Most homeowners can relate to the feeling of not having enough space. For new owners it can lead to a sense of buyer’s remorse when a house that looked so big during the walk-through seems to shrink after the furniture is moved in. Even seasoned owners often feel crowded and overwhelmed by the fixtures and accessories accumulated over the years.
1. Paint with Light Colors
The most important technique to open up a room is to use light. Using bright colors for your walls (especially the ceiling) allows natural or artificial light to reflect, making the room feel exposed and uncluttered. Creams, yellows, whites and off-whites are the best shades to bounce light around the room. Dark colors absorb too much light and make the walls feel like they are closing in.
Think a bit outside of the box and utilize non-traditional storage methods. Floor-to-ceiling shelves decrease countertop clutter and draw the eye upwards, creating the illusion of higher ceilings. Bed frames with built-in drawers eliminate the need for space-consuming dressers. Storage ottomans and end tables are also a great way to keep items like remote controls and coasters within reach but out of sight. Even over-the-door hooks and hangers will keep clothes from piling up and free up closet space.
3. Arrange Furniture Inventively
Make sure your furniture doesn’t block any windows, entrances or walkways. This will make the room feel and appear bigger. Arranging furniture diagonally also creates a larger feel by guiding the eye easily around the room and focusing attention on the focal point, such as a TV or fireplace.
4. Utilize Artwork
There are a few ways to utilize artwork to maximize space. One tip is to hang a piece a little lower than you normally would to give the impression of more wall space, and higher ceilings, above the piece. Another trick is to hang one large piece on a wall rather than several small ones.
5. Mirrors, Mirrors, Mirrors
Mirrors are a useful tool to transform a room. They reflect light and space to “stretch” a room. Make sure the mirror is reflecting a window or open part of the room as opposed to a dimly-lit corner. Hanging mirrors vertically creates the optimal stretching effect.
6. Angle the Flooring
Whether you use laminate, tile or hardwood floors, lay the flooring diagonally to instantly make a room look bigger. The effect is magnified when a dark floor is paired with light colors on the walls and trim.
Of course, you can always invest in add-ons and expansions, but employing the techniques above will immediately make a noticeable difference, without hiring a contractor or breaking the bank.