One major problem that owners and renters alike face is making a room look larger when the square footage or design won’t allow it. Bathrooms, kitchens, and even some living spaces all have the same need of being larger than they necessarily are. People tend to want more space and feel more comfortable and happy when they do. Here are several ways that you can increase the space of a room by just changing certain aspects, some large and some small, of a room. While some of these tricks can only be performed by a remodel, there are several that both renters and owners can complete. Today, we will look at how to make living areas larger as they are the primary spaces in which people spend their time.
If you own your home, you can change the direction of the flooring. When upgrading to hardwood or to laminate, have the panels aligned on a diagonal of the room. The longest line of any room is it’s diagonal and by focusing the line of sight along this axis, it makes the viewer fell that the room is larger still. While it is a trick of the eye which can only be done if you own your property, there are other ways to do so as a renter. Use furniture or a rug to match the diagonal as you would with flooring. By having a low sitting piece of furniture or a rug accentuate this same line of sight, The effect will be more noticeable, but as a design aesthetic works in the same manner.
Furniture is the biggest, both in fact and metaphor, hindrance to the feeling of size in your living areas. Use furniture that has multiple functions, such as window seats with storage, beds with drawers, and extendable dining room pieces to give each piece as many uses as possible. Also, keep larger pieces against walls and away from the center of rooms. The designer Christopher Lowell used to say “a person only needs 18 inches to move”. While that may be true for him, I personally like a bit more space when I’m walking and so keeping pathways clear is necessary.
The height of a room greatly impacts the perceived space. Avoid buying tall furniture, especially if you have lower ceilings. The taller a couch is, the shorter your room looks. Keep low, functional, and sleek pieces to make the room look taller and longer. If your furniture has sleek edges and is kept at good angles of sight, your room will expand in the mind even if not in the actually space. Also, steer clear of bulky coffee tables and end tables. These can limit the space around other furniture and if they are as high as the other pieces then the overall affect is negatively impacted.
Finally, use mirrors and lighter colors of paint to expand the feeling of your room through light reflection. Lighter colors will make the walls seem more distant from one another, and the usage of mirrors can make you feel like there’s double the room. The eye perceived brighter colors and reflected images as more spacious. White, the ultimate light reflector, allows the eye to receive the full effect but at the same time is considered a dull color choice. Choose a light tan or a pastel for a similar effect and then place mirrors on reflective planes in the room to accentuate the full distance between walls.
These are just a few of the possibilities on how to make a living area seem larger in your Austin home. There are many more that you can find if you experiment and it is possible to make a space feel noticeably larger, just don’t expect a miracle either. In the next installments, we will look at kitchen, bedroom, and dining tricks as well. Stay tuned for more tips for the eye!
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