People, especially those in urban areas, don’t own anything close to the 2,500 square foot homes that are common in the suburban parts of the country. All you small home dwellers—from minimalists to empty-nesters to downsizers, and everything in between—know that decorating “small” has its own challenges. Regardless of the size of your home, here are some tips to help make it look bigger while you’re making it more beautiful.
1. Keep furniture profiles simple and low: In other words, try to avoid seating that is high-backed or ornate. More ornate pieces tend to make a space feel busy, which works against your goal with a smaller space to make it feel clean and uncluttered. Lower-backed furnishings create better sight lines, which in turn help make the space feel as big and open as possible.
2. Choose round or oval tables over square or rectangular: Rounded tables in general are easier to navigate around and take less visual space as their counterparts. Open-bottomed or glass tables add dimension and a feeling of openness to your room, making them a great choice if you find some with a look and style you like.
3. Choose cool colors for your walls, window treatments and bigger furniture pieces: Cool colors (light blues, greens, whites, etc.) recede from your eyes making walls appear further away, which in turn, can make your space feel bigger than it actually is. Choosing lighter color window treatments helps in a similar manner and also lets in more light that will help create an open, airy feel. Choosing lighter shades for the big furniture in your lighter room creates a less segmented visual approach. You want less segmentation so your eyes will be able to travel across the whole space easily, again providing the illusion of size.
4. Create good flow from one area to the next: Chances are if you are in a condo or townhouse, you will have some type of open plan with a living room, dining room, and kitchen combo. If possible, you’ll want the same flooring running throughout this whole space. Visually, unified flooring makes your space feel as expansive as possible. Also, try to keep overall styles and color choices similar from one space to the next. This will ward off segmentation and invite flow with the feel of a single larger, cohesive space. To help define individual spaces, you can use variety in your furniture, area rugs and lighting choices.
5. Plan good storage: Clutter is the enemy in a small space. Make sure you maximize your storage options wherever you can. Open shelving with baskets or other containers works well rather than just shoving things onto shelves. An ottoman with built-in storage can be a life saver to help keep things picked up. Corner shelves are another great, space-saving option. You’ll find a wide range of nifty kitchen or bathroom storage options available, many that store inside your cabinets and literally double your storage capacity. Keeping your countertops free of clutter isn’t always easy, but also makes a big difference. Put away small appliances you don’t use every day. The cleaner the countertops, the bigger your space will seem.
Illusion works! Apply these tips and you can convert your small, cozy space into a bigger feeling beautiful retreat you enjoy spending time in.
Now, what will you do next to “love where you live”?