Now that spring is here, and the days are getting longer and brighter, most people want to make their homes feel brighter and lighter as well. The winter months might be all about making everything feel cozy and warm, but now is the time to make everything feel open and airy.
But what if you live in a small space? Does that mean you’re doomed to a cave-like atmosphere in your home? Not at all. With a few of these clever tricks, you can make even the smallest home feel bigger and brighter.
Clear the Clutter
The first step to making any space feel bigger is to get rid of the clutter. Clearing out unnecessary items and getting everything organized can have benefits to your mental health as well; studies show that people who live in well-organized spaces have less anxiety and depression and tend to be in better physical health as well. Spend a few hours going through your home and either donating or storing items that you don’t need and paring down the number of items on shelves or tables. Consider investing in items that do double duty; a storage ottoman that doubles as seating, for example, can help clear out the clutter while still being useful.
When trying to make a room look bigger and less cluttered, remember that bigger is better. It might seem counterintuitive, but a few larger-scale pieces will help the room feel larger than multiple smaller pieces. Take stock of the room, and consider replacing multiple smaller pieces of artwork, mirrors, and decorative items with larger items that have more visual impact. Leave plenty of open space between pieces of furniture, and the room will feel much calmer and less cluttered.
And don’t forget to use vertical space, either. Adding a tall bookshelf or installing a TV on the wall instead of perching it on furniture moves the eye upward and creates more open space, helping the room feel larger. (This may be a job for a Houston TV mounting professional!) One designer trick is to hang curtains or drapes a little higher and wider than the windows, which can help the windows appear larger and open up the space.
Think Transparent and Reflective
Using reflective surfaces is one of the oldest interior design tricks in the book to make a room feel bigger and brighter. Add a large mirror to a wall opposite of a window or door to reflect the light and open up the space. But don’t neglect other surfaces; topping tables with mirrored surfaces or adding mirrors to the front of drawers can have a big impact when it comes to the amount of light in the room.
Creating a bright and airy environment also means putting away the heavy winter fabrics and using light, flowy, and transparent fabrics. Replace the heavy drapes with sheer voile curtains, or if you can, no curtains at all. Choose crisp cottons in neutral colors for slipcovers or bedding; if you can’t live without a little pattern, choose subtle floral designs or clean stripes. The more patterns you have in the room, the more cluttered it will feel.
Transparency isn’t only for drapes, either. Clear Lucite furniture is stylish and doesn’t add weight to the room, helping it feel larger. Bent wire furniture is another cool and stylish option. If those materials don’t suit your style, be sure to choose furniture that has legs to help keep the room feeling open. It’s a little thing, but when your chairs and sofa are even just a few inches off the floor, it helps create the illusion of more space and an airier feeling. Pulling the furniture away from the walls can also help achieve this effect.
Finally, if it’s in the budget, consider replacing cabinet doors with glass, or adding glass to interior doors. Glass helps create depth and the illusion of more space and allows more light into the room.
When a room has too many colors, the eye doesn’t know where to land, creating a chaotic and busy feeling. To avoid that, stick to monochromatic color schemes, preferably in neutral or light shades. White is the most classic option for this look, but shades of light blue, green, or tan can also make your home feel bigger, brighter and ready for summer.
If you don’t know where to start with a project, or need help along the way, enlist the help of a professional. No matter where you live you will find reputable pros when you look in the right places. In the Rochester and Finger Lakes Region of New York, look to www.FindTheHomePros.com.