Instead of choosing a petite rug or a junior-size sofa, go big and bold with a few statement pieces like a dramatic lamp or art, suggests Janet Lee, author of Living in a Nutshell and founder of the blog LivinginaNutshell.com. "A few over-scaled pieces placed in key spots can maximize the feeling of space even in the smallest rooms," she says.
"Don't paint all the walls of a small room a dark color or it will feel like a cave," points out Claire Middleton, author of Secrets of Small-House Living . A better idea? "Try putting the dark color on just one wall and painting the others a light, coordinating shade. Or simply stick with a brighter color for the entire space."
Related: 10 Color Picks to Set Any Mood in Your Bedroom
Too Much Clutter
Holding onto too many possessions creates a cramped feeling in small spaces. "My advice is always, 'If you don't love it or use it, lose it!'" says Donna Smallin Kuper, author of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness and founder of the blog unclutter.com. "Purge regularly. Even 15 minutes of organizing a day can make a big difference."
Related: 16 Sneaky Storage Ideas
Zillow Digs home in Seattle, WA
Blocking Natural Light
"Instead of keeping windows covered up, bring in natural light whenever possible," Claire Middleton urges. When installing curtains, avoid hanging them at the same level as the window trim, she advises. "Position rods or hardware up near the ceiling and your room will seem taller and more spacious," she reports. "And plan for curtains or drapes to open right to the edges of the window."
Related: 8 Bright Ideas to Boost Natural Light
Zillow Digs home in Santa Barbara, CA
Lining the Perimeter of the Room
It may seem a natural inclination to push furniture against the wall to maximize floor space in a tiny room, but Janet Lee has found that doing so tends to make already cozy interiors feel even more confined. "Placing the sofa even a few inches away from the wall will create a little breathing room and make the space feel larger," she observes.
Related: An Expert Reveals the Rules for Arranging Furniture
Zillow Digs home in Seattle, WA
In place of a single overhead fixture, Janet Lee suggests multiple sources of ambient light to enliven small spaces. "First fill the space with soft light from floor lamps or track lights angled to bounce off the ceiling, then mix in task lamps and pendant lighting to accent work, play, and rest zones," she says. As a finishing touch, "add a glow factor from reflective surfaces."
Related: The 9 Best Lighting Picks for Your Bedroom
Zillow Digs home in Scottsdale, AZ
Overlooking Potential Storage
Maximizing space is the key to uncluttered rooms, but not everything needs to be stored in a closet, cabinet, or drawer. "Think outside the box," Donna Smallin Kuper counsels. "Use a magnetic strip on a kitchen wall to hold utensils or hang a shoe-bag over the back of a door to organize pantry items, cleaning supplies, even belts and socks."
Related: 9 Creative Uses for the Back of Any Door
For more on small spaces, consider:
10 Ways to Live Large in a (Very) Small Space
20 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Big
10 Small Bedrooms with Huge Amounts of Style
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