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Techniques to Make Your Home Seem Bigger

Optimize Your Living Space by De-Cluttering and Using the Right Window Dressings and Furniture Styles

© 2012 by Josh Andrews; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A cluttered cabinet; photo courtesy Josh Andrews

Your house felt so big when you first moved in—you never had your own closet before, and you never even got to park in the garage.

You had a whole living room just for you, and didn’t have to make room for a roommate’s furniture. However, as the years go by, you may find that those spacious rooms start to feel a little cramped.

What can you do to change that, and regain the feel of plenty of space? Here are some pointers on how to make your house look bigger.

Eliminate Excess Clutter

Yes, you’ve probably been told that before. Grandma used to call things on shelves “dust collectors”. As a new husband, that sounded silly. I wanted mementos from every part of my life, wedding, and honeymoon arranged artfully in my home.

Even with little babies, I had a beautifully decorated home, with paintings hung in perfect places. However, “dust collectors” means much more to me now that I have 3 teenagers and 3 85-pound dogs running in and out of the house all day and night.

So, now all of those pretty things on the shelves are dusty. No one has time to vacuum and dust. When you de-clutter, you don’t have to pack everything away that is important to you.

You can easily thin it out, though. Choose a piece that you want to spotlight, and take everything else off the shelf. If you don’t want it to look lonely, add a bit.

Odd numbers create balance, so choose your special piece and place a couple of other, smaller items near it.

Pack away seasonal items being careful to label boxes carefully. It’s hard, sometimes, to find time during the busy holiday season, but if you will, you’ll be much happier with the results.

In fact, if decorating for the seasons or even holidays is too stressful, settle for de-cluttering and just give the few things you have out a good dusting. You can select a favorite vase or flower arrangement to bring the seasons into your home.

Use Mirrors to Open Up Your Spaces

A mirror to open up the room; photo courtesy Josh Andrews
Once you get the house de-cluttered, add a mirror or two. Mirrors increase the sense of openness in a room by reflecting light and beauty.

Hang the mirror on the wall so that it reflects something pretty. You don’t want to reflect the ceiling, that’s bare and stark.

Go Tall with Window Treatments

If you have a small room, don’t be afraid to go up with your décor. When you hang curtains, choose panels that reach from the ceiling to the floor.

This will make your windows look much bigger, so that the entire room will begin to feel like an atrium space. It is also much more energy efficient and an effective acoustic control method.

Use Furniture with Legs

To make a space feel more airy and light, choose furniture that has legs. Upholstered furniture such as sofas often have bun feet that keep the piece very low to the ground.

Another effective technique is to use tables that have tapered legs rather than thick square or rectangular ones. Especially effective are tapered legs that have a slight curve; they give the impression of soaring up to the ceiling.

Select furniture that gets up off of the floor to create an illusion of space. It’s the same with ottomans. Choose lightweight ones on feet, rather than the poufs or tuffets you may have used in your dorm room.

Open It up with Paint

Paint colors not only add beauty to interior spaces, they also set a tone and have the ability to either open the space up or close it in. As a general rule, ceilings should always be painted a flat white.

For the walls, consider light shades with a slick sheen like eggshell. Window treatments should also be a lighter color although it is a good idea to contrast them with the walls somewhat to prevent too much blending in.

Got more tips? Please pass them along to our readers in the comment section below.

About the Author:

Josh Andrews is all about improving the home and garden. When he isn’t thinking of ways to improve the home he currently works for a furniture website in the UK that sells a wide range of bedroom furniture.

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