In our little red dot, things are safe, secure and… small. HDBs, the pride of our government’s invented public housing scheme, are commonplace in modern Singapore. They provide many benefits – strengthening communities, catering to our growing population and ensuring safe housing for all. However, an inescapable downside is: space can’t be provided for all. Many describe their homes as compact and cluttered, wishing for more elbow room.

With the cost of houses rising each year, the good news is that the fundaments of thriving in small-space living is easier than you would think. It all boils down to tricking the eye into perceiving more space by employing three simple notions: scale, light, and movement.

These non-hack, eye-opening tips not just save on your renovation costs, but also transforms your space into someplace you love.

Neutrality’s power

It’s important that your home be an expression of your personality and unique taste. So, to all the maximalist fans out there, we’re sorry. No one can truthfully deny white’s reflective qualities. It opens up a room, making it feel airy and light, calm and serene. The same goes for most neutrals, blurring the lines of wall and ceiling, essentially making the ceiling seem higher, the room, bigger.

Uniformity is underrated

Engage a steady palette of colours. Perhaps a little saving grace for those that can’t stand their life with no spice, using a constant selection of colours and materials will make your home seem more spacious. A few unified colours will visually expand a small space compared to using many contrasting colours. Large prints and loud patterns will result in a cramped, cluttered room.

An insider tip for all the Singaporeans crazed over open concept residences, if you opt for the same flooring leading away from the kitchen into the lounge areas of your home, there is a visual connect. This means… visual expansion!

In case you need some colour inspiration, check out this article!

Mirror mirror on the wall… where is the most spacious of them all?

Unless you’re a vampire in hiding, mirrors are the go – to when trying to create the illusion of space. We’ve never been good at the physics behind refraction of light, but we do know the mirrors’ ability to reflect light brings a whole new realm of spaciousness to a place. A room bathed in light has that sense of openness and the best way to achieve that is through usage of mirrors.

deliberate with décor

Go big and go home happy. Contrary to popular believe, large statement pieces make a place seem less cluttered compared to little trinkets lying about haphazardly.  Take some time to pick out those show stopping art paintings or interesting sculptures. Add that zest to your home while putting your belongings through a critical “do I need this?” scan. Afterwards, concentrate that decor in a few spaces. Treat them like accent corners, rather than spreading it out all over to visually elongate the room.

The en-light-enment

We totally get the grandeur and appeal of spotlights in your home. They perfectly accent a portion of your home, drawing the attention of all. However, they are a double-edged sword in humble homes. Having a singular overhead spotlight can visually shallow out the space of a room as the light will likely be unable to reach the corners of the space effectively. Knowing how to layer your lighting is life changing when it comes to spatial visuals. It means finding the perfect balance between ambient, accent, and task lighting. When you create this balance, you can create the lighting for any mood and any activity, all while creating the imagery of space.

Height matters – for curtains…

As much as we advocate for equality at i.Poise, no one can deny the appeal of a full ceiling to floor curtain. They can help to create a dynamic and larger look to your space. By hanging curtains from the highest point of the wall that fall all the way down to the floor, you create a soft and subtle guide for the eye to follow, encouraging you to take in all of the space you have therefore giving the illusion of a larger room.

Utilize glass

Transparency is key in every relationship, including the one between visual and spatial. Glass allows light to stream throughout a house, making it seem more open and spacious compared to other materials. In addition, apart from giving your home that much needed ocular flow, it adds a tinge of elegance. For more benefits of using glass, click here!

We know how draining the renovation journey can be and hope that these consolidated hacks are helpful. However, nothing can compare to an interior designers’ experience. With i.Poise Design, we’ll walk you through the whole process and it’ll be a breeze. To get started on your dream home, give our team a call at +65 63451730 today, or drop us an email at