Friday, June 28, 2013

How To: Enlarge a Small Space

Small spaces can often feel like a big problem, but the truth is that they don't have to be.  In fact, a well-designed small space can become a highlight of a home.  For example, a smaller kitchen can make prepping a meal easier because everything is right at your fingertips.  A smaller living room may be better than a large one because you only need to arrange one seating area instead of two.  You see, small spaces aren't necessarily an obstacle at all as long as you approach them correctly.

Photo Credit: Home & Garden
So this is where the fun starts... and where things start to get a bit counter-intuitive. 

Start with the bare basics: wall color. It can do a lot to make a room seem more expansive. Contrary to what you may think, dark colors are not necessarily a bad thing.  A darker paint color can create the illusion of shadows which causes our eye to perceive the space as larger.  Just don't choose a color that will terrify buyers.  Once you've chosen a paint color- whether white, dark grey, or something in between- stick with it.  One consistent color throughout a room keeps the eye from focusing on where one wall ends and the next starts, so the space naturally seems larger.  A small room is not the place for an accent wall.

Next, pick the furniture.  If you can match your furniture to your wall color, do it!  This will make it seem to melt into the walls leaving the room feeling airy.  Note: if you choose to paint your walls neon yellow, do not use this blog as an excuse to buy a giant yellow sofa- we can't condone that.  The size of furniture is just as important as color.  In a tiny bedroom, having a big four-post bed can actually make the space seem larger; but night stands and other furniture need to be simple.  Opting for fewer pieces that are larger in size will actually make the room feel less crowded. Consider swapping the two love-seats for one full size sofa.

Finally, make your small space feel a bit more roomy by adding simple decor.  Mirrors are a great option! Don't be afraid to use a few of them- they reflect light and add depth to a room.  Window coverings should be light material that wont feel bulky or take up too much visual space.  You may want to steer clear of area-rugs all together as they do not help to enlarge a room.  Trinkets are other items that only serve to make a space seem more cramped so keep them tucked away.  And last but not least, wall art always makes a space feel homey- but in a small room you want to keep it minimal.

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