Just because your space is limited doesn’t mean your design options have to be! There are many ways to maximize your space to give an illusion of even more space. The key is to keep the eye moving with design elements that are light, airy & clutter free!
1. Mirror Mirror
To create an illusion of more space, use mirrors! Not only do they reflect space to create more space, they also reflect light to brighten a room. It is important to position them strategically, not to be reflecting a blank wall or something unappealing like a bathroom. Mirrors should be situated to reflect space, light & pretty things in order to maximize a room. They also make great side tables!
2. Let Light Shine Through
The right lighting can really help transform a space. Natural lighting is the best lighting so let it shine through! Avoid blocking windows or the use of blackout blinds when possible.
3. Perimeter Formula
Keep large items along the perimeter of a room. Pieces such as couches & arm chairs should be against walls, not in the middle of a room. Depending on a space’s configuration, this may not always be possible, but try to make it happen wherever you can!
4. Glass Is Always Half Full
Dark heavy furniture quickly fills small spaces. When buying dining tables or coffee tables, clear glass won’t visually occupy the same space a dark hardwood table would. If you have to place a kitchen table in the middle of a room, a glass top will keep the eye moving to an object beyond the table rather than becoming a visual endpoint. It will also reflect light making the room bright & airy.
5. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
Less is more, always. If your living space is limited, you need to prioritize your material possessions & be mindful of what belongings you actually need. You may have had your heart set on a bar cart to display your wine collection, but is it really necessary? Will it enhance the space or add clutter? Prioritize & Declutter!
6. Colour Confidential
Paint light & accessorize dark (or just eliminate the darks altogether if you’re like me!). A light room always looks larger than a dark one. Neutral walls never go out of style so changing up the look of a room is easier on the wallet when trends are kept to decor accessories like pillows or throws. If you crave that hit of colour on the walls, paint a bedroom or bathroom in a muted tone & bring out the essence of that colour in added accessories. Leave the walls of large rooms & large furniture pieces such as couches as a neutral, versatile colour palette.
7. Wipe Open Spaces
Keep the eye moving with open shelves. If you need additional storage, I completely understand, I do too! Open shelves are preferable to cupboard doors on an entertainment unit. If you need drawers, keep them below eye level so the line of sight from wall to wall isn’t obstructed; this stimulates visual movement across the room rather than create blockades. The same rule applies for office areas, bedrooms or dens used as additional closet space. Where open shelves aren’t appropriate, use mirrors!
8. Rug Addict
Small rugs make you see & think small. The shape of a room & furniture ultimately dictates the size of a rug, but always choose the largest appropriate size. Lay patterned carpets with an elongated design vertically from a room’s entry point. For example, a striped rug’s stripes should run from the doorway towards the other end of the room rather than across a room horizontally. The exception to this rule is if the pattern will not be running parallel to the longest wall in the room.
9. Feeling Spacey
Make the most of vertical space & play around with height. Art should be hung close to a piece of furniture (unless it is a stand-alone piece) so they look like one unit. This doesn’t mean you can’t maximize the size of a wall – just buy a big painting! Alternatively, explore the option of a gallery wall to fill the space. Use floor lamps that offer a different height from the chairs or shelving beside it. If you are adding drapery to your windows, install the rod as close to the ceiling as possible.
10. Green Thumb
Plants have always been, & will always be, my go to. Can I keep them alive? Rarely, but I always see their value. Adding a touch of greenery brings a whole ton of life & air to a room. Dead or dying plants have the opposite effect. Do your best to keep to a strict care regime or purchase plants that thrive from your neglect. (I have opted for the latter.)
Lara Stasiw • Real Estate Agent & Home Design Connoisseur
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