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  • Neil Harrison

Home Extension soon, for now, some home 'live-ability' ideas!

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Spending more time at home – as has been the case of many of us of late due to the Covid-19 crisis – may well have made some feel a little bit like the walls of our home are somewhat closing in on us.

This is why of course – as we at Mint Builders have found - that more and more people are reviewing the 'live-ability 'factor of their home – and planning how re-organisation, extension and renovation can help us get more from our home environment in the future.


We at Mint are expecting to be busy through the Winter and into the Spring helping people with projects that will develop a better home 'live-ability and a more spacious 'in home' environment.

But in the immediate, I spotted an online guide by Matthew Currington of The Lighting Superstore which suggested some thoughts on how to make your home seems more spacious and bright for now ... before you tackle that more permanent 'live-ability' extension or renovation change to your home in the near future.

The ‘Cantaloupe’ Rule

First from Matthew – was something he calls The ‘Cantaloupe’ Rule. He explains .. “ The theory is that any trinket or décor below the size of a cantaloupe melon is additional clutter for a space and will leave a room feeling small and overcrowded.


If your home is filled with small knickknacks, maybe try swapping these out for fewer, larger statement pieces to keep a personal touch.

Large vases, bigger picture frames and statement clocks are all stylish, simple ways to decorate without compromising your sought-after spacious feel.

Lighters Block

For his next thought, Matthew highlights Lighters Block - “One overhead lighting fixture can shallow out the space of a room as the light will likely be unable to reach the corners of the space effectively. A simple solution to combat this issue is smaller light fixtures dotted around the room. They will not only illuminate all the space but also create more depth to your home.

Room within a room

Thought three – and this was a good thought …Room within a Room “ If you have more of an open plan space to work with, rugs can be the perfect way to make markers around the space. Not only do they trick the eye into thinking the floor space is bigger, but they also make rooms functional for more than one purpose.

peripheral vision

Smaller rugs dotted around draw the eyes focus, so the uncovered areas appear bigger to the peripheral vision, whereas a large statement rug can diminish the space by taking up so much room that the rest of the area is almost invisible. Use your furniture wisely and mark out the spaces of the room, along with your rugs. First things first, draw up a floor plan to ensure the best possible placement.

Higher up

Thought four was all about space – going upwards....Placing shelves, picture frames and paintings higher on the walls can expand the space by making a room feel much taller. If features are positioned upwards in the space, this is where the eye will naturally go.


If a room feels taller, it inevitably feels less confined. When shelves and wall fixtures are positioned low, this will drag the ceiling down, making it feel boxed-in and more cramped. Taller ceilings make the home feel far more grandiose, so this tip will not only help to extend the room space, but will also give you a chic, luxurious feel.

Mirror, mirror

The oldest trick in the book is Matthew's next thought - tricks with mirrors and sometimes the 'old' tricks are the best. Explains Matthew “Adding mirrors to a space can be the easiest (and often cheapest) ways to maximise the space of your home.Similarly to using light colours on the walls, reflective surfaces act as an extender of space.


Choose the mirror space carefully to get the best possible results, such as placing the mirrors opposite the rooms windows. This will reflect the light around the room. Placing mirrors behind objects like credenzas and bar areas will reflect the objects atop and deceptively appear to have a whole other section behind them.

Colour co-ordinated

Finally to end on, Matthew highlights how paint colour can surely cramp your room's style and effect. “Dark paint like navy, are in style, but these flat, dark shades will shrink a space. Painting the floors and ceilings in a matching lighter shade is inevitably going to soften the edges of the room, making it appear much wider and higher.

light shades

Using a feature wall can be a great way of keeping light shades without compromising style, however going too dark can be stunting to the room’s potential. The latest trend is painting your white wall with little darker brush strokes for a simple wallpaper looking style, which will ‘lengthen’ the room if the strokes all go in the same direction.

Thanks also for the above Guide Information to Refurb and Renovation magazine

We at Mint Builders are here to help with any questions and ideas when you are ready to plan for your 2021 home extension or renovation. We have expert contacts on hand to help you gain the style and look that you want and need in these unique times.

Please request your project planning and quotation visit to refurbish or extend your home for now and on into this uncertain future of ours. Contact Mint Builders on 07734 211958 or email

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