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You can love your home and still admit that it’s a little bit on the snug side. You might notice it when you have a group of friends over and the room feels cramped with both guests and furniture inside. Or perhaps you’re simply running out of space to store your books, knick-knacks and household supplies.
Try as you might, the one limiting factor when it comes to your house is the floor plan, unless you’re willing to make some serious renovations. Before you get to that point, it’s worth exploring: how can you make your small living space feel larger without gutting it or starting from scratch?
Here are four ways to make a small space feel (and look) roomier without resorting to drastic measures:
Sometimes the tendency with snug spaces is to group furniture in a close-knit cluster and try to pack in as much possible. Avoid this impulse. Though it’s counterintuitive, it’s better to spread out and use any and all available open space to your aesthetic advantage.
Minimalism as a design theory believes that less is more. Even if you don’t want your living space to appear empty or look like a magazine photo shoot (only good for pictures, not for living), you can borrow a few key concepts from this school of thought. Trying to pack too much into your small room makes it shrink; don’t forget to incorporate open spaces, clean lines and simplicity in your design scheme.
Add a Mirror
Adding an oversized mirror to a small room can help reflect light and make it look larger than it actually is. Sure, it’s an illusion of sorts, but it helps add a feeling of airiness and space to an environment. During the day, you’ll have ramped up natural lighting to look forward to. And at night, the mirror can reflect strategically placed lighting for a cozy-yet-expanded feeling.
Use Built-In Shelving
Wall space is valuable real estate in any undersized room. If you’re currently just using it to hang a few art prints, then it’s almost certainly underutilized. Built-in shelves are a great way to cut down on clutter and make a room feel larger-than-life.
You can opt for open shelves that display your objects to the world, or shelves with covers that conceal exactly how much the walls are hiding. Either way, you just bought yourself some additional space in the room.
Raise the Lights
If your room is on the small side to begin with, the last thing you want is a low-hanging light fixture cutting into your airspace. Guests will instinctually duck underneath it because it makes the ceiling seem so much lower. Just like when it comes to built-in shelves, you want your lighting solutions to remain unobtrusive around the borders of the room.
Flush mount lighting looks sleek, but more importantly, sits right against the ceiling for a space-conscious way to cast light from above. It doesn’t require the same level of drilling and fitting that recessed lighting does, but it doesn’t hang down into your space like pendant lighting and chandeliers do. It also doesn’t require any additional floor or table space like a traditional lamp does. It’s a smart solution for a snug room that doesn’t skimp on brightness or outward appearance.
You don’t have to dramatically knock out a wall to make your living space feel larger than it really is. By employing these relatively simply home design tricks, you can make the absolute most of the walls and floor space that you already have. All you need is a mirror, some strategic built-in shelving and a few flush mount fixtures to get started.