Special to Yahoo Homes
Airy, sprawling rooms with plenty of areas for decorating are the dreams of many homeowners, but for most, that’s unfortunately where they stay—in our dreams. Instead of viewing small spaces as a limitation, think of it as a fun and inventive challenge. With these 12 easy tips, making your room seem bigger will be a breeze.
1. Use Natural Light
Everywhere, as much as possible. Natural light brings more dimension and an airiness that can’t be duplicated by electricity, so bring it in as much as possible. Use semi-transparent window dressings to let in the light, and make sure not to block the windows.
2. Reflect on Mirrors
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but one of the most effective. Be liberal with your use of mirrors throughout your home, and even consider installing mirrored closet doors. By using large or floor-to-ceiling mirrors and strategically placing them to reflect windows or other rooms, you trick the eye into thinking a room is larger than it is.
3. Clean Transitions
Breaking up your design with hard lines or contrasting colors divides a room into several mini-rooms—at least to the eye. Instead, try to keep your transitions seamless by painting the ceiling and walls the same color.
4. Built-In Shelves
Built-in shelves are a small room’s best friend because they add storage without taking up valuable floor space. Build them floor to ceiling to make your room seem taller, and don’t make them too deep. If adding a built-in unit isn’t an option, try to keep shelves as close to the wall as possible or just add them up along the ceiling. You won’t have to worry much about floor space, and they still draw the eye upward.
5. Ditch the Lamps on Tables and Floors
Instead opt for pendant lamps hung from the ceiling. They offer the same amount of light as a floor/table lamp but take up no useable surface area.
6. Keep Colors in the Family
By using neutrals or different shades of a light color, you once again keep from dividing the room and make it large in feeling. You also want to stick to a neutral or airy palette to keep the room open and inviting. Colors are fun, but they bring a room down vertically and make it cozy—something a small room should avoid. Instead, choose objects with bold colors to use as statement pieces.
7. Untraditional Furniture
You have to be inventive in a small room, so go for furniture you might not normally use. For example, if you don’t have room for end tables by a couch, use a console table at a nearby wall, or use a floating shelf instead of a nightstand.
8. Multipurpose Furniture
Similarly, everything in your small room should pull double duty. Think of ottomans that can also be a coffee table, or a coffee table that can be used as storage, or a game table that doubles as a dining table.
9. Wall-Mount TV
Entertainment centers can be beautiful, but if you’re tight on space, try wall-mounting your television. You may need a wireless model or one with Bluetooth capability to fully pull this off, but if you’re capable, you’ll save a lot of space. Store your DVDs in wall shelves or within that double-duty ottoman.
10. Raised Furniture
A not-so-well-known trick is raised furniture. If you design using furniture with legs instead of a skirt, you’ll be adding negative space below. This keeps a room from feeling too grounded or boxed in. While you’re at it, keep furniture away from wall, even if it’s just a few inches. This makes it feel like you’re not fighting for every inch of space you can get, even if you are.
11. Less Is More
Select one large piece of statement furniture instead of several small ones. Surprisingly, the one piece makes a room seem bigger by cutting down on clutter and filling out the room.
12. The Cantaloupe Rule
When adding accent pieces or decorations, only use items that are bigger than a cantaloupe. Keeping them larger and fewer once again keeps the room from getting cluttered, which can make a room feel smaller.
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