Everyone can’t live in a sprawling mansion.
These days it’s more economical to have a smaller space. Just because your home may be on the smaller side, doesn’t mean it has to “feel” that way. Here are interior house design tips and suggestions for large and small rooms…to open up any space.
Think big. It’s not easy but it will get you thinking about ways to change and decorate your home when it is not exactly Grand Central Station. Try a few of these suggestions and see what you think.
1. Get out your paint rollers.
Any decorator can tell you that using deep, dark colors makes a room look smaller. Using lighter colors can make a room seem brighter and larger.
If you already have the eggshell colors that come with most new homes, try a lighter blue shade or a pale yellow. Both colors are cool and calm to the soul. A lighter shade of blue gives the illusion of being outside too!
2. Use smaller pieces of furniture or one large piece.
At one time or another, almost everyone wants a sectional sofa. While it does provide a lot of seating in a living room, it also takes up a lot of space that you might not have in a smaller dwelling. This probably will cause a change in your space decorating ideas.
You can still have a fair amount of seating with armchairs and a love seat.
Forget about the overstuffed furniture as well. It becomes too overpowering, with a look you probably won’t be happy with. A simple love seat works better when you’re working with limited floor space.
3. Choose a hardwood floor or a light area rug.
Dark just means cozy no matter if it is furniture, paint, or flooring. One exception is a hardwood floor; just the echo as you walk across it makes the room feel larger.
For those who can’t afford hardwood floors (those babies don’t come cheap), try laminate flooring that has a hardwood texture. A taupe or beige carpet, (if not in a room to be used by younger children), also adds to the illusion of a larger space.
4. Use open lighting schemes.
Lamps in a room introduce intimacy. If you are trying to make a small space seem larger, use more overhead lighting. Try track lighting, ceiling fans with lights, or chandelier lights. Letting more light in will open every corner of the room.
Keep your curtains and blinds light-colored and easily opened as well. During the day, let the sun shine in through them to help create a positive, wide-open appearance.
5. Create a path through your room.
Bobbing and weaving through furniture and floor lamps says “small.” However you arrange your furniture, create a definite path from one side of the room to the other.
You and your family won’t feel cramped and pressed for space. It sure helps if you have to walk through the room in the dark during the middle of the night too. Bye-bye bruised shins and stubbed toes.
Is space a challenge for you? Use the above suggestions to open up your rooms while making the most of the space that you do have.
6. Cozy Up To a Large Space.
Maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum and have large open rooms in your home. These areas can lack a certain intimacy that every family needs. Learn how to make changes to your decorating scheme to turn a cavern into a cozy corner.
You would think that large rooms aren’t a problem but guess again. The tendency is to fill every corner, but with a larger space, you may run out of items to fill it with. Finding ways to close the gaps is challenging.
7. Let Your Furniture Do Double Duty.
Let’s say that you have a large great room. A few pieces of furniture may not be working for you. The Spartan look isn’t for everyone. Use a sofa or a set of love seats to create smaller spaces within the room.
Place the love seats back-to-back in the center of the room. Each one
represents a separate sitting area.
If the focus of your room is the fireplace, add furniture to frame the focal point. On the other side of the room, place your furniture around a coffee table or the television set.
8. Divide the Area.
Try using dividers. Install a sliding partition in the room. This can be very effective. Be certain that you are not obstructing any doorways or natural entries into the room. This will actually make the room more difficult to enjoy.
Install swinging doors in open doorways to close off areas. Swinging
doors to the kitchen or den allow easy access but clearly separate the
rooms into more defined spaces.
9. Add Unique Touches.
If the room in question is simply an entryway into another room, add
furniture and accessories along the walls to tighten it up.
For long hallways or entryways, a side table and bistro chairs can be used for a quiet place to check messages on your phone or iPad. Wall sconces create a mood over the area that is both intimate and simple.
Large foyers can be scaled down with coat racks, benches, flower
arrangements, and artwork. Even changing the color in the area can make the space seem small and cozy.
Using accessories that are easy to remove and replace is a unique way to define a room.
Add large paintings on the walls to close in the area.
Paintings over the fireplace or a collage of family pictures along the hallway are great ideas. During the fall, replace the pictures with holiday paintings.
Small tables can be moved to fill in dead space in any room. These accent tables can hold flowers, pottery, or a lamp. When it is not necessary anymore, move to another location where it is equally comfortable and needed.
Large spaces are as difficult to manage as small ones. Use some of the interior house design tips in this article to make the best use of such spaces.
Carson Dane, Founder