More homeowners would rather have a smaller house than a larger one (37% compared to 23%), research from real estate site Trulia reveals. And in Long Island, real estate agents say more people are choosing to downsize. But a small home can be a challenge to decorate. The lack of space gets people focusing on making it practical rather than bigger and brighter — but we really should aim for a balance of both. Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways to open up a small space by maximizing light, natural and artificial. Here’s how you can expand the look and feel of your small home.
Wash and repaint your walls
Dark paint absorbs the light and makes rooms feel dark and dingy. You want to opt for light, bright colors which reflect light and make the most of the room’s natural light. Painting your wall trim and moldings in an even lighter shade will make the walls appear further back — an optical illusion which makes the space seem bigger. Wash your walls before painting to help the paint or primer adhere better. Washing your walls also gets rid of any dirt, grime, or lingering household mold, which can be an unknown cause of irritating skin issues. With a good scrub and fresh coat of paint, you’ll create a cleaner, healthier, and brighter home.
Whittle down your furniture collection to pieces you really need to free up space. Opt for a smaller number of larger pieces rather than numerous small items. For example, choose a sectional instead of a small sofa and occasional chairs to prevent things looking cluttered. In the same vein, position larger pieces of furniture up against the walls and out of the way. Furniture with open arms and exposed legs will also spread more light through a room than sofas or chairs that sit directly on the floor. Also consider investing in furniture made from transparent materials like glass, acrylic, or Lucite. For example, a glass side table or acrylic dining chair takes up less visual space and automatically makes the room feel larger.
Use mirrors effectively
Mirrors reflect both natural and artificial light to make rooms feel bigger and brighter. Placing a mirror near a window will bounce around even more light. Or, if you have a stunning chandelier or piece of art, for example, position the mirror to reflect it and get double the beauty. Never let mirrors reflect anything unsightly. Small closets or hallways can benefit from a large mirror on the back wall to create the impression of infinite space. You can also use mirrored cabinet doors, kitchen backsplash, or the backend of bookcases to make spaces feel larger. When choosing a mirror, bigger is always better — especially in a small room.
These simple tricks can transform a dark and cramped space into one that’s light and airy. But, even just making one or two changes in your home can make a big difference. With ample forethought and planning, you can maximize the light and make the most of your small home.