5 New Ways to Make Your Home Look Bigger

Posted by Rebecca

I don’t know how new these ideas are, but they are still great ideas.  This article was published on Forbes.com this morning.  And while I’m sure most small-space or trailer-park folk don’t subscribe to Forbes, and the article is likely referring to ‘how to make your 3,000 square foot home feel like 6,000,’ there are still some great tips.

Windows, Windows, Windows:  Forbes suggests a wall of windows in a room, overlooking lovely landscaping.  It is unlikely many of us will have a window-wall installed, but make the most of the windows you do have.  Open blinds and shades when you are home.  If privacy is an issue keep your blinds drawn, but just open the slats, or hang sheer white curtains under your regular curtains – they let in a beautiful filtered light, but not the gazes of curious neighbors.  And always make sure your windows are sparkling clean to get the brightest and most-open feel to your space.

De-Clutter The Entryway:  The article mentions adding window seats or built-in shelving to avoid an awkward or cluttered appearance.  I don’t have space for that sort of thing, and I’m sure most of you don’t either, but de-cluttering is always a good idea.  Try hanging a slim cabinet near your door to hide wallets and keys, or cute wall hooks for coats, purses and scarves (just make sure the hooks don’t have so much hanging that it makes them bulky).  And be sure to always put your shoes away.  My old trailer-neighbor Bonnie has 2 young boys, so she would keep a basket by the door for their shoes, which was much easier for them to remember to use than remembering to take their shoes to their room.

Please The Senses:  Forbes tells us to fill a small room with beautiful music, open up your French doors to allow a breeze in, and place a fresh-flowers-filled vase atop a shiny, smooth marble surface.  The trailer version of that advice is similar: listen to a play list that makes you happy, allow fresh air to circulate, and always have fresh-cut flowers in your home.

Choose Large-Scale Flooring:  The photo that accompanies this portion of the article features a bathroom so large, I’m sure I could park my single-wide in it.  Perhaps it’s the same size as my bathroom, and this trick is really that amazing….  As far as the flooring is concerned, “the larger the tile, plank or pattern on a floor, the larger the room will look.”  The World Floor Covering Association (ya, I also had no idea that there was not just an association for floor covering, but a world one), has some really good advice for laying engineered (laminate) hard wood:

–  If there is a narrow hallway involved, then run the hardwood the long length of the hallway.

–  If you have hardwood in one room only, the room will appear longer if the wood is run from one end of the room to the other.

–  If hardwood is in more than one room, but the rooms are open to each other, running the hardwood the length of the rooms (continuously from one room to the other), rather than from the front of the room to the back of the room, will make the 2 areas seem larger.

I have laminate birch flooring running most of the length of my trailer.  This effectively merges my small kitchen, dining room and living room to make the space feel larger and open.

Include The Hallway:  If you have a hallway, the article suggests painting a far wall, or placing bold artwork there.  This draws the eye out of the room, making it feel larger.  Experiment with your space – maybe you have an entry wall just beyond your living area, or can hang a large piece of art on the opposite walls of adjoining rooms.  Have friends over and ask for their honest opinions on whether the change is working.

These small tricks can really open up your space, de-clutter your life, increase your comfort, and make your home just a little happier.  At least it’s worth a try.

Rebecca Knabe

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3 thoughts on “5 New Ways to Make Your Home Look Bigger

  1. I agree about the entryway suggestion. In Sarah Susanka’s books, she highlights this. She is very strong on what she refers to as “human scale” which involves the psychology of how we “feel” and perceive spaces.

    Lower ceiling heights are more comforting than higher ceiling heights. High vaulted ceilings make a person less comfortable, while lower ceilings are more intimate. She also uses ceiling height as visual demarcation of rooms/task areas. Every area has a recommended ceiling height, depending on the area’s function.

    Entryways should not only have lower ceilings to be perceived as inviting, but should also be distinguished as its own area. One way that she does this in an entryway that opens directly into a room (which is awkward, human scale-wise, and unfortunately the default in most small trailers) is to lower the ceiling height (to a height she advises) and if that is not possible, to “fool” the eye into thinking the ceiling is lower in that area by using an over the door shelf of a good size. My favorite “budget” idea of hers is an open trellis plant shelf hanging from the ceiling over the door area. In a trailer, it would only be able to drop down about 6″, but silk vines, a string of lights, or what have you could be put over the top of it – or nothing at all. She also has suggestions to distinguish the entryway as its own area by strategic placement of seating and storage places.

    Great post!

    ~Ostracon

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