Feeling claustrophobic? Living in cramped spaces tends to cause feelings of stress and discomfort in an atmosphere where people should feel the most relaxed. With climbing real estate prices, people want to make the most of every square foot. Gone are the days of cramped space and clutter! More often than ever, people are adopting a minimalist and functional style of décor. We want more space and order without sacrificing style. Aside from expensive and extensive remodeling, there are more practical alternatives to give the illusion of more space. Of course, no actual space will be added, but these techniques will make any area appear more spacious.
Clutter is the biggest and most obvious offense. Start with the non-essentials and items that you probably have not used or thought about in months or years! You can also start to consolidate items or move them into storage if you are not quite ready to let go. Once something is out of sight and unused for months, you will realize you do not need it and it will be easier to part with. Often times, this initial step can be overwhelming so take your time with this.
Once you have simplified your space, there are a few tricks that can make the room appear more open. Lighting plays a major role in the way a room feels and looks. The current trend is to let natural light in and open the view to the outside scenery. If your room has windows, consider the type of blinds you might have. Plantation shutters offer you privacy when needed, but unlike conventional blinds- they allow in more natural light. They also expand the view to the outside, which makes a room feel more open. Generally, curtains and drapes can make a room feel smaller, but if you must have them, choose a light and sheer fabric that reflects light. Also, keeping fan and lamp lights reasonably and comfortably bright so that there are no areas hidden in shadow.
Color is a critical component for opening up a living space. Color schemes are all about optical illusions. Think light and bright and a few pop of color contrasts. Light colors are reflective and will be enhanced by the natural light coming in. It is been shown that color influences mood and ambiance, so you want to pick a scheme that makes the room feel comfortable and inviting such as creams and soft tones of blue. You can also play with a graduation of shading color on opposing walls to visually lengthen a room.
Finally, you can use furniture to maximize space. Look for pieces that double in function: sofas that are made with hidden compartments for storage and coffee tables that can fold and expand or double up as a bookcase. Size is another important factor when shopping for furniture. You do not want grand, oversized furniture in a smaller space. Avoid excessively tall furniture as it could make the ceiling feel lower than it is. Adding a mirror also gives the illusion of increased space and depth in a room. These are just a few, budget-friendly ways to create practical spaciousness in any room but most importantly, do not forget to add your own unique style.