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While the average square footage of the American home has increased in the last century, this isn’t the story for every homeowner. In urban areas, dwellings have been shrinking as available space surrounding them is taken up by shopping complexes and parking garages. Living in tight quarters doesn’t have to feel or look cramped, however.
Choose Light Colors
The easiest way to make a space appear larger is to have a light color palette. The color palette of a room includes the flooring, wall coverings, and even the furniture. Colors such as white, light beige, and muted pastels allow the eye to flow easily across the room. This flow makes the space appear bigger to the naked eye.
Vaulted ceilings are extremely popular for the way they draw the eye upward and increase the available air space in a room. Not everyone has, or can modify their home to have, vaulted ceilings. A simple way to make ceilings appear taller is to paint them white or a very light blue. Darkly painted or decoratively tiled ceilings make a room appear squatty. Updating them to be light and airy will trick your guests into thinking that you’ve raised the ceiling.
Your furniture’s coloring could also be causing your room to shrink. Bold and dark colors attract a viewer’s eye, eclipsing the rest of the room. All anyone can see when they walk into your den is the eggplant-colored chaise. Instead, invest in pieces of furniture that are lighter in color and add accents around the room, such as an eggplant-colored throw pillow.
Cramming many things into a small space will make it appear and feel smaller. If you’re feeling claustrophobic in your environment, consider culling some of your possessions. This could include getting rid of or donating items that no longer serve you or investing in a storage facility for larger items that you don’t need at this very moment.
Perhaps you don’t need to get rid of anything but you need to organize the things you do have. Buying more furniture may seem in opposition to the goal of reducing clutter but proper storage is essential to making a home appear tidy, thus making it seem larger.
When you don’t want to invest in new furniture, you can scour online marketplaces and secondhand stores for pieces that serve the function you need. Making these new-to-you pieces of furniture match your current furniture could be as simple as a coat of paint or stain.
Rearrange Your Life
Consider the layout of your furniture. Are all of the pieces serving their full function? Items that don’t serve their full function could be the treadmill you have folded up in the corner because there’s no space for it or that entryway table you bought that you never use because you always keep your keys in the kitchen.
Could you rearrange these items to better serve you? Maybe the entryway table could go by the back door since it’s the most common form of entry for your family. Perhaps the treadmill could go in the office where you have hardly any furniture. Now you’ve freed up space in your living room, making it appear much larger.