The Importance Of Depth in Interior Design and Why It’s Your Secret Weapon

Depth makes a difference in interior design. Image: Niche Modern

Sometimes the rooms in our home aren’t quite the perfect fit that we’re hoping for. They might just be a little too small or too oddly-shaped for comfort, and a remodel just isn’t in the cards. In these cases, it’s important to rely on a few tried-and-true interior design tricks to help alter the perception of a space. One of our favorites is incorporating depth in interior design.

If you’re looking to change the perception of your interiors, you’re in luck. This post will give you all the tools you need to understand how depth can improve your interiors — and how to pull it off the right way. Use these tips as a guide and we’re sure that you’ll notice a difference.

Depth adds complexity to a space. Image: Pickell Architecture

Why Use Depth in Interi0r Design?

If you’ve ever been in a room that feels too cramped – or in the worst case, downright claustrophobic – you know exactly why depth is important. While it’s often too costly to add on the extra square footage needed to give a space some extra breathing room, it’s entirely possible to incorporate a few small, visual tricks into your design to help it appear more open.

However, it’s not only small spaces that can benefit from this perceptive tool. Sometimes even the largest spaces can feel flat somehow. When a room needs a little something extra or a wow factor, a sense of depth can add complexity to the space — and often, it ends up being just the thing you needed to bring your design over the top.

Create contrast with color. Image: Siberian Floors

Color Makes a Difference

Color really is a magic ingredient in interior design. Not only does it tie separate elements of the room together, but it can also influence our moods and perceptions. When you’re looking to add depth to a space, you can help trick the eye into perceiving extra distance by using contrasting hues.

In this case, it’s all about juxtaposing light and dark shades. By highlighting the difference between two colors, the darker hue will help the lighter one appear more expansive in comparison. So think carefully about where you want to place these two colors in order to allow the contrast to have maximum effect.

There are a couple different routes people typically take. If an entire room is particularly small, you may want to consider painting the hallway a darker hue. This will give the entire room a sense of depth. However, if you just want to highlight part of the space, consider using an accent color on the far wall. The accent wall will draw the eye immediately and create the illusion of more depth.

Focus on keeping the visual weight light. Image: Optimise Design

Consider Visual Weight

Usually, when we talk about visual weight, it’s about adding more to the room. Typically, we’ll tell you to add layers of textures and textiles to really ground the space and to make it feel more well-rounded. While this advice is absolutely true, if a room is too small, these same methods may end up making the room feel too heavy and overbearing for its size.

Where smaller spaces are concerned, focus on making the room feel as light and open as possible. To do this, you’ll consider visual weight, but this time it’s important to pick the right decor. Choose minimalist furniture with clean lines and open legs. Plus, opt for natural finishes over weighty fabrics whenever possible.

Consider the picture above as an example. Not only does its furniture match the visual weight guidelines, but every item in the space also seems to have a weightless quality to it. The floating shelf offers storage, the room’s main light source hangs from the ceiling and even the wall art frames seem purposefully minimal.

Don’t forget about the mirror size and placement trick. Image: Toronto Interior Design Group | Yanic Simard

Don’t Forget Mirrors

There’s no doubt you’ve heard someone say that mirrors are important to adding depth to a room. If used correctly, the right mirror can help create the illusion of more space. However, if not, the wrong mirror can end up drawing attention to unwanted details.

Size and placement are the keys to success here. For placement, you’ll want to consider the viewpoint you’ll be using most often. (Hint: It’s typically the angle from which you look into a room from the hallway.) The mirror should be placed against the wall furthest from that spot.

Next up is size. If you want to add depth to a room, keep in mind that now is not the time to be experimenting with artistic shapes or cute frames. Instead, you’ll want a large, frameless mirror that easily blends into the background. Ideally, it will cover the full wall or be comparable in size to a nearby piece of furniture, as shown above. In situations where ceiling height is an issue, you’ll want to make sure the mirror is positioned vertically.

Use our advice to learn how to add depth to a room. Image: Highmark Builders

Remember that most interiors aren’t perfect from the get-go. More often than not, it’s up to us to use visual tricks to make a room appear closer to the way we want it to look. Luckily, we have a host of tools at our disposal to help you pull off these shortcuts at home. If you need to give your interiors a little bit more breathing room — or even if you just feel like your design needs a little something extra — consider this your primer for using depth in interior design.

Have you ever tried to add more visual depth to a room? What methods did you use to make it work? Share your experience with us in the comments.