You don’t need to tear the walls down in your room, apartment or condominium to make it appear larger. In fact, there are plenty of ways to trick the mind and eye with the help of home improvement techniques and décor. Explore what interior decorating experts say are the most effective ways to open up your space with imaginative details and the art of DIY. And it doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive, either. Installing affordable blinds, for example, is easy and inexpensive.
Paint with Light Colors
Cream, beige and silver-gray paint colors naturally reflect light, which makes rooms feel bigger than they really are. This effect works whether you illuminate your space with indoor lamps in the evening or enjoy it in the morning sun. Neutral hues also pair well with a variety of décor schemes. Paint your walls and trim the same color to free up the room even further. If you’re not a fan of plain shades, consider an illuminating hue like lavender or aqua. Stay the course by complimenting these beautiful tints with clean, white trim.
Accent the Ceiling
Draw the eye upward to make your room look taller. One of the most on-trend strategies is to adorn the ceiling with patterned wallpaper. Interior experts suggest choosing a covering with a white or cream base and a small-print, luminous design. Gold polka dots, silver stars or copper quatrefoil are just a few of the arrangements that will brighten your room with sophisticated style. Remove ceiling lamps and fans before you complete your project, which will relieve bulk and allow your wallpaper to shine.
If you want to go bold and you have the budget for it, you can also add tiny lights. Fiber optic star ceilings are one of the most striking and dramatic ways to open up a space, especially one that is occupied in the afternoon and at night. Paint the ceiling white, then add the lighting kit on top. Select soft white, yellow or gold illuminations that can still be seen in the daytime with the help of shades or blinds.
Install Neutral Floors
Just as white and beige ceilings and walls extend a room, so do light-colored floors. Swap out dark carpet for shades like taupe, gray and antique white. If you can do without plush material, opt for wood flooring, tile or laminate. These materials will provide a much sleeker look. Consider installing a solid wood like maple, pine or oak. Yellow, butterscotch and fog tiles are beautiful in any room and can be mixed and matched with any bright color of your choice to create a stunning color palette.
Push Furniture to the Perimeter
If your living area is full of tables, desks or chairs, move them away from the center of the space. Arrange your study or dining area so the furniture is pushed to the furthest possible edges of the room. More flooring will be accessible to the eye, which will give an illusion of expansiveness. If you have tile or wood floors, you can add a large area rug and set of colorful floor cushions to warm the space up and give it more personality.
Stripes are used by fashionistas to elongate the body. They also work to extend the appearance of a room. Buy only one or more pieces to avoid going overboard. A black and white striped rug or a light-colored, lined accent wall will do. Align your bands with the part of the space that appears the longest. This technique will provide you with the most effect.
Add Roman Shades or Blinds
Long curtains with rich materials like velvet and canvas are bulky and draw too much attention to small spaces. While the coverings may look rich and luxe, they will make your room appear more crowded. Replace lengthy, flowing window treatments with mini blinds, cellular shades or Roman shades, which are sleeker than other options. Purchase them in a neutral color like matte white, stucco or ivory to help reflect light.
If you need a pop of color, pair your sleek window coverings with a translucent silk, gauze or polyester curtain. Tie the material back to the wall so it compliments your décor without adding too much to it. Try a pastel pink, blue or orange treatment to match your artwork and accents.
Place Mirrors Around the Room
Hang a large mirror across from the biggest window in your room. As it reflects the sunlight, it will amplify the look and feel of the space. If the area doesn’t feature big openings, you can place a full-length, frameless mirror behind an armoire or table. This optical illusion will have your visitors feeling like there’s more square footage behind it. Another way to make any master bedroom look larger is to adjust the natural lighting which means you’ll need bedroom shades.
Use Compact Furniture and Storage
Free up your study, bedroom or dining area with practical, strategically placed storage. Swap your desk or dining room table with folding furniture that tucks away when you don’t need it. You can also install shelves along the perimeter of your walls.
Other ideas include purchasing a trundle bed or a headboard with built-in storage and disguising laundry hampers and trash cans in tilting cabinets. Since these storage cupboards also have drawers, you can hide even more items, such as power cords, jewelry and books. Consider investing in a storage rack with wheels, which allows you to quickly access study materials and shoes but is still easily moved to the edge of your room when not in use.
There’s no need to hire a construction company to demolish your walls if you are craving more space. Save money and achieve the same result by changing up your window treatments, furniture placement or storage options. If you want to complete more than one project but need to stay on budget, tackle the most dramatic options first. Paint the room a lighter color, then tackle the floors or wallpaper. Re-route your furniture, then add accents like mirrors and rugs.
In a short time, you can finish a complete transformation for your room or home. These investments will not only make your room more pleasant to live in, but will provide more value, should you decide to rent it out or sell it in the future.