Until you can head out with us to find your new bigger home, or if you’re preparing to sell, here are some ways you can make your home seem larger.

 

1. LET THERE BE LIGHT

Darker spaces feel smaller, and lighter spaces feel larger so consider using more lamps (with energy-efficient LEDs of course), paint your walls in light colors, replace dark rugs with lighter ones and maybe even install a skylight or two.  Remove those heavy, ornate old drapes and use light filtering blinds or shutters instead, or full length lightweight semi-sheer curtains that give the illusion of added height by drawing the eye upward.

2. FURNITURE

Smaller furniture will make a space not only easier to navigate, but also feel bigger.  That big sectional sofa you had in your last home may not fit the space you’re in now (maybe it didn’t fit your last space either, but you wanted it anyway).  Consider using just a couple of the sections to create a new and smaller configuration, or use a loveseat and one or two smaller scale chairs instead.  Pulling furniture a few inches away from walls will help create the illusion of spaciousness, too.

Seeing underneath furniture with exposed legs helps a room feel bigger because of the space (and light) between the floor and the furniture.  Choose furniture with exposed legs rather than legs that are covered up or furniture that sits directly on the ground (dressers, bed frames, cabinets, etc.).  Use a simpler headboard and skip the footboard, or use a low profile headboard and footboard.  This will help the bed to not dominate the room, and will give extra space for moving around it.

Dining room feeling a bit tight?  Remove a couple chairs and take any leaves out of the table.  A round table makes a room feel bigger, as it’s easier to walk around, and squared-off tables create a feeling of filling the room.

3. MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL

Not your grandmother’s fussy mirror on a stand, but a mirror on the wall.  It can give the feeling of more space because when you see its reflection, it shows another whole room and reflects light back into the room.  The larger the mirror, the more dramatic the effect.  But don’t use one that’s too large or it will overwhelm the room and look like it’s waiting to go into storage on a movie set!

4. STORAGE

Keep more things hidden away.  Do you really need to display all those shot glasses you collected 30 years ago?  To make your home feel larger, keep more things inside drawers, closets, in storage, wherever they won’t be just one more item taking up space.  The more things that you leave visible in your home — particularly smaller items like books, DVDs, knickknacks, cords, etc. — the more cluttered it will look and feel.