Sunday, March 14, 2010

How to Make a Small Room Looks Bigger

If you've got a small, cramped room in your house that people actually see or experience on a frequent basis, then you know how frustrating it can be to be inside a cave within your own how. We all love having large rooms to breathe in, but the fact is that sometimes the square footage just isn't there. Rather than complaining about what you have to work with, you can employ a few different techniques to maximize the openness of the space. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Light Wall Colors
Anytime you put a dark color on the wall like navy blue or a deep maroon, you make the walls around you heavy. While this bold look may work for a great room, all it does to a small space is make it feel even more like a cave. You need to stick with light, airy colors for your walls so that the room has a sense of relief, rather than weight. Light yellows, beiges, and blues all fair well in most homes, depending on the context, of course.

If you don't know this, the simple addition of stripes in your clothing can make you look taller or wider, depending on if they are vertical or horizontal. You can get the same effect with stripes on your walls. Vertical stripe will make your walls look taller if you have an issue with height, and horizontal stripes will make a room look wider if that's the problem. Be careful here though. Too many stripes could make the room busy, and when you have a small space to work with, you want to eliminate as much clutter as possible. Keep it simple and maintain the light color choices throughout.

Light Ceilings
Make sure that your ceiling is a lighter shade than your walls because that will really help open the room up. White or slightly off white ceilings are usually the best and should pair well with anything you paint the walls. Also be leery of excessive texture on the ceiling. Try to keep things minimal so you don't add an extra layer of enclosure to an already tight space.

The addition of mirrors can vastly improve the feel in a small space because of the reflection. For one, more light is able to bounce around because of the mirrors, thereby making it feel lighter already. Mirrors also reflect additional space in the room, even if it doesn't exist. Your mind will feel like it's in a bigger space when it really isn't. If you can find a tasteful way to do a full wall of mirrors, that could be an excellent source of openness.

Minimalistic, Multi-Purpose Furniture
Clutter is a small space's worst enemy. Avoid that at all costs. You want to keep your furniture small, simple, and clutter free. Only put in what you need to, and if you can find ways to get multiple purposes out of one piece, you'll save a lot of room. For instance, you might have a padded, long chest that can act as a bench, a storage area, and a coffee table with the addition of a tray on top. One piece can do three different things. You can make a desk that folds up onto a wall and looks like a piece of artwork until you're ready to use it, or you could have a couch that pulls out into a bed for guests. Get creative with your furnishings and always keep maximum function in minimal space in mind.

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