How to Make Your Interiors Seem Larger

…OK, not that large…

Almost all of my interior design clients from Bucks County to Princeton will wish at one time or other that some room in their home was larger. Last year I helped a client in Princeton make her living room look larger; right now I’m showing a great couple how to the luxury master bath I’m designing for them feel larger – all without moving a single wall. Let me share with you some of my tried and true ideas to help you get more “square footage” out of a room or home.

  1. Reduce room function. I run into this problem a lot with clients here in the Bucks County suburbs as well as those in Metro Chic Philadelphia. The answer to create more space for small rooms? Reduce their function. Logically, if a room has to do less, it can hold less. Smaller spaces simply cannot accommodate as much diverse purpose as larger spaces can.
  1. Use color and pattern wisely and strategically. Large patterns and deeper colors move toward the eye and eat up space. Still love dark dramatic walls? Experiment with them in a powder room or dining room – an area in which you don’t spend much time. But, for that family room, living room or kitchen that needs more space – let those intense patterns and deeper colors find their way into the secondary accent position, not the main tune.
  1. Lift the ceiling. Hang window treatments as high as you can and watch the ceiling seem to lift. Avoid horizontal window treatments, instead opting for tall, full panels. It’s like building marvelously tall fabric column in the room – the vertical lines are marvelous. I also work with those ceilings in smaller rooms with color. Rather than painting the ceiling white, I will select a lighter version of the wall color and the ceiling will lift higher still.

  1. Watch accessories. Edit and distill. Be brutal in a small space when it comes to accessories. Less is more and too much is deadly.

  1. Increase the light. In smaller spaces, I add mirrors to increase the luminosity in the room and perception of space. I find that most of my design clients need more table lamps (3 per room is ideal) and by adding a few of these simple items, I get rooms to brighten and open.
  1. Get the protruding accessories off the wall. This is my pet peeve I admit, but respectfully:  Ditch the cute little shelving units that spring off the wall – the corbels, brackets and little units that hold tea cups or heaven knows what. In small spaces, artwork and accessories should be flush to the wall.

Enjoy your new found space!