7 Proven Ways to Make Your Cozy Home Feel Bigger

With the plunging values of real estate and the difficult economy, downsizing may be the best option for a homeowner. Whether you are a couple with a recently empty nest or a young single looking for something modest, there are many advantages to living in a smaller home. But your home doesn’t have to feel small and confining. Square footage is just a number; you have the tools to turn a humble apartment or bungalow into a spacious home. Several changes can be made to make a home feel less cramped without altering the physical structure of a home, or an easy renovation can be made without tearing into your budget. Regardless of the amount of space you have, making the most of it is of prime importance. If you take measures to make a room look more expansive, the eye can be tricked. Having a spacious room is comfortable, and can be achieved by an understanding of which elements help to enlarge a room.

  1. Use Mirrors

    Hang mirrors in moderation, as too many mirrors can lead to a major decorating faux-pas. But by placing mirrors strategically in a room, you can trick the eye into thinking the space recedes. This creates depth in close quarters. Mirrors also reflect light, brightening up a dark dwelling. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors can increase height, while lengthwise mirrors above fireplaces visually double the room.

  2. Paint in Cool Tones and Light Shades

    Using the correct paint colors can make a world of difference for perceived space in a home. Dark walls can make a room feel small and cold. Likewise, warm tones pull space forward while cool tones push space back. When painted in paler, cooler colors, a room will open up entirely. Create the illusion of high ceilings by painting both the wall and the ceiling the same color. The uninterrupted line will push the boundaries of the ceiling such that it appears as though the ceiling is endless. Alternatively, you can paint one wall dark and warm and another bright and cool for a visual push-and-pull dynamic.

  3. Use Multi-purpose Furniture

    Embrace Ikea, for its practical, multifunctional aesthetic. A bookshelf that also nests your flat-screen television, DVD collection, and framed photographs will allow for more open space than individual shelves and side tables. Use an ottoman-style coffee table that doubles as storage for blankets and throw pillows. Multi-use furniture reduces clutter and thus generates space in an otherwise tight confinement.

  4. Arrange for Space

    There’s some merit to a room’s feng shui in the utilization of space. Arrange any furniture with an obvious front and back side against the walls, leaving as much space in the center of the room as possible. A coffee table in the center of the room is low enough that it won’t eat up all the available space, while bulkier furniture can be organized around it. Be sure not to back a chair up against a window, as the light from the window aids in creating space.

  5. Combine Living Spaces

    If you have the means to knock down a wall or two, getting rid of that divider between your kitchen and living room will open up the house to an entirely new dimension. Reducing barriers creates a more seamless flow. It is more inviting and open. In many cases, these are unnecessary partitions, robbing a home of perfectly usable space.

  6. Use Clear Furniture

    A glass coffee table or nightstand will give the impression of vacant space. These are functional items you can use without adding a chunky piece to the room that visually obscures the floor.

  7. Get Rid of the Mess

    The easiest, most obvious solution to making a home appear open and large is keeping it as clean as possible. Don’t let your loose change and receipts collect on the counter. Don’t leave mail on the coffee table or kick off your shoes in the laundry room. A small space will get dirty quicker than a large one, accumulating clutter at a faster rate. Simplicity helps you concentrate and creates serenity in a space.

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