From paint to furniture: 10 ways to expand your home
Living big is something some people aspire to, but the reality is that many live in a house that is a little smaller than they want. Whether you are in a small studio or a three bedroom home, interior designers have a knack for making any home feel and look bigger.
The first step is always to modify your possessions and get rid of unnecessary parts, said Mary Maloney, founder of Bee’s Knees interior design studio at Hopkinton.
After you’ve taken the clutter out of the way, try these 10 suggestions for expanding your home:
- Move your furniture away from the walls. This may seem counterintuitive since you want more usable floor space rather than less, but Kalah Talancy’s KTII Design Group in Sudbury suggested, “Always leave space between your furniture and the walls of the room to create the impression of a larger space overall. “
- Integrate clever storage. Well-designed storage can enhance the form and function of interior spaces, especially in small spaces that can feel ‘busy’ very easily, suggested Eilyn Jimenez, Founder and Creative Director of Father design In Miami. For example, Jimenez recommended a long, low storage cabinet along the living room wall that hides electrical cords and can act as a seat for guests.
- Embrace multitasking. Maloney recommended installing a Murphy bed so that your spare bedroom could serve as a home office. She also suggested buying a coffee table that includes storage space, a desk that can serve as a serving area during entertaining, and anything that offers more than one purpose in a tight space.
- Paint your house white. “Bees love color, but if the goal is to make your space look bigger, white paint is a great option for small spaces,” said Maloney. “Benjamin Moore’s”White dove“is a favorite. It has a warm undertone, which will keep the space from being cold. Maloney suggested painting the ceilings and cutting the same shade of white.
- Add character. While white paint enlarges a room, you want to avoid an overly bland look. Jimenez suggested adding one or two small pieces of furniture or accessories chosen for their timelessness. “There should be some continuity in color that connects at least one of the objects in the room with the color palette of the room,” she said. “This mix-and-match look is all about balancing a modern minimalist design (think neutral wall and floor colors) and vintage finds to add interest to the potentially small space.”
- Keep the lighting simple. Floor lamps are a good option that provide mood and task lighting without taking up too much space, Maloney said. Talancy agreed, “Nothing can clutter a room faster than an oversized chandelier or an elaborate lighting fixture. When possible, use recessed recessed lighting or consider wall sconces to keep the ceiling clear.
- Choose floating window treatments. Opt for light, airy fabrics on your windows, Maloney suggested, and keep the curtains away from the glass to let in more light. Talancy suggested hanging the curtains as high as possible, almost to the ceiling: “It will create a feeling of height and openness above your windows,” and gauzy linen curtains can almost disappear into a room.
- Hang mirrors. Mirrors can visually trick the mind into believing there is more space and openness in the room, Talancy said. Place mirrors in front of windows to increase natural light, hang them over a mantel or dresser, or place a large floor mirror against the wall.
- Add color with a focal point. Jimenez suggested incorporating color into a home with a focal point such as a sofa or a trendy rug. “Mixing colorful accents with more modern materials like marble can create beautiful juxtapositions of colors and textures and make a space more open,” she said.
- Add vertical patterns. The vertical stripes make everything look tall and skinny and draw the eye to the top, Maloney said. A vertical focal point such as a painting with a linear subject, a chinoiserie panel, or a striped wingback chair can make your room appear larger.
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