You used words like cute and cozy to describe your new home to friends and family before you moved in. Then, box-by-box, you unpacked your whole life and the reality of your charming real estate set in—small spaces can be a big challenge to decorate. There’s so little room for error. Everything counts. So not everything fits. And cluttered is far from cozy. But with a little ingenuity and some clever decorating tricks, you can create a surprisingly spacious place and live a little larger. Really. Here are some great big ideas to help get you started…
Don’t Be A Clutter Bug
For starters, clutter is a space-stealer. It’s a mess. So a less-is-more approach is always best. If you organize your surroundings, you’ll instantly open up much-needed space. And create a focal point in each room, for example, the table in the dining room or the bed in the bedroom, making these the center of attention with colorful accents, fabrics, and pillows. Then keep the rest of the room simple, to a bare minimum, including the wall and floor décor. Remember, less is more.
Let There Be Light
Darkness can be a downer and no one wants a gloomy room, right? So lighten up. Let the natural light in and keep heavy curtains and blinds out of the plan to create a larger, more open and inviting space. A sheer window covering or, better yet, nothing at all, allows light to flow freely, making everything instantly bigger and brighter. And better all around. So don’t hang those dreary drapes if you need to block a bad view. A lovely potted plant will work wonders.
Mirrors, Mirrors On The Wall
Mirrors are miracle-workers in smaller spaces, instantly reflecting and bouncing natural and artificial light where it’s needed. Simply angle a mirror toward your focal point to give the room depth. Or place one near the window to reflect the great outdoors, giving the incredible illusion of more-than-meets-the-eye space.
Again, lighter is better. Always paint with pale colors such as creams, soft greens and blues to make the room appear open and airy. Dark colors absorb light, which makes any space look smaller, so definitely pick a paler palette. And be sure to paint the moldings and trim a shade—or more—lighter than the wall.
Hidden Storage Helps
Find multipurpose furniture that looks great AND stores your stuff out of sight. For example, use a chest as a coffee table or buy a bed with storage drawers for a great space-saving difference. Expandable and nestable tables are also easy to set up, fold up, and tuck away for future use, so they’re not taking up that valuable space you’re trying to preserve.
Now take a deep breath in all that extra space you’ve created in your cute and cozy home. Ahhh.