Whether you're a seller trying to make your home feel more spacious, a home owner who has downsized or an apartment dweller with limited space--making small rooms appear larger is an ongoing challenge.
Luckily, with a few simple changes your rooms can feel open and airy in no time. Try these ideas:
1. Less is More. Rooms overfilled with furniture will appear cluttered and chaotic. Take a look around your space with a critical eye...are there pieces you've been holding on to for too long? If creating more space is your goal, remove anything that isn't essential. In fact, if you are able, empty the room completely and bring pieces back in one at a time. This will give you the chance to play with your arrangement and decide if anything is unnecessary. There are also several free online room designers available to allow you to play with the layout of your room without any heavy lifting. Try Home Styler.
2. De-clutter. This is the most obvious tip yet it is sometimes such a difficult task. If you're selling your home, box up anything that isn't absolutely necessary and move it into storage. If you're established in your home or apartment already, consider storing or getting rid of items you rarely use. Try making some accessories seasonal to make more every day living space.
3. Get Creative With Storage. For items used occasionally, try to be innovative with easy-access storage. Ottomans, benches and side tables are often equipped with hidden storage. Try decorative baskets and boxes to store your DVD collection for a more streamlined look. In bedrooms, employ under the bed storage for extra clothing, towels and blankets. Children's toys are often difficult to contain; try keeping them in closed baskets when not in use and keep them in specified areas. Anything that is visible and does not serve an obvious purpose--whether visually or functionally--should be stored away to make the most of your small space.
4. Choose Colors Wisely. Dark paint, fabrics and woods tend to make spaces feel more closed in. When going for a more spacious look, use light tones on walls. Monochromatic color schemes which keep the walls, furniture and fabrics in similar tones appear more pulled together and less chaotic causing the room to look bigger than it actually may be. If you choose to hang draperies, be conscious of the fabric weight, length and color; floor length, dramatic drapes can be beautiful but will likely overwhelm a small area. Opt instead for valances or blinds if the windows must be covered.
5. Let The Sun Shine In. If you do choose to use curtains or blinds, keep them pulled back when not in use to maximize light flow. The more natural sunlight in a room, the more open and spacious it will feel.
6. Mirror, Mirror On The Wall... Hanging mirrors strategically in small rooms will help reflect natural light and help make the space feel bigger. Create the illusion of depth by placing a decorative mirror across from a window or on the room's far wall.
7. Streamline Patterns. Simple patterns in neutral colors can make a room feel larger by avoiding distractions to the eye. However, don't be afraid to add pops of color or texture strategically to avoid creating a dull space. A lively throw pillow, rug or bouquet will add character and keep the room interesting while looking sophisticated, not distracting.
8. Choose Furniture Wisely. Opt for less bulky pieces to create the illusion of more living area. Glass coffee tables and end tables can help give the illusion of more open space. Whenever possible, keep chairs and stools tucked in to their respective tables, desks and counters. The more open, visible floor space in the room, the larger it will feel.
Try making a few of these changes at a time and watch how quickly your small space will expand.