Making the Most of Your Living Space
8 Helpful Tips for Redoing Your Home
Cut Back on Clutter
Living in a small space doesn’t mean that you have to give up comfort and design. You can still create a nice feel and appearance in your living space, even with lots of day-to-day necessities. Knowing some of the tricks of the trade can make it easier for you to create the illusion of a larger space. Read on for top secrets that you and your family can employ to help make even the smallest spaces feel roomier.
Having extra clutter around the house can cause a small space to feel even smaller. You can prevent pile ups by first sifting through your mail, before it even enters your house. Avoid clutter piles by disposing of junk mail, newspapers, and magazines promptly when you are done with them. Afer tackling the mail, go through your house and get together all the things that you really don’t have a use for (old clothes, books you’ve finished reading, furniture that just isn’t functional anymore, and so on) and hold a yard sale or give the items away to charity.
Color, Color, Color!
“Paint the walls blue and it will expand the room,” suggests Daunine Vining, Professor of Interior Design at the University of Nevada, Reno, and owner of the Harbinger Design Group. Vining also advises that if you paint a room a darker color it will make the walls feel like they are closing in, creating a seemingly smaller room. When choosing your colors, pick cool soft colors and avoid dark or bold colors—stay clear particularly from reds.
Best Bets for Furnishings
When you buy furniture opt for pieces that have a dual purpose like fold-out beds or futons, and pieces that offer storage cabinets and drawers to keep things like DVDs or CDs, and paperwork out of sight. For small bedrooms you can get bunk beds or loft beds that have desk space beneath them.
Look at Lighting
Avoid table lamps that have large shades, as they can easily become the focus of the room. Vining suggests that you instead strive for lighting layers. Try to combine accent lights that add sparkle and dazzle to a room, task lights for working at a desk area, and ambient lights that fill in light toward the ceiling. Having plenty of natural light also helps to open up a room.
Organization is Key
A big part of making the most of your space means getting in the habit of organizing you and your family’s belongings. Organizers are available for everything from closets and pantries to toys and garages. Organizing will not only make it easier to find your things, but it will create more room for you and give your home a cleaner look. (Consider hiring a professional organizer if you have troubles getting started.)
Tricks with Mirrors
Using mirrors to expand a room is a popular trick, but it needs to be done correctly in order to work. “Place [the mirrors] in an area where they are reflecting something like the outdoors,” says Vining. Having the mirrors reflect the ceiling or another wall will work against your purpose. Make sure that the mirror reflects something with depth, such as your back yard, doorway, or staircase, or something decorative, such as a wall hanging or painting.
Stock up on Shelves
Adding shelves to your room is a great way to display keepsakes and books. Instead of having a traditional bookshelf consider mounting shelves about two to three feet below the ceiling to save space and add decoration.
The last thing you want to do is divide a small room and make it look even smaller. Another tip that Vining offers is to leave the room open and make sure that you keep the same flooring throughout the area, and don’t change too much color or texture from one room to another.
With a little added effort and time, you can transform your small space into a comfortable living area for you and your family.
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