Homes come in all shapes and sizes, from simple studio apartments with a pull-down bed, to grand Victorian mansions, with bedrooms and public rooms to spare. No matter the size or style of your home, we generally want it to feel as airy and open as possible, with a real sense of space. This is hardly an issue if you are fortunate enough to own a palatial Victorian mansion, but when you own something smaller it is important to come up with some good ideas to make what limited space you have available seem that bit greater.
One intriguing idea which is worth using when dealing with a cramped, confined space is to think of a yacht or even a jet, in which everything is super-stylish, yet compact and functional, and then apply those ideas to your own project. After all, the designers of those luxury yachts moored in the South of France or off the Costa Esmeralda do not let the lack of space interfere with their design approach!
In a small space a minimalist design and monochrome colour palette, perhaps with the addition of a bold accent colour, makes it easier to avoid the impression of clutter. Anything which reflects light is also helpful, so mirrors and glass - as well as mirrored furniture - often work well in smaller spaces. You should try to find multifunctional pieces of furniture, such as stacking chairs or coffee tables which will open up space when they are not in use, as well chests or boxes which can serve as both a side table or coffee table as well as a storage solution all rolled into one. Having said that, it is much better to pick a few pieces of full-size furniture, rather than filling your living space up with doll's house pieces.
As for lighting, you should try to avoid overhead lights as they are a little too stark. Recessed lights or spotlights are often a good solution, as they enable you to direct lighting exactly where you want it. Subtle lighting either in the form of wall or table lamps, or even scented candles are ideal. Try some of the luxury candles you can find from companies like True Grace candles or Yankee candles.
When you are trying to decide on the colour scheme for the smaller home, the main thing to bear in mind is to avoid dark shades, as they have a tendency to draw the walls in. It is much better to keep to light neutral shades to help bounce the light around your living space and open the area up. You should paint ceilings in a similar colour so as to give the illusion of as much space as possible. Another simple, almost obvious, tip for decorating a confined space is to dress the windows with either blinds or shutters, rather than curtains, because this will help free up some much-needed floor space.
And if you find the overall effect is still a little cramped you could always remove doors in public areas, which again will give the illusion of a greater flow of space around your home. So there you have it - several easy-to-implement tips to maximise the appearance of light and space in the smaller home, without costing the earth.
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