You don’t have to live in a 6000-square foot suburban manor to enjoy a spacious feeling in your home. As space in Victoria becomes a premium, new builds are becoming smaller, with many new micro loft and condos building up in our downtown core. Even the most committed studio apartment dweller can make design changes that enhance the feeling of spaciousness. If you live in a small condo or house, use the following tips to make it feel bigger.
- Don’t be a packrat: Clutter can make any size space seem claustrophobic. Stripping your possessions down to a minimum not only creates more room, it makes you feel freer and lighter as well! Make sure that every possession you have can justify the space it occupies. Get rid of those that don’t. Collect all the stuff you don’t love, use or wear and hold a yard sale or donate it to your local thrift shop.
- Think light: Once your space is cleared out, repaint the walls and doors in a soft, light tone and buy or slipcover existing furniture in light tones as well. Keep colour schemes monochromatic; contrasting colors visually break up space and make it seem smaller.
- Get reflective: Keep windows scrupulously clean. If you have heavy draperies, replace them with translucent cellular shades, or shutters or plantation blinds that can be adjusted to let in light while maintaining privacy. Hang a huge mirror at right angles to your room’s main source of outdoor light to draw that light into the room. Make sure that the artwork and furnishings this mirror also reflects are pleasing to the eye.
- Light artfully: Use compact fluorescent bulbs that mimic daylight, place up-lights behind large plants to bounce light off the ceiling and replace space-hogging end tables and lamps with track lighting.
- Lose the space-takers: Consider a dining nook that doubles as a work station, or replace your freestanding microwave with a space efficient under the counter model.
- Choose clarity: Make opaque surfaces clear where possible. Replace the frosted shower door with a clear glass one and consider trading your heavy wood dining table for a glass-topped model.
- Use big furniture but fewer pieces: Believe it or not, small furniture can make a place seem smaller than it actually is, especially when there are many small pieces in a room. Using fewer pieces but bigger ones will make your space seem larger than it is.
- Keep floors and traffic patterns clear: Give yourself and others an easy route through a room and from one room to another by placing furniture so it doesn’t block passages or views.
These are just a few of the practical ways you can make your small home look and feel larger. With just a few tricks like these, you can live large in your small space!