Making Small Rooms Feel Big

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Goooood Moorrrrning readers!  Ok, I’ve wanted to do that ever since I saw “Good Morning Vietnam”.   Great movie with Robin Williams, and yes, I’m giving away my age a bit but if you haven’t yet figured out I’m not a twenty or thirtysomething, I love you!

So, let’s talk about the “big-ness of small”.  If you read design magazines at all and House Beautiful in particular, you’ll see that this month’s focus is on small spaces feeling big.  Check it out- it’s got some yummy colors and fun spaces.  Some things you might not think about when considering how to work out that small space.    According to a survey of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) home sizes and lots are shrinking.  41% of the architects polled say that even upper-end homes are getting smaller.  So here are some things to think about when you’re working with a small space- be it a home or just a room:

pink-walled room with white ceiling, crystal chandelier, 2 small chairs and small settee, mirror over black marble fireplace,

Elegant Small Room- courtesy of House Beautiful

  • Pare down your stuff- really do we need all the stuff we have?
  • Make pieces do double-duty, like end tables that store files, book cases that can function as console tables, skirted tables with shelves underneath for a little bit of extra storage.
  • Big furniture isn’t necessarily a no-no.  You just have to have a lot less of it.  A large sofa in a small room is great if the chairs are small in scale.  If all the pieces are large it looks claustrophobic, not to mention silly.
  • Consider bold color and patterns.  Deep wall colors can make the room feel cozy.  Bold patterns in a small powder room can make it fun.
    Large yellow and white-striped wallpaper in small bathroom with white pedestal sink

    Large pattern- small room, courtesy of House Beautiful

  • Accessories- again important but don’t overdo.  Otherwise the visual clutter can make a room seem smaller.
  • Use vertical space if your room is small, like bookcases and shelves on the wall.
  • If you’re planning a re-model or new home think about more open spaces- rooms flowing together.

I actually like smaller homes ( and small rooms if done right).  Overall, they make us feel safe and protected.  Think about it- who didn’t enjoy being in a little club house or tree house as a kid?  Even if you made it out of a large cardboard box, it felt cozy.  I also like them because they’re less upkeep and encourage me to choose my “stuff” wisely, not to mention exercising my creative skill in storing what I do have…..ask my husband about that!

In short (pun intended) small doesn’t have to be a drawback.  Just make it “big” on style!  By the way, all pictures are from the House Beautiful Photo Gallery.  Check out www.housebeautiful.com!

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