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Size Matters: Tips For Making A Small Space Look Larger

Written by Jaymi Naciri on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 1:56 pm
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Think size doesn't matter? Tell that to the guy who just bought his wife a pair of pants three sizes too big, the kid who just got jipped on his ice cream scoop or the people trying to navigate through your cluttered living room of your home for sale.

We might not be able to help with the pants or the ice cream, but we do have some great tips to maximize the space you have and make it make it appear larger.

1. Make the right color choices for your walls.

When it comes to your walls, you want to "use light colors or neutrals throughout; as they are space expanders and provide a neutral background for furniture and artwork," said Houzz in their "18 Ways to Make A Small Space Look Larger."

Dark colors can feel confining or make a room feel claustrophobic, said Freshome. "Using light colors will make walls appear to recede, creating a bright and airy feel."

2. Watch the contrast.

A small space can benefit from color palettes that stay within a similar range. That often means playing off of the wall color. "When adding draperies to the room, keeping them in the same color as walls will help avoid contrast to the space," said Houzz.

But perhaps the best trick for the windows in a small space is casting the window coverings aside. "Leaving your windows uncovered will trick your eyes into thinking that your pad's got depth -- and reveal the natural beauty of the landscape outside," said The Nest.

3. Take it up, not out.

Don't have the floor space for more stuff? You've still got walls. "Take advantage of vertical space," said Woman's Day. "Custom storage also helps you maximize out-of-the-way nooks, like the area under a flight of stairs. Not ready to commit to a contractor just yet? (Try) easy-to-install floating shelves."

use vertical space

4. Don't forget about adjacent areas.

Staying within the same color palette and style from room to room when sightlines pass from one space to another is important to creating unity. "Link adjacent spaces with the same color and flooring," said the WSJ. "Keeping to one color makes rooms look bigger. However, if you do need to change flooring materials it is wise to stay in the same color family."

5. Don't play by the rules with furniture.

A small space means small furniture, right? Not so fast. You'll actually create an airier atmosphere by displaying one prominent item -- from a statement sofa to a curved armchair -- rather than putting tons of tiny pieces everywhere.

Another great trick with furniture is to pay attention to where you put it. Everything in the room does not have to pushed up against a wall. Sometimes a piece looks better at an angle or surrounded by space. Give your furniture breathing room, whether it's angling your bed or floating your sofa in the living room with a skinny console behind it.

6. Make your stuff work overtime for you.

A table that's only a table? You're missing out. In a small space, it's all about multifunction. A side table that can also be used as a desk. Storage ottomans that house blankets. It's about multifunctional storage. "Don't worry: You're not stuck with dollhouse furniture simply because you have small rooms. Just pick pieces that work harder and look smarter. Typically, small homes are short on places to stash things. That's why it's so valuable to find furniture with storage included," said Better Homes and Gardens.

You can read the rest of Houzz's "18 Ways to Make A Small Space Look Larger" here, and check out Freshome for favorite interior decorator tricks for making a small space look larger.

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