The subtle ‘vertical decorating’ technique designers use to make small rooms look bigger and brighter |

It’s hardly a big design secret that using stripes within decor is going to give a small room the illusion of more height and space. However, what we often think of with this technique is just the obvious – striped wallpaper. And while we are partial to a simple stripe taken over every wall, we are seeing designers starting to do far more exciting things with vertical decorating. Far more exciting and far more subtle.

And by subtle, we don’t mean you have to play it safe. We just mean the approach to the interior design concept is less obvious – you don’t walk into the space and immediately notice that your eye is being drawn upwards by a bold stripe, the room just naturally feels loftier. Paneling, fluting, tiles, prints, shelving, and even pieces of furniture can all be used to create that illusion of openness and space. Of course, we have included plenty of ways with wallpaper too, but a twist on the classic.