5 Quick and Easy Ways to Make Small Rooms Feel Bigger
by Kathy Wilson
Decorating Your Small Space
Decorating small rooms can be quite a challenge, but there are
some simple things you can do in a weekend to make the space seem
to expand before your eyes!
1.Go buy the largest mirror you can afford, and place it in a
focal area of the room, such as over a mantel, or over a sofa.
Hang it a little higher than eye level to avoid reflecting
clutter if necessary. If you can't afford a large mirror, drop
by your discount store and dollar shop and pick up a few smaller
ones to create a grouping of mirrors to accomplish the same
purpose. I have decorative mirrors in almost every room of my
modestly sized home, and when I take them down to paint or clean,
I am shocked at how much more closed in the room feels. One
mirror adds several visual feet to any room!
2. Don't leave your walls white! I know, that's not what you've
always heard. White walls can be difficult to pull off in an
interesting way, and they don't expand a room any more than light
colors do, so add some personality! Paint your walls a light cool
color, such as blue or green. Cool colors fool the eye into
thinking the walls are farther away than they really are, while
warm colors make walls seem closer. (Most whites used in homes
are warm whites.) So bring in that pale blue or green!
3.Change your furniture arrangement. I don't believe there is any
one formula that works for every room - some rooms will seem
larger with the furniture against the walls, and some will seem
large if you float the furniture out into the room. Experiment!
If you don't want to spend a whole afternoon rearranging
furniture (I know a good chiropractor!) then use graph paper to
do it. Assign each square of the paper to 1 square foot. Draw in
walls, traffic patterns, and other obstacle such as doors. Then
cut out small pieces the size of each piece of furniture. Now you
can use your furniture templates to move your furniture around on
paper, to find the perfect fit for you, before you move a stick!
Keep in mind, you still may want to make a change or two after
you get it all into actual place. That's ok, us decorators
change our minds too!
4.Remove all accessories that break up the space. This is the
case where less is more. If two patterned pillows add the pizzazz
you need, then don't add 4. Use larger scale accessories instead
of many smaller ones. And get rid of clutter! We tend to stop
seeing the pile of magazines because we are used to them, try to
look at the room with an objective eye. If your kitchen is small,
don't store things on the counter, put them behind cupboard
doors. Kids toys? Find inexpensive bins that can slide under the
end tables, then cover with table cloths. If you don't love it or
need it, get rid of it! (Don't keep an accessory out just because
it fills space!)
5.This is the most underutilized tip for small rooms of all, but
also one of the easiest! Keep all your windows and reflective
surfaces sparkling clean! Don't believe me? Try it now, go clean
that sliding glass door, then stand back. Looks bigger, doesn't
it! Now do the same for the rest of the windows, tv screens,
dishwasher fronts, glass over artwork and glass tabletops. The
shiny clean surfaces both reflect light (which always brightens
and enlarges a room) and creates a smooth surface for your eye to
glide over, creating the illusion of more space! It works!
Five easy ways to enlarge the look of any room, and you can do it
in an afternoon or a weekend!
Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of several
popular home and garden websites. For hundreds of free do it
yourself home and garden ideas, please visit her websites
now at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com,
http://www.TheGardenGlove.com . Also visit her at