything else. 

You have two choices – minimalism or maximalism

You can’t have a bit of one and a bit of the other, or find a middle way here. It’s one or the other. You can embrace (as it were) the expanse of the room, or make sure you fill it with colour and suitably-sized furniture.


Minimalism is probably the easier of the two styles, as you just need to choose a calm and simple colour scheme and then deck the rest of the space out with a carpet or rug, some furniture (remember to keep proportions in line), a table, TV unit, book cases and so on. All of these accoutrements should be within the same colour palette as your walls and floor. It makes for an open room, but it can easily tip over into feeling unwelcoming, so be careful.


Lots of colour, lots of patterns, lots of shelves and colourful books with ornaments a-go-go here! You’ll need bright rugs or carpets, a feature wall, prints, cosy nooks with plants, maybe a dividing screen and lots of comfortable furniture in as many different styles and colours as you want. As long as your key pieces are the right size for the room, you can mix in a few smaller items to fill up the space and provide texture and variety. Just as minimalism can tip over into sparse, maximalism can tip into cluttered, so do watch out.

About that big furniture

Smaller furniture can look out of place in a larger room, possibly even ridiculous. If it’s alongside larger items then it doesn’t really matter, but the main pieces must be proportional to the room and its height.

You don’t have to buy specialist items (usually), just go the next size or two up. If you’re fond of three-seater sofas, try a four-seater that’s also a bit plumper, for example. If your old dining table had space for six, replace it with one with eight settings and bring in taller or wider chairs. 

The same applies to bedroom furniture, so if you currently have a king-sized bed, upsize it to a super-king with bigger pillows and expansive throws.

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