Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Small Space Solutions for Every Room (Part I)


Rent to We cannot reiterate it enough, small is beautiful! Find out more stylish decorating tips for your small homes.
Use Windows to Enlarge a Small Room
Windows can be a strong tool in visually enlarging a small room because your eye moves beyond the wall to the outdoor view and embraces it as part of your living space. Take advantage of this liberating effect by leaving windows bare, or dress windows with draperies that match the color of the walls to eliminate boundaries and open the space. For privacy, install simple shades or blinds that can be pulled out of the way during the day. In addition, to make windows seem taller, hang draperies just below the ceiling; to widen windows visually, extend draperies beyond the window frame.
Design Small Rooms to Multitask
If your house is too small to meet all your needs, gear spaces for double duty. A daybed anchors this living room by mimicking the look of a trendy, extra-deep designer sofa -- and scores space for guests to sleep. Look for a daybed with a solid back for all-day lounging support. Cap off the ends with a pair of bolster pillows to imitate the rolled arms of a sofa. Two small tables work together as a larger coffee table but move aside easily to give guests more space. 
Keep a Small Room White & Light
It's an age-old decorating adage: light colorsopen up a room, while dark colors keep a space cozy. To give your room the illusion of spaciousness, bathe it in white. White surfaces bounce light around the room, keeping a small space feeling bright and open. In this petiteliving room, the white walls, draperies, furniture, and accessories allow the eye to roam freely over surfaces, stopping only at points of contrast -- the wood floors and rattan coffee table. These dark accents anchor the space without constricting it.
Let Colored Walls Expand a Small Room
Rather than using white walls as a backdrop for colorful accents, try the opposite effect. The green wall color here connects the room to the scenery and spaciousness outside, while white furnishings, white accessories, and white-painted architecture keep the room open and bright. A handful of green accents tie it all together.
Make Small Rooms Feel Taller
Increase the apparent height of the room with vertical lines that lead the eye from floor to ceiling. A seemingly higher ceiling adds breathing space, particularly if the walls are also painted a soft, receding color. The four-poster in this bedroom pulls all eyes toward the ceiling, while sheer fabric panels cocoon the headboard in softness without adding visual weight. Mounting draperies at ceiling height around a window achieves the same effect by drawing the longest possible vertical line. For a similar effect, hang a collection of artwork on a wall that is arranged toward ceiling. Add crown molding around the perimeter of a room, or add architectural molding on the ceiling and an intricate medallion around a light fixture to enhance the details overhead.
Add Mirrors to Small Spaces
Hang a large mirror with a decorative frame (or prop it against a wall) to create the illusion of depth in a small room. Even small mirrors expand the sense of space by reflecting views and light, but an oversize mirror like this one has a dramatic effect because it reflects a large chunk of the room.
Use Fewer Colors in a Small Room
When it comes to small spaces, too manycolors can be chaotic. Select a few and stick with them. In this family room, the white coffee table, rug, and bookshelf wall unify the room, while a dark sectional frames one end of the space. Then, a few colorful accent pieces, such as pillows and decorative accessories on the shelves, add personality. Blue, with an occasional pop of pink, is repeated for consistency.
Limit Pattern in a Small Room
When decorating a small room, let texture andcolor guide your fabric choices. Introducing too many patterns in tight quarters will create confusion. In this bedroom, a little bit of pattern, on the headboard and the window valances, goes a long way. The pattern's brown and white hues are repeated in large, solid spans on the walls and bed to balance the busy pattern. And textured upholstery and accessories, such as throws and pillows, add subtle visual interest. Painting the single wall a dark color also creates the illusion of depth in the room.
Float Furniture in a Small Room
Create a sense of movement and make a room feel larger by floating big furnishings away fromwalls. Allowing air space between the wall and seating pieces gives the impression of depth and more room. This trick works whether your furniture is lean and spare or overstuffed and upholstered.
Downplay Contrast in a Small Space
Architectural focal points can make a small space feel choppy by causing the eye to stop and focus in on that area. By painting the brick fireplace white in this compact sitting area, the fireplace stopped distracting from the room and now the wall nearly disappears into the neighboring bank of windows. The cohesivecolor of the wall and architectural focal point blends with the primarily white furniture to make the area feel open and spacious.
Let Small Rooms Breath

Accessories make every room personable, but filling a small room to the brim will steal space both visually and literally. A handful of well-chosen and well-placed accessories is all it takes to give a small living room a layer of sophistication. To avoid a cluttered look, take advantage of natural display spots, such as the coffee table, end tables, and the fireplace, accenting them with a handful of thoughtful items. If you spread accessories throughout the room, keep the walls simple and quiet to focus attention on the objects. Likewise, if you want the eye to focus on the shapes and textures of accessories, keep their colorsneutral or monochromatic.

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