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Eye Opening: Tips and Tricks to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

Architecture | Interior Design | Shopping

Eye Opening: Tips and Tricks to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger Blog Feature

By: EYA Pugrant on August 11th, 2011

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Living in a townhome or condo in the DC area certainly has its advantages - you're within walking distance of your favorite amenities, you live in a beautiful neighborhood, and it is often more affordable than living in a detached home. The one concession of living in a townhome, however, may be compromising on square footage. While many townhomes today are designed with open space floorplans and effective storage construction, using strategic design techniques can help make a smaller room seem spacious and airy. All homes have rooms that are limited by size, but keeping the following tips in mind can help open up your dark or small room.

When living in a relatively small space, you don’t want to feel boxed in by the walls around you. Light paint colors, such as cream colors and light blues, make a room feel more open and reflect light, while dark or bold colors could make the space feel more enclosed. The use of lighter colors can also be translated into the furniture and accessories in the room. Choosing a larger statement piece that matches the walls will help it blend in and not overpower the room. In addition, think about choosing pieces that will let the most light through the room, such as tables and sofas with exposed legs (pictured above).

While light colors will make a room feel airier, almost nothing can help a room seem larger than a reflective mirror. While mirrored walls of the 70’s are no longer appealing to most people, a decadent and beautifully framed mirror can really open up a room and provide it with great depth. If you're interested in purchasing in a mirror for your home, there is a large selection of various sized wall mirrors at the weekend outdoor Eastern Market in SE. Glass tables and accessories are also great for lighting up a room.

Another trick to making a room seem larger is to notice that the longest line in any room is always the diagonal. By angling furniture, such as a bed, from the corner of a room, you allow your eye to follow a longer distance in the room instead of being stopped by a short wall. Plus, you can even get some extra storage space in the corner by doing so.

Having a significant amount of storage is very important since small spaces are notorious for clutter, causing people to feel that the room is smaller than it actually is. Try utilizing multifunctional pieces. For example, an ottoman with a removable top can be a coffee table that doubles as a footrest while also being a storage space for blankets, magazines, or books. Some furniture pieces are specially designed to be collapsed and expanded with ease to accommodate small space. Consider buying a dining table with an extendable leaf that can be used when you have company over, or using side tables that fit within one another (pictured above). Need an entertainment unit to hold your TV? Make sure that it has the space to house your stereo, CDs, DVDs, and books so you won’t need another piece of furniture to store these in. Some people even suggest color-coding your items to make a room feel less cluttered.

What other tips and tricks do you have for designing in cozy spaces?