Small but perfectly formed
Want to make the most of cramped quarters? These genius decorating tricks can actually make any small room feel bigger.
Pale colours can help make a small room feel bigger
Dark colours are a no-no in small rooms. As suggested, a lighter colour palette creates the illusion of more space. Dark colour schemes, although trendy and high-impact, are best used in larger areas. When dark colour schemes are used in smaller rooms, it can create a suffocating feeling as though the walls are closing in on what is already a space-challenged room.
“Leggy” furniture makes a small room feel bigger
Opting for furniture with legs showing opens up a small space. Compared to large furniture pieces that rest directly on the floor without legs showing, which can appear too big and bulky for a small space, furniture with legs showing draws the eye upward and creates the illusion of more light and space in a small room.
Sheer window treatments make a small room feel bigger
Stay away from window treatments that are bulky, heavy and ornate. They may look pretty, but drapes, cornices and curtains made of heavy material subdue too much natural light. Use the window(s) in a small room to bring light into every corner. Along with light-coloured walls, the sunlight will make the room seem larger. Consider slatted window blinds, very sheer lace curtains or bamboo shades. Slatted blinds provide privacy when closed and bamboo shades offer semi-privacy when closed (but also allow sun to filter through the woven material).
Create the illusion of space with mirrors
Work your magic with mirrors. They are an ideal accessory for making a room appear larger. Mirrors can be installed on sliding closet doors or as a covering for an entire wall (preferably near a window). Mirrors serve two beneficial purposes: First, images, accessories, wall hangings, furniture and light from lamps or recessed lighting will be reflected into the room. Second, during the day as natural sunlight pours in through the window(s), it reflects off the mirrors making the room brighter and lighter.
Colour co-ordinate items stored on open shelving
Got open shelving? Reduce the visual clutter and keep a small room looking organised by storing items with like colours together.
Add stripes to make a small room feel bigger
Stripes—both vertical and horizontal—can create the illusion of more space. Vertical stripes help to draw the eye upward and horizontal stripes help to make a room seem wider. Be sure to select colours that go with the rest of your finishes and fabrics in the room.
Multifunctional furniture makes the most of a small space
To utilise the space in a small room to its maximum potential, decorate with furniture that can serve a dual purpose such as a sofa with pullout storage space, an ottoman that opens for extra storage, or a large trunk that can also double as a coffee or end table. Furniture that can be downsized is a great way to create space, too. Remove the leaf from a dining room table until it’s needed, replace a full-size recliner with a medium-sized chair and footstool, or replace a traditional bed with a pullout sofa or a daybed that can also serve as a sofa.
Moulding can help make a small room feel bigger
Create an illusion of your small room being much larger than it is by installing a band of small moulding about a foot down from the ceiling around the entire room. Paint the ceiling above the moulding a colour different from the wall area below the moulding. Keep in mind the suggestion about using lighter colour paint. In this case, the ceiling could be white or cream with the walls a lovely pastel like pale yellow or blue.
Want to make a small room feel bigger? Ditch the clutter!
The adage “less is more” holds true when there’s too much stuff taking up precious space. A quick way to make a small room feel bigger is to spend a Saturday afternoon decluttering. Do this by reducing the number of decorative accessories, knick knacks or any other items you have on display that serve no functional purpose. In a small living, corral those small items that you absolutely must have handy (remote controls, for example) in an attractive storage box.
Pale-coloured flooring can make a small room feel bigger
As with walls and ceilings, light-coloured flooring can create the illusion of a larger space. If you don’t have the option of replacing dark wood floors or carpet, use light-coloured rugs to cover as much of the area as possible. Whether you use area rugs or are able to install new flooring, choose colours that will complement the wall paint.
Keep the palette monochromatic in a small space
If your small room already has a pale, neutral envelope (think white or off-white walls and ceilings and pale flooring), give it some character by introducing one accent colour with varying shades and/or textures. Exercising restraint in your choice of coloured toss cushions, throw blankets, area rugs and accents will allow you to make a high-impact style statement without sacrificing the feeling of space.
Built-in storage makes the most of a small space
Sometimes the only thing lacking in a small room is storage space. When there’s no square footage in the floor plan for another shelving unit, consider a built-in cabinet that utilises the space within the walls.
Opt for clear furniture in a small space
Opt for see-through furniture, such as a glass coffee table or clear acrylic desk. Clear furniture helps to make a small room feel more open while still providing a functional surface.
Floor-to-ceiling shelving also makes the most of a small space
A floor-to-ceiling bookcase showcases a small room’s height while adding a lot of space-saving vertical storage. Click here to get detailed plans for building this handsome Greek Revival-style wood bookcase.
Go for neutral upholstery on large furnishings
When it comes to large-scale furniture (think sofas, loveseats and headboards), it’s also a wise move to choose neutral-coloured upholstery rather than eye-catching colours with busy patterns. You can always add heaps of character with smaller (not to mention, more affordable) accents like toss cushions, throw blankets and bedding; plus, they won’t date as quickly as they would if you were to choose an on-trend hue.
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Source: The Family Handyman