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Living Large: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Small Spaces

Stumped by a small living room or discouraged by a too-tight dining room? Here are five easy ways to make your spaces look, feel, and live large.

1. Look Beyond the Box

As a first step, stand in the middle of the room and look beyond the walls to the hallways and other connecting spaces. If you have any doors that aren’t necessary, remove them to create a longer vista and better flow. If you need the doors for temperature or sound control, consider replacing them with glass-paned French doors to allow more light into the room. Hang a piece of art in the hallway to draw the eye out of the space and make it feel more expansive.

2. Paint Like a Designer

Of all the tricks of the interior design trade, paint is the easiest and most cost-effective way to transform a room. In general, dark colors make rooms feel smaller and more cozy while light colors such as white, ivory, pale gray, and pale blue make them feel larger and more open. If your woodwork, window trim, and ceiling moldings are a different color than the walls, consider painting everything in the same cool palette for a calming, seamless look. For a splash of glamour, paint the ceiling pale gold or silver metallic to draw the eye upwards and reflect the light.

3. Think Big

Once you’ve created a serene, quiet backdrop, it’s time to think big. Instead of filling your room with a collection of small furniture, which can make it feel cluttered, choose a few clean-lined, large-scaled pieces. Look for tables, chairs, and other pieces made of glass or crystal-clear plastic that disappear in the room. Instead of placing beds, sofas, and other large pieces directly against the wall, let them float six to eight inches from the wall. If you watch TV in the bedroom, display it on a wall or splurge on a mirrored TV. If you don’t need a TV, hang an oversized mirror across from a window to reflect the incoming light and make the room feel bigger.

4. Make Your Spaces Do Double Duty

Even if you’re short on rooms, it’s easy to increase the functionality of your home. If you have a dining room but no home office, use the table as a desk. Find an armoire at a consignment or thrift store and lacquer it glossy white or pale gray and fill it with your office supplies, dishes, and linens. If you have a living room but limited closet space, find an ottoman that serves as a coffee table, extra seating, and storage for blankets and other seasonal items. If you have a guest room but no workout room, consider replacing the bed with a Murphy bed that folds up into the wall to create floor space for yoga and other fitness routines.

5. Treat Your Windows Right

Especially in small rooms, window treatments should be as simple as possible. For a streamlined look, choose painted wooden or fabric blinds in a light color and fit them within the window frame. If you prefer curtains, choose a simple, non-patterned fabric such as canvas, linen, or velvet. Place the curtain rods just below the moldings and make sure the panels are long enough to reach the floor. This will draw the eye upwards, making the room feel loftier and lighter.

The experts at Cambria® Mortgage™ are always available to provide advice and guidance and answer questions about home ownership. For more information, visit CambriaMortgage.com or call 952-942-0110.