11 Ways to Make Rooms Feel Bigger
Knocking down walls isn’t the only way to make a small space work for you. Whether you rent or own, there are plenty of design techniques that you can use to make rooms feel bigger and bring more functionality without the benefit of more square footage. You just have to get a little creative.
The average American’s living space has more than doubled in the past several decades, increasing by 1,000 square feet from 1973 to 2015. But for those of us living in an apartment or our first homes, sprawling space doesn’t quite seem to be the case. Fortunately, a home can be beautiful and practical regardless of its size. For proof, look at tiny houses, sales of which increased by 67% in 2017.
To make rooms feel bigger, start to see the promise in every inch of space in your home. Below, we’ve compiled 11 of our favorite ways to maximize the potential of small spaces, with tips for every budget and decorating skill level. Let’s get to it!
Make Sure Your Furniture Flows
Depending on how you set everything up, a room can seem open and airy or crowded and cramped with the exact same furniture in it. Keep larger, heavier pieces along the periphery of the space so you don’t disrupt the flow. Also make sure that your furniture doesn’t block windows or entrances, and that you leave a clear pathway throughout. You can find some additional tips for arranging furniture to make rooms feel bigger here.
Hang Your Curtains High…
There’s no rule that says your curtain rod has to be installed right on top of the window. Give a small room the illusion of more height by installing the rod four to six inches above the window frame, then complement the look with high curtains that extend all the way to the floor.
… and Your Art Low
Center art vertically on the wall and then bring it down a few inches. Like hanging curtains higher above the window frame, this serves as a visual trick to add more height to the ceiling.
Bring in the Light
There’s a reason that real estate agents always tell their clients to leave all of the lights on for showings. Dark spaces don’t just feel uninviting—they also feel smaller. Swap out opaque curtains for sheer ones to let in more natural light, put in higher wattage warm light LED bulbs, and add lamps and/or string lights to areas that could use a bit more brightness.
Build In Your Storage
Built-in bookcases and storage cabinets are a way more streamlined approach to your home’s storage needs. They also go a long way toward helping make rooms feel bigger, since they bring some additional height and texture to your walls. And they’re not as expensive as you think, especially if you’re handy with a drill. Follow this tutorial to turn IKEA’s cult favorite Billy Bookcase into stylish and functional built-ins for any room in your house.
Or Hide Your Storage all Together
Clear up clutter and open up your space by bringing in furniture with its own sneaky built-in storage capabilities. You can find lots of stylish coffee tables, benches, and ottomans that come apart to reveal hidden storage space inside, giving you more bang for your buck when it comes to making the best use of a room.
Raise Your Kitchen Cabinets
Okay, this is a pricey one. But if a pared-down kitchen remodel is in your budget then consider raising your cabinets to increase the apparent height of your kitchen. Raising cabinets—either by upgrading them with taller ones, physically taking them up a few inches, or adding crown molding to the tops—is one of the quickest ways to make a sizable difference in your kitchen, and will instantly enlarge the room.
Choose the Right Size Rug
In addition to providing comfort for your feet, rugs also serve as major focal points for establishing the breadth of a room. To make rooms feel bigger, optimize your rugs to suggest more space. Opt for one large area rug instead of multiple small rugs in a room and leave about a foot of space between rugs and the walls to create depth.
Put Up Some Mirrors
Mirrors have a similar effect to windows when it comes to helping make rooms feel bigger. By reflecting the space back at you, they essentially double it in size, taking a flat space and bringing in some depth and dimension. If you’re struggling to get enough natural light in a room, hang a mirror across from a window to reflect that light back in from another angle.
Keep Furniture Off the Floor
Large pieces like couches and dressers seem even heavier than they are when they’re resting right on top of the floor. Go with furniture with legs instead, which creates a visual break for the eye and additional floor space—even if it can’t be utilized.
Paint with Light Colors and Some Smart Pops of Colors
Paint plays a big role when it comes to how you make rooms feel bigger. In general, lighter is the way to go when you want to maximize the appearance of space in a room—think white, beige, light gray, light blue, and so on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with color! Bring in a bold hue without making it seem like the walls are closing in by choosing to go with an accent wall instead of painting a whole room, or a color block where 2/3 of the vertical space of the wall is a vibrant color and 1/3 is a light neutral.
Making rooms feel bigger is all about having an eye for balance—between light and dark, heavy and airy, and vertical and horizontal. Make rooms feel wider by optimizing floor space, and taller by optimizing your walls. The result is a home that feels a lot bigger than it is, and the best use possible of the space that you’re working with. And if you ever find yourself lamenting your lack of space, remember that bigger houses aren’t always a better idea.
By:Laura Mueller Moving.com