We could all use a little space from time to time. If you live in an urban shoebox apartment or an older home with low ceilings, you may be wondering how you can make the space feel bigger, brighter, and more accessible. Take your home from cramped to comfortable with these eight tips for making the most of a small space.
Clear the Clutter
When faking square footage, less is more. Decluttering is a foolproof way to make your surroundings feel more spacious. Pare down the number of decorations that are sitting on shelves or tables to just a handful, and keep walls similarly clutter free. Choosing one large painting as opposed to a bustling gallery wall will edit your space to look less busy.
White and Light Colors
White and other light colors like pastel blues or soft greens are champions of maximizing light. Their reflective quality makes a space feel open and airy like the outdoors on a bright, cloudless day. Desaturated (especially white) walls, light wood furniture, and soft neutral textiles can all contribute to a room's spacious vibes.
Mirrors reflect light and give the illusion of more space by tricking the eye into believing there's more beyond a wall than there is. The bigger the mirror, the greater the impact. Place them near windows for an even more expansive effect. And remember, mirrors aren't just for walls! A similar illusion can be granted by coffee tables with mirror tops, mirrored trinket boxes, and other reflective accessories.
When looking to add or maintain some visual interest in your space, opt for textures instead of patterns. Patterns can make a space feel busy and cluttered. A fur throw pillow, rattan armchair, or concrete coasters all delight the senses with a natural depth without overstimulating the space. If you just can't part from patterns, opt for low-contrast prints with soft or neutral colors to keep their influence on the subtle side.
See-through furniture and decorations continue the eyeline through and beyond them instead of stopping your view in its tracks. Replace an opaque flower vase with a glass one, try out clear acrylic dining chairs, or a go for a glass-top coffee table. The barely-there look of these transparent pieces keeps their impact light.
Proportioned and Sleek Furniture
Furniture proportions have a big influence on how the surrounding space is perceived. One way to make a space feel larger is scaling down the furniture within it. Smaller pieces leave more space around them and make the room look proportionally bigger. A quaint living room with one small loveseat and two slim armchairs will look much bigger than one with a bulky sofa and voluminous armchairs. Be careful of over-cluttering, though! If you are tempted to add too many small pieces, instead opt for fewer large pieces that do the trick, like one sectional and one side table.
Choosing furniture that is lifted off the ground with exposed legs and sleek silhouettes also enlarges a space. Being able to see under and around each piece gives the eye more room to explore. Meanwhile, pieces that are neat and unembellished will make the surroundings feel less busy.
Emphasize the Vertical or Horizontal
If you've got high ceilings, build upward to emphasize them. Tall and narrow profiles draw the eye ever upward to highlight the expanse. Choose tall bookcases that reach from floor to ceiling, slim lamps or pendants lights, vertical artwork, or lightweight curtains mounted from the ceiling instead of directly above the window.
If your room has lower ceilings, look for low profile furniture. This gives the illusion of a taller ceiling and leads the eye around the width of the room. A neat row of three art pieces hung on the wall, a wide horizontal mirror, or a low platform bed will lengthen the space above them.
Make a Path
The more floor space you can open up, the more freedom of movement you will have. Push large pieces of furniture against the wall to free up swaths of flooring. To emphasize an expansive floor, remove rugs entirely or choose a large one with a simple design. By clearing space, you'll have more room to spread your legs, room to dance, and room to entertain.
We'd love to see how you transform your small space! Tag Walker Edison on social media to show us your before and after pictures.