Let’s cover some simple DIY-style updates to your small space that will allow it to feel more roomy while taking advantage of the value and charm of repurposed materials in the process.
Here are some tips you can follow to truly maximize your space and help it feel bigger than it actually is, while waiting for spring to arrive.
How to Make Your Small Space Feel Bigger This Spring …
Strategic Use of Furniture
Use larger, more substantial pieces of furniture to make a room feel more spacious. Contrary to what you might believe, using fewer pieces of large furniture helps a small space feel bigger than it is. Not only will larger furnishings fit the space better, but they will also allow more people to be seated and feel accommodated than will smaller, more modest pieces.
Creative Use of Light & Color
Another factor that will add a feeling of spaciousness is an abundance of light. Consider finding window coverings that dim the light, rather than blocking it out entirely: for example, sheer, cream-colored curtains and blinds with wide slats that let in plenty of sunlight. If you have blinds, you may not even need curtains. Just install blinds that can open and close all the way, so as to lend the ability to control the amount of light that comes into the room, in the event of a much-needed nap! Think, also, about the color of your walls: the lighter, the better. Lighter colors help rooms feel more spacious than they are.
Because you are working with a finite amount of space, you might also try using mirrors to expand the amount of space—even if it’s just your eyes playing tricks on you! Mirrors help create the optical illusion of more space by interrupting the closed-in impression of the walls. They also reflect the light in the room and help distribute it around the space!
In keeping with the spring theme, try filling your rooms with spring-inspired colors and fabrics. For example, find some brightly colored planters, flowers, and succulent plants. They’re fairly low-maintenance, and nothing brings fresh air into a room better than colorful flowers and green growing things! Fabrics also have a funny way of making solid walls seem more permeable than they are, lending a feeling of envelopment, rather than drawing attention to their hard surfaces. Also, consider a flowery wreath for your front door—what better way to declare your allegiance to the season of growth and new beginnings?
Consider taking on the project of adding a new wall hanging or decoration to your space as well. If you keep the colors light and vibrant, it can help expand the feeling of space by offering a virtual window into another time and place. For example, the use of vintage postcards grouped together on an area of the wall can create the appearance of a single piece of artwork that adds depth and interest, while also invoking a more temperate time like summer with its connotations of travel and freedom—hence an expanded feeling of space.
I hope you have fun making the most of your smaller spaces this time of year, while embracing the season and being imaginative. I know I love the garden-inspired colors of buttercup yellow, robin’s egg blue, and grassy green.
Have fun lending your individual style and swagger to your indoor sanctuary, and I’ll see you outside, come spring!
What about you? What have you done to help maximize your small space?
Daphne Stanford grew up near the ocean, and loves taking pictures of the mountains and rivers in Idaho, where she now lives. She believes in the power of writing, education, and community radio to change the world. She hosts “The Poetry Show!” Sundays on Radio Boise. Find her on Twitter @daphne_stanford.