Get the Most From Your Square Footage: Opening up Small Spaces
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Posted by  in Homeowner Tips

We all know the frustration of living in a space that’s just a tad too small. From first apartment to college dorm, the struggle is the same. But a space with limited square footage doesn’t have to feel like a dungeon. With some thoughtful preparation and interior design knowhow, even the smallest of spaces can feel comfortable.

Try these simple techniques to open up your small space.

Stick With Light Colors

light_colors_spacious_roomPhoto by JJ Locations

By painting with lighter colors, the walls of your space become less noticeable, creating an optical illusion. Also, lighter colors reflect more light than darker colors; keeping a room well-lit is crucial to making it feel spacious.

A combination of white and very light blue or green accent paint works best. To increase the illusion, paint the trim of your room in white, and paint the walls themselves with your accent color. The contrast of the trim will cause the walls of your room to seem further back, opening up the room even more.

Place Mirrors Strategically

Designers use this trick every day. Use one or two mirrors in a small room to reflect light and distract from confining walls. If you plan to use more than one mirror, point each of them in the same direction. Throw in a mirrored desk or coffee table to increase the effect.

Get Organized

organized_roomPhoto by Nicolas Boullosa

Nothing makes a room feel more stuffy and claustrophobic than clutter. Get organized and stash away items that don’t absolutely need to be left out. Stores like Target and Ikea have a multitude of clever storage products to cut clutter. Once your room is clean, organized, and uncluttered, it’s sure to feel far roomier.

Light it up

bright_room_natural_lightPhoto by

Bright light, both natural and artificial, is especially important for opening up small spaces. That’s why reflective surfaces, such as lightly painted walls and mirrors, work so well in small rooms, but you still have to have a source for them to reflect. Make sure your blinds allow plenty of light into your space, and leave them entirely open when possible.

If you don’t have access to natural light, use lamps with soft incandescent bulbs to replace the light you’re missing (fluorescent lighting can be harsh and unpleasant). One or two lamps in conjunction with lightly colored walls and mirrors can still do wonders for a small space.

Adapt to Your Space

Use your own style and interior design preferences to adapt these tips to your living space, and don’t let your limited square footage get you down. A little natural light, some carefully placed mirrors, and strategic painting can transform your space from confining to comfortable with ease.