In this week’s edition of the BH Blog, we are excited to feature Guest Blogger Kelly Weber, who serves as BH’s director of marketing and training. Kelly’s creativity, profound knowledge of the apartment industry, and eye for aesthetic appeal have made her an expert when it comes to interior design.
Today, she shares some of her thoughts on making the most of your digs – no matter how large or small.
Everyone has a mental picture of their dream “money-is-no object” home – that palatial estate that goes on forever. But for most of us, our living arrangements are slightly more, well, cozy. That doesn’t mean that we can’t still live large though. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can make even the smallest spots feel a bit more spacious.
Tip #1: Think about scale.
Most people think that small spaces need small furniture. But before you fill your humble abode with doll furniture, know that this can actually have the opposite effect. Fewer, larger pieces of furniture can make a space feel more substantial. If you must skimp on size, consider just a single piece of furniture, such as an apartment sized sofa that is slightly shorter than a regular sofa, instead of a whole room full of pint-sized pieces.
Tip #2: Let the outside in.
Avoid heavy window coverings to make a space feel larger. This allows the most natural light to enter the room, and draws your eye beyond the room to the space outside while keeping the room from getting weighted down. If privacy is a concern, there are plenty of blind and shade options that can be closed as needed.
Tip #3: Store it.
Nothing makes a space feel more closed in than clutter, so keep accessories to a minimum and add storage solutions that keep items close at hand but out of sight. Consider pieces that serve double duty like a storage ottoman.
Tip #4: Keep it light.
Dark paint colors, which absorb light instead of reflect it, make spaces feel smaller, so consider adding color through accessories and art instead of on your walls. If you simply can’t live without color, consider a single accent wall instead of painting the entire room.
Tip #5: Brighten the corners.
Just like dark paint, shadows can make a space feel smaller too. Many rooms have one overhead light in the exact center of the room, which means shaded corners that can close in the space. Consider track lighting, directional can lighting, or even a floor lamp to wash some light into these otherwise dark spaces.
Tip #6: Avoid bad break-ups.
Heavy pieces of furniture or accessories that break up your sight line can make a space feel closed in, so consider ways to keep sight lines open. Try a glass-topped coffee table, or armless accent chairs or backless benches for additional seating, and avoid overly tall accent pieces on dining tables, kitchen pass-throughs, etc.
Tip #7: Define your spaces.
Believe it or not, your furniture does not require that you place it up against a wall. Allowing pieces to float in the room can help you define spaces for various uses, like dining, reading or watching TV and can make your space feel more open. “Wow – a dining room, living room AND a study…this place MUST be big.”
Tip #8 – Take a good look around.
You’ve already removed items that block the sight line, now give your eye a reason to look throughout the entire space. Consider a bold accent color and distribute it throughout the space. For example, and some pop to your blue and gray room by adding hints of orange in a lamp on the coffee table, to a piece of art on the opposite wall, in some canisters on the kitchen counter, etc.
Tip # 9 – Have something to look up to.
Don’t forget that the space above your head is still space…consider creating vertical lines that draw your eye up. If you elect to use drapery, buy a longer length and hang them all the way to the ceiling, hang tall, narrow pieces of art, or put a fun light fixture or pop of color on your ceiling.
Tip #10 – Be reflective.
Don’t think 1970’s wall of mirrors in your parents’ dining room, but using reflective surfaces is still one of the best ways to make a space feel larger and brighter. There are some great mirrored pieces on the market today like console and coffee tables, or pick up some mirrored tiles get a little crafty with a mirror-backed bookshelf.
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