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Home Interior Decorating and Decor Directory  - Article Details

Home Design Strategies: Five Ways to Make A Small Room Look Larger

Date Added: March 17, 2009 01:42:10 AM
Category: Interior
You may love the home you live in, be it a single family dwelling, condo, duplex or apartment, but not be so thrilled with the size of some of the rooms. For some folks, remodelling or adding on to the structure is a solution to the size issue. For many others, the budget is not there for such a project. And for a growing number of people, they are renting a residence and do not have the option of remodelling. In fact, the majority of homeowners (we'll use the term 'homeowner' knowing it could also mean someone who is renting a property) are often looking for ways to personalize, improve and decorate their homes inexpensively. There are some simple steps you can take to give the overall appearance of more space in a small room or area of a home. You don't need a large budget, and in fact, some steps don't require that you spend any money at all. The first step is to keep the walls a light color. They don't have to be stark white, although if you love that look, it's fine. There are hundreds of shades of off-whites that can add interest and warmth to a room while maintaining an overall neutral palette. When you put dark colors on the walls of a room or area, it can make the walls 'recede' visually, and that is what you want to avoid if your goal is to make an area appear larger. The ceiling should be kept 'Ceiling White' for maximum overall lightness in the room. Next, take a look at the floors in the room. Your goal is to have a flooring that gives a light overall appearance. For example, if your room is carpeted or tiled, ideally it should be a light, neutral color. It's okay to have a small pattern or variation as long as the overall look is neutral. Wood flooring should be a honey tone or lighter. You want the ceiling and walls to flow into each other as much as possible, and avoid a stark breaking point of light to dark color. Your third step in this strategy is to remove any unnecessary furniture from the room. If it is not critical to the function and use of the area, remove it. For example, if this is a living area and you currently have a sofa, two upholstered chairs, a wood rocker, two end tables, cocktail table and a floor lamp in the room, consider doing this: remove the wood rocker, cocktail table and floor lamp. You have kept the most important seating in the room as well as a place for lighting and other incidentals. The extra pieces were just taking up space and making the room look smaller and probably more crowded. The next step in the process is to make sure you are not over-accessorizing the room. In fact, I always advise taking all accessories off of the walls, tables, etc and literally removing them from the room. You might put some of them back in the area, but start out with blank walls and furnishings. You goal in this step is to accessorize the room to add warmth and interest, but not clutter. If you had three pictures, a mirror and a wall sculpture on the walls of this room before, try two pictures and a mirror. Keep it very simple. If there is so much going on in the room that your eyes don't have a resting point, it will seem cluttered, and that is what you want to avoid. Finally, if at all possible, keep everything in the room to an overall neutral look, and use color sparingly and only as an accent. For example, your walls may be painted Navajo White, the ceiling is white, your floor is carpeted with an off-white Berber and your upholstered furniture is beige/light brown. You love the color red, so this is your accent color, but sparingly. You have a picture on the wall that has a shot of bright red in it. The accent pillows on the sofa have a beige/brown/gold/red pattern to them. As you look around this room as described, you see soft, calming, neutral colors, with no stark stopping or break points between walls, ceiling, floors and furnishings. However, the room is interesting and has some drama with the addition of red as an accent color. Best of all, this petite living room now has a feeling of openness and space, and is still functional for your lifestyle. Candi Randolph is the author of 'Ten Simple Steps to Design Success!' For more information please visit
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