When building, renovating, or simply preparing to sell your home, size does matter. Small rooms, minimal light or limited square footage can all be given easy aesthetic makeovers without diving head-first into more serious (and costly) structural changes.
There are some clever tricks that you can do to brighten up a living area, elongate a corridor, or simply expand the feel of a bedroom – it’s all about creating an illusion.
Think vertical! When walking into a room you want to draw focus upwards and get the feeling that space is abundant between the floor and ceiling. A great way to do this is to add a tall bookshelf that hooks your eye to the top and gives you vertical lines to gauge the height off. Opt for an open shelf style but be careful not to over-clutter it.
Another way to generate height is by hanging wall-length curtains. If going down this route, just be mindful to stick to soft, neutral colours (avoid prints unless it’s a subtle vertical stripe). Note: if your space has blinds, keep these simple – again neutral colours and a simple style that blends in to take up less ‘visual’ space.
Creative Home Furnishings have a great, Canadian-made selection of bookcase styles and colours.
Narrower living areas or hallways can often feel enclosed, so here’s where we consider expansion tactics to alter how we interpret them. A mirror isn’t only a girl’s best friend. In fact, a strategically placed mirror provides reflection, which allows the space you’re in to broaden out further than it actually does. In this case, we recommend hanging a larger mirror to take advantage of as much ‘free’ space as you can. Take a trip to your local antique store to find unique pieces that can hit new décor notes too.
If it’s a mirror you want, then it’s a Crate & Barrel mirror you can get!
If you do have a skinny room that you’d like to feel bigger, adding a feature art piece or wall-hanging at the far end will guide your eye down the full length of the space, alluding to more of an elongated area. Keep this wall accent simple and go for complementary colours where you can. Remove any objects that block a clear sightline or traffic flow (no one likes a bonked knee).
Let your light shine! Be it natural or artificial, a room with light makes the space airy, fresh and welcoming. Windows and French doors are an ideal way to create an indoor-outdoor flow and draw in loads of daylight, so concentrating attention on these takes the focus off being within just four walls. However, if your space hasn’t been built with these illuminating power-plays, make your own!
When it comes to choosing lighting fixtures for your home, keep in mind that you still want to avoid cluttering for the sake of decorating. As mentioned earlier, think vertical. Hanging pendant lighting or vertical wall sconces are two creative ways to incorporate brightness without taking up floor space. Again, keep the colour scheme of these neutral and minimalistic.
Check out these oak pendant lights from EQ3, who are proud to take a uniquely Canadian approach to design.
Some homes have been blessed with ample storage fixtures but that doesn’t mean you need to keep plastic storage tubs stacked in a corner. Feature pieces such as your tall bookshelf with cupboards at the bottom, coffee tables with hidden drawers or even sneaky ottomans with a lid can do the trick!
Wayfair has identified this trick to utilize furniture – take a peek at these space-saving ottomans and get one shipped straight to your door.
If reducing the amount of furniture in the room is a must, floating shelves are a fantastic idea to not only store your books or framed photos but also create another level of height.
Big or small? Pop of colour or neutral tone? One of the biggest considerations where size does matter is what to fill your space with.
Look at furniture that has holes in it. Not holes where the dog’s bitten out a chunk, but chairs that feature arm framing (giving a ‘see-through’ feel), or transparent kitchen stools. Items that unblock a view can help give a feeling of expanse while avoiding a heavy, clunky vibe.
CB2 have a beautiful range of framed chairs to consider or give your kitchen a stylish look with these clear bar stools from The Home Depot. Note: When maximizing the size of a space, it’s best to keep furniture to a minimum – less is always more! Check that your statement furniture pieces aren’t jammed between two walls (think ‘white space’), or that your pieces aren’t overkill.
Hoarders beware. Remove those bitsy table-top garnishes and ornamental trinkets and instead replace them with a large glass vase. If you are wanting to add embellishments, consider light coloured or stone features (bowls or vases) or items with a light wood or wicker look. Remove unnecessary animal print pillows and geometrical throw rugs and keep indoor plants simple. If you have wooden floorboards, leave them bare to showcase their natural beauty, otherwise find an area rug that allows your eye to visualize a larger space being covered, rather than small, individual mats.
Our top suggestions to make your spaces look bigger are to de-clutter, brighten up and choose options that trick the eye to suit that area. Making small changes doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, just stick to the basics and work with what you have.
Selling Your Havn?
If you’re not necessarily wanting to invest in new furniture pre-sale, you can always call upon a staging specialist like Whistler Staging Co. to work with you and help curate an alluring space for your homes next owner. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our leading industry experts!
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