We asked the Fab 5’s designer Bobby Berk, founder of Bobby Berk Interiors & Design, for his style secrets in cramped interiors. The upshot: go big!

Queer Eye's Bobby Berk
Alex Generales

Get (Well) Lit 

“By creating “layers” of lighting. you will not only help to illuminate the space but keep the eye moving and make it feel larger. If you just install one large pendant on the ceiling, your eye will immediately go straight there, whereas if you have a few different levels of lighting your eye will bounce around—and the room will feel larger.”  

Maximize Your Window Treatments 

“Rather than hanging the curtains at the top of your window and extending it to the sides, instead hang them closer to the ceiling line and have them extend out past the window frame itself. That will visually make the window appear larger and open up the space.” 

Try Built-Ins 

“Floor to ceiling bookshelves or wainscoting that goes 3/4 the way up the wall can help to draw the eye up and visually expand the space, making it feel larger. To take it one step further, keep the books and accessories in the bookshelf tonal and monochromatic so that it doesn’t appear too cluttered or jarring.” 

Add Legs

Just like stilettos can change the visual shape of the person that is wearing them, the same can occur for furniture. Rather than buying boxy furniture that goes all the way to the floor, opt for pieces that have ‘feet’ or legs to them to allow a visual line under them. It helps make a room feel larger and less weighed down.” 

Take a Moment for Reflection 

“Using a large mirror (whether it be hanging or leaning) will trick your eye into thinking that there is double the amount of space in the room. It visually expands an interior.”

Don’t Go With White Paint

Contrary to popular belief, white will not automatically make a room appear larger. If the room lacks natural light or character, then a stark white room can end up feeling cold and lifeless. If your space is small, consider using a warmer white tone or a light gray or taupe-y color. The color pigments in the toned paint will help the light to bounce around in a natural way, making the room feel larger.” 

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