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Scale Down, Brighten Up!


Tips to make a room look bigger from Krissy Millner

Sometimes we just want our home to have that breezy, walk -through feeling and instead it’s full of clutter and obstacles. If you have a room that is small, consider the following tips to give it a much needed makeover:

First, remember these 3 rules: Scale, Light, and Movement.

You need to have furnishings that are the right scale in the room. Don’t try to put an overstuffed sofa in a tiny room, it just won’t work. Choose instead something more sleek, less pillows, leave space between things. Sometimes a sofa just isn’t the right choice in a small living room, 4 small, (think Parisian) cozy club chairs may work much better and be better suited to conversation and more fun than a sofa!

Show a little leg…Pick furniture that is up on legs and not too heavy feeling, there are so many fun chairs these days, and many have thin, strappy legs that are like a great pair of heels! You can also consider a bench in a small dining room instead of chairs which will help simplify and streamline.

Emphasize the vertical, or the horizontal! Either way, you need to create a consistent type of movement in a small space. Vertical paneling in a bathroom, or horizontal shiplap in a small bedroom will really bring in a great sense of design and cohesiveness. When you establish one direction for a room, things will instantly feel orderly, and calm. The problem comes when there isn’t one direction. Take a look around if you have paneling on walls, or the grain of the wood floors, or the panes of the windows. Sometimes there are a lot of lines going on!

Paint it all white. If you are on a budget and need to feel better about a small space, paint the walls, the trim, the furniture, all white. It can really transform a room and create a fun play on reflective light and texture. White is so peaceful, and you can add warmth with textured rugs, pillows, and of course soft lighting using lamps, not overhead lights.

When it comes to accessories, add pairs of mirrors to either side of a fireplace or above a pair of nightstands. Take away drapes and do neat, fresh shutters or roman shades. Add breezy fabrics to your room like linen and cotton, for a lighter, less heavy feel. Hang your artwork a little lower too, it can help to make the ceilings feel taller. Take away rugs to open up pathways. Again, keeping in mind the movement you would like to see in the space, make sure the flow feels either horizontal overall OR vertical. Either is fine, just pick one!

I live in a home built in 1926 so I have had first-hand experience at the dilemma of a small space. Years of trial and error makes one smarter after a bit, doesn’t it?!

Whether it’s a home office, a guestroom, or a space-challenged living room, these tips will help change things from small to stylish☺

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