How to choose flooring to make your home feel bigger

Article by Simply You

Small rooms can be tricky to work with but a surefire way to create a cohesive, generous feeling space is to start with the right flooring. Here’s how…


How to choose flooring to make your home feel bigger

Downsizing to an apartment, semi-detached townhouse or smaller home is now considered the norm in globally evolving cities, where conditions including population growth have given impetus to scaled-back blueprints.

Gardens have become copses of pots, and the lemon tree grown to garnish our gin and tonic now takes pride of place on a balcony or terrace, not seeming to miss the space it previously had. But what are the tricks to making a smaller environment work throughout the whole home? And how can we hold onto the elements we miss out on when negotiating a smaller canvas? It all comes down to your flooring.



Demarcating or defining separate areas in smaller spaces impedes flow; it drags the eye to identify areas rather than review the whole. Much like when you have put an outfit together, the best compliment is when someone appreciates your whole ensemble, not just the shoes. The use of wooden floorboards – long planks, chevron or parquet – open up a space, so long as the pattern is consistent.


Take the motif right through an open plan apartment or use it in the living room and hallway for villas and smaller homes. The floor can have a strong tone if this is the desired aesthetic, so long as a consistent theme is employed to carry the dark floors. Think of the beautiful French and Italian apartments we swoon over in this magazine – they all have a strength of character and colour because the floor is not compromised with a vast array of rugs and layers. In fact, New Zealand homes have the upper hand with bold base colours because they are typically built to make the most of our southern light.



Counter a strict use of textiles indoors with a more European looking outdoor patio or deck. Keep the colour palette the same but play with pattern and texture with stones, tiles or French mosaics that give a terrace feel. Then, bring colour to a neutral background through foliage and soft furnishings.



Apartments and smaller homes respond well to simplicity in certain elements; flooring is one of them. Whether it’s an open plan apartment or a three-bedroom townhouse, one or two flooring options are best to simplify and expand a sense of space.

Carpet should be restricted to the bedrooms or additional living areas. This could be in the form of carpet squares or inlay, which acts as a layer or joining component to wooden floorboards.

Texture is still trending in every design environment. Rustic plank and looped pile carpets are popular for a soft, layered effect in a modern home with stronger lines. However, you still have to consider if this is relevant to the space you are living in. Always come back to how you want the overall feel of your environment to be.


Your guide to working with small spaces

Downsizing doesn’t mean you need to cull luxury pieces from your home, if you are careful with your use of furniture.  Glass is great for keeping spaces open, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be clear. The use of smoked glass and antique glass in table tops and cabinetry add depth to a look, minus the bulk.

Smaller homes should be well planned and thought out, with double-use belongings and clever storage ideas. Day beds that offer extra seating and sliding doors that separate dining areas from the kitchen give the ability to open and close space as required for ease of use. Finding storage space under stairs and in cavities in the wall are ingenious tricks that also show how our lifestyle and living arrangements are changing.

The team at Carpet Court know floors like no one else does. Their showrooms across New Zealand offer a free, no-obligation measure and quote service, either in-store or in the comfort of your own home.

To find a store near you, visit or call 0800 787 777.

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