A house is one of the biggest investments most people will make in their lives.  With the cost of housing and the cost of maintaining a house going up, young and old are looking for smaller house to buy.  Even though there is less square footage, a well-planned home doesn’t have to feel small.  Here are some tips on making small spaces feel large.

Natural Light

Let in the light.  Windows not only fill a space with light but also allows one to view the landscape beyond the room expanding the feel of the chamber to outside its physical walls.  Light colored walls and floors reflect the light and keep it bouncing around the room adding depth.  Get rid of window treatments.  Large valances and heavy curtains take up space and block light.  Go without window treatment or add only light, airy sheers or translucent shades for privacy.

Furniture

The furniture selected for a room has to be more thoughtful for smaller spaces.  Multi-functional pieces can help keep things neat and orderly.  An ottoman that stores blankets or magazines or an entertainment center that has bookshelves can supply additional storage space.  One large sectional couch may give equivalent seating than several smaller pieces and take up less space.  Accent tables made with glass become invisible in a room but add function.  In the dining area, use tables with folding leaves, so the area looks larger during non-mealtimes.

Another tip:  Keep some space between the furniture and the walls.  This tip sounds counterintuitive, but not having all the furniture pushed up against the walls in a room gives the feeling of more space.

Color

Colors can have a dramatic effect on how a large space feels.  Now the color-style chosen depends on natural light, floor color, ceiling height, and trim.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with color in a room; paint is one of the cheapest ways to change a room.  Don’t like it?  Repaint.

Here are a few tips on things to try.  Low ceilings?  Use a light color to “lift” the ceiling and make it feel high.  High ceilings?  Use a dark color to “bring the ceiling down” to create a cozier feel.  Have lots of natural light?  Go ahead and use darker colors on the walls the light helps keep it from looking dreary.  Have lots of trim and molding?  Paint walls, trims, and moldings all the same color to make the walls look taller, without removing the texture.  Dark floors, furniture & windows?  Use a soft neutral color (i.e., beige, gray, off-white) and paint the walls and ceiling the same color giving a neutral palette for the contrasting dark elements in the room.

Clutter

Having lots of clutter in a room can make it feel tiny and messy.  Instead of having lots of small items scattered around the room, have a few larger pieces to accent color or shape.  For multiple smaller items, organize them by color and height giving them structure and turning them from clutter into a display.

Making a house a home is the goal.  A small house doesn’t have to feel like a closet, and even the smallest homes can have plenty of storage.  Take the time to plan, and the results will be a lovely house that doesn’t feel cramped at all.

Check out the small homes in The Tapestry, a age-targeted community in Garner, NC.