8 Ways To Make Small Spaces Seem Bigger

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Everyone wants the most bang for their buck. The same can be said of space. When you walk into a room, more open space (or even the illusion of more open space), instantly relaxes you, making your at-home experience and the experience of your guests that much more pleasant. Here are a few ways to make your space look bigger than it actually is.

1.Tall furniture. By putting tall furniture against your walls, you draw the eye upward, focusing occupants on the height of a room rather than the width. The illusion of extra volume will make the room feel bigger overall. One terrific space-saving idea that will also add this illusion is a floor-to-ceiling corner book shelf. If it's a space-saving shelf that only takes up 12 inches or so of floor space, then that's a bonus. It will provide ample display space for collections of books and memorabilia as well as save floor space.

2.Cool-colored shades. When walls are lighter colors, they appear to recede. Light blues and greens contrast with the darker window frames and make them appear further recessed than they actually are. Also, if you add a large landscape painting with a dark frame, you add a "virtual window" to the room, making the space appear even bigger yet.

3.Narrow doors: When doors are less wide, they leave more uninterrupted wall space, making the entire room feel bigger. It also makes the door frame appear taller, drawing the eye upward in a similar manner as tall furniture. Narrow doors are also great money-savers, because they use less wood and are usually less expensive than their standard-sized counterparts.

4.Mirrors: Possibly the easiest and least expensive way to decorate small rooms with the illusion of more space is with a mirror (or two). A decorative mirror, especially a large wall mirror, will act as a room expander if strategically placed to reflect light or an attractive feature of the room, such as a scenic view, fireplace, artwork or doorway into another room. A lighted mirror will add warmth and depth to a small room with otherwise poor lighting. A large mirror on the long wall of a narrow room will make the room appear wider.

5.Built-in shelves: Built-in bookcases, cupboards and cabinetry are amazing for saving space and make a space feel more open. Rather than protruding from the walls, built-in units will recede and make the wall seem flush and open. A built-in shelf that is large enough to hold a television will create even more floor space and make a room appear much larger. Also, rack lighting overhead will create depth and warmth.

6.Line large objects against a back wall. When large objects like beds and bathtubs are lined up against the side wall of a room, they cut off the spaciousness of the floor. By placing it against a far wall, people walking in get the feeling of a wider space in front of them. Even if the depth of the room shortens, that won't be apparent from the room's entryway, making your space seem larger.

7.Recessed kitchen cabinets. By putting in cabinets that set an inch or two deeper than your counter (creating a soffit), you make limited counter space appear bigger and open up the floor space more. This makes the occupant feel as though they have more walking space. To make the room feel even bigger, choose a light-colored paint for the cabinets. The light color will reflect light better, opening up your space even more.

8.Removing clutter: I know, harder than it sounds. Still, clutter is the number one cause of wasted space. Keeping floors and walls clear of unnecessary decorative items can really open a space up. The easiest way to remove clutter is to think of the last time you really used something. If it was more than a year ago, then get rid of it. Begin in one room and work your way across the house to remove unwanted and unnecessary items from each room.

Once you've opened up the space in your home, you'll be able to experience it on a more enjoyable level. Play games on the floor, do jumping jacks. Do anything! You've earned it.

Last Updated: July 23, 2012
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About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for Idealhomegarden.com

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