You do not always have the choice of your living or working space.

Especially with the shortage on the housing market, people have to stay in smaller homes more often and longer.

How do you ensure that the walls do not come your way and what effects do light, color and plants have on your mood? talks about this with two experts.

Anyone looking for a while will find various tips online to make small rooms look bigger.

Think of multifunctional furniture, such as a sofa bed or an extendable dining table.

Light colors and floating elements can also give a feeling of spaciousness.

But not every problem is solved just like that.

'Try to create different spaces'

A bad feeling can arise in any room, regardless of its size, explains interior architect and environmental psychologist Susanne Colenberg.

"Your environment must be able to support you in what you want to do. You have a specific goal, such as relaxing or working. If that doesn't work, it becomes annoying."

In a small apartment, those goals get mixed up more quickly, Colenberg agrees.

As a designer she already gained experience with such homes.

"If you have the opportunity, you can try to create different spaces within such an apartment," she says.

"With a small shielding you have your leisure activities just a bit different from your work."

More oxygen means a better concentration and more sunlight ensures a better mood and sleep rhythm.

A daily walk is therefore a good idea anyway.

On top of that, you can also bring that outdoor atmosphere indoors, says environmental psychologist Max Weghorst.

Think of enough daylight and ventilation, but also pieces of nature.

Stress reduction through posters or plants

"I have a lot of large plants at home myself," says Weghorst.

"But of course you have to realize that this also takes up space. For a small apartment you could also look at a replacement in that respect. Prints of nature images can already make a difference."

The environmental expert notes that various studies have been conducted into the stress-reducing effect of such images, such as those of the Free University (VU) and Texas A&M University.

"Just looking at those images appears to be able to restore stress," says Weghorst.

"A poster of a beautiful view can therefore also reduce that trapped feeling."

"It is most pleasant when the floor is relatively darkest, with a transition to a lighter wall and an even lighter ceiling."

Susanne Colenberg, designer

Both Weghorst and Colenberg confirm that light colors are important to get more spaciousness.

"Don't use a dark ceiling", Colenberg advises as a designer.

"It is most pleasant when the floor is relatively darkest, with a transition to a lighter wall and an even lighter ceiling. That is a natural ratio that we as humans are most familiar with."

If you want to make a home look bigger, you shouldn't go overboard with white tones.

Too much of this creates less depth optically and can give an unpleasantly sterile appearance.

Large storage cabinets can also seem pleasant, but a balance has to be found there too.

"Make sure you keep seeing the outer contours of the room", Colenberg advises.

"Don't fill up every corner, and don't use floor-to-ceiling cabinets. That way you always have an anchor point for the size of your space."