Jun 21, 2012

Small space ideas.

You probably hear many ideas on making small spaces seem larger. With a specialty in small home remodels, I have applied many creative solutions with success. Here are my top ways to visually enlarge a small space, whether it's an apartment, home, condo, or a dorm room.  Have fun!

Minimal accessories keep a small
space uncluttered and open.
Use fewer colors and patterns. When your eye travels around a room it defines the boundaries of that space. If the backdrop of a space - walls, floor, ceiling - are similar in color to the contents - sofas, tables, chairs - your eye won't see strong boundaries and perceive the space as open. Pattern tends to make spaces look busy, which in turn makes them seem crowded; open your space with simple designs. 

Open windows and glass cabinets
help keep this tiny dining room open.
Don't cover the windows. Since you look beyond the space to the outside, which can visually expand that space, try one of these methods. First, leave them without any treatments at all. Using decorative window films creates privacy with no loss of light. Second is to match the treatment to the wall color to eliminate strong visual boundaries.  

A pale blue scheme makes a 
small space seem larger.
Keep furnishings small in scale and don't use skirts on seating pieces. When the floor space seems open, so does the room. So, rather than purchasing an 8' sofa for a small living room, opt for the 6' loveseat.  As for skirts, when you can see walls and flooring under and around a chair, it helps contribute to the room's airiness.

Be minimalist with accessories. When rooms are packed with decorative items, it makes them feel crowded. If you have many collectibles, group them together in a curio, bookshelf or console.

Pick pieces that have dual duty. A daybed that looks like a sofa, but is also used as a bed, will eliminate one piece of furniture. The same applies to a desk-table, ottoman-table-storage, and many more ideas.

A glass wall makes a tiny condo
seem larger
Use glass and mirrors.  Mirrors that reflect light from windows do make spaces seem larger. Using glass tabletops adds shine and keeps the sense of airiness that large spaces have.

Pull furniture off the walls.  When a pieces 'float in a space, you see more space beyond and perceive the room they're in to be larger.

Small windows look taller
with high top treatments.

Use horizontal or vertical lines to help.  In a low ceiling room, having tall, vertical lines - like an armoire or poster bed - will draw the eye upward. In narrow rooms, stripes on the walls, with paint, wall-coverings, paneling and even art, will make the space appear higher. Install window treatment above and to the sides of windows.  Taller and wider treatments -valences, side panels and swags - help make the windows, therefore the space,  seem larger.