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Making Small Spaces Look Larger

Updated on September 4, 2015

Tips and Ideas

Hanging curtains beyond the window frame in a small room and near the ceiling will make the windows look bigger. (and the room appear to gain height!). Add a large decorative mirror on an adjusting wall; the mirror will reflect every bit of available light.

Got a small bedroom? Use the windows as the main focus; center the furniture in front of them.

It's traditional knowledge that light-colored walls will enlarge small spaces, but an accent wall can also bring widening; it all depends on the particular room. Usually it's a fireplace or bookcase wall, an unique nook or piece of furniture.

Darker shades will add depth to a room (and drama!). But be sure to keep furniture and adjoining walls a lighter color to prevent a 'cluttered feel'. If the walls are a medium color, you can add a bright "pop" of color or a fun pattern on an accent wall; and to make the accent wall stand out even more, repaint the trim a bright white.

Got a small, cozy kitchen? Consider shelving that reaches the ceiling and installing electrical outlets within the shelving you won´t have to move any appliances to use them.

Floating shelves allow you to showcase accessories, such as cookbook collections or baskets. And it´ll increase storage capacity.

Storage items can also make great decor statements, as can multi purpose furniture. For example, an old trunk or suitcase can be a side or coffee table and also store odds and ends.

Using Color

Here are four ideas from Jackie Jordan, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams:

  • Light, neutral colors will always make a room appear larger (they visually recede and reflect more light into the room).
  • Using gray shades will make nearby colors seem brighter, which in turn, will make spaces bigger.
  • Paint floors using a light color.
  • A variety of shades and hues within a single color family will work (for example, a room with two or several blues).

Did You Know That.....

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average American single-family home will drop to 2,152 square feet this year (10 percent smaller than five years ago).

"Less really can be more if you have around you what you love, and what works for you at whatever time of life you're at," says Sara Emslie, an interiors editor, stylist and author of Beautifully Small: Clever Ideas for Compact Spaces.

Sources: "Smart ways to spruce up a small space" by Statepoint-Vindy Homes, The Sunday Vindicator, August 9, 2015 and "Stylishly small"-Chicago Tribune (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, May 17, 2015


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