"Does size really matter"?
In the case of design, decor and DIY, we are going to always stand by the answer of YES!
If you have a small space you know there have been numerous times you have wished for more space. If you have too much space (if there is such a thing) you know you have probably wished you had a smaller space, especially when cleaning the house.
No matter your square footage, there are ways to maximize your space, and minimize your cost to do so. Since some of you have asked, I'm going to give you my top 6 ways to maximize whatever room you wish you had more square footage in, without knocking out a wall, or raising the roof.
Some of these are easier to do in some rooms depending on your layout and your built-ins, but these are things you can do today and get the most out of your space.
1. Vertical ambiance. Without moving your ceiling higher, you arent going to get a taller room, HOWEVER that doesn't mean you can't acheive the illusion that your ceilings are higher than they really are.
Just as wearing certain clothes will elongate your figure, you want to do the same with the design and layout of your room. Sure other blogs and sites will tell you paint vertical stripes on your wall, that will make it seem taller. While that will do the trick, what happens if you don't like stripes, or you don't want to paint at all?
Don't go for the standard curtain length and height. I want you to take your curtain rod and hang it about 6 - 12 inches above the top of your window. I know it sounds crazy, but let me explain. Having longer curtains will draw the eye up and higher tricking your mind into thinking the window area is larger and taller than it actually is. Then allow that material to hang and graze the floor, continuing that visual line down to theground. No one likes a man in high-waters, so don't allow your curtains to wear them either. Having material go the full length of the window will continue that long line in sight from higher above the window to the ground rather than breaking the line stopping short, preparing for that flood.
DESIGNER TIP: Did you know puddling originally came from royalty? It was a sign to show you had enough money to purchase so much material and textiles that some could just even be lying down on the ground.
2. Leary of Low Lighting. If anything is hanging low in the room, its going to make your vertical ambiance seem heavy and interrupt the height your are trying to achieve.
Just as you may have a pair of awesome earrings you like to wear but with a certain outfit, they may be too chunky or hang too low, the same is true for lighting. Opt for more flush mounted (recessed) style of lighting if you are in a smaller space, or move hanging lights out of the center of the room and anchor them more towards a non traffic area like a corner for accent lighting.
3. Chunky and clunky are OK in moderation. It may seem counterintuitive to put a LARGE couch in a living room that you are trying to open up and get more space, but that isn't totally true. If you have some space to play with (and we are trying to create even more) going for a large piece of furniture can actually serve as a focal point for the room and take up some space, leaving room for other smaller seating options.
Don't go overboard and get a couch that will only give you a perimeter of 1 foot to move around in your room, but a large piece of furniture can actually elongate, or heighten a space. The key to making this work is to get creative around that item keeping things smaller in size and allowing that one large item to be the focal point.
DEISGNER TIP: This works for a bed, tall high back chairs and other items in your room. Place the items you want focused on towards the center of the room and build around that, maximizing your space.
4. Color consistency. Most people decide to leave their ceilings and trim white and paint their walls a different color. Opting for something similar for all 3 will help the eye flow seamlessly all around the room, without interruption.
Thing about your walls as a dress or suit. Now think about it with your shoes or handbag. If you go with something more monochromatic (all one color, or same color family) they seem to flow together a little more smoothly. If you have a print that is mostly solid but patterned in one area, or a tie that is a bright piece against a dark suit the eye is immediately drawn toward that area.
The same is true with paint. Your walls when broken up with white trim, or a colored ceiling are going to notice the contrast (difference) in the areas and be more subconsciously fixated on them. If your walls blend into your trim and then into your ceiling, the illusion of a larger space will be created. Opt for the same color in slightly varying shades.
DESIGNER TIP: If you have a small room with a hallway leading into it, tie in your space to that entryway to make the room feel larger and as though the two flow together. Another way you are making your room seem larger than it really is!
BUYER TIP: This also helps you with limiting the amount of different color paints you need to buy, ultimately saving you more money. Just remember which paint finish to choose on which rooms as detailed here.
5. Oversized is the right size. Designers will often stick an oversized mirror in a space to reflect more light and allow the reflection in the mirror to make it seem like there is more depth to the room than the square footage actually allows. But don't just grab any mirror and stick it on the wall.
An architectural-style mirror will make a bigger statement and can create the impression that there is a window or door in a space that would normally wouldn't be used. use your vertical real estate as much as you can when trying to maximize your space. Mount your TV, get things up and off the floor so that your room is more spacious.
5. No place but UP from here. Getting things off of the floor will make any space feel larger. When selecting furniture go for those pieces that have raised legs, and aren't flush to the ground. Those will make any space feel heavier and more dense. Items with raised legs and open bottoms keep a room open and heightened.
DESIGNER TIP: If you love a low sitting couch or bed, consider adding casters, legs, or standings to the bottom. You don't have to sacrifice style for function. BOTH can exist, especially in the design world!
We look forward to helping you decide things when it comes to maximizing your space in any room. Let us know how we can help and send us your before and afters to be featured on the site!