Use Bright Colors
Choosing a bright pallet is an effective way to open up a room. Bright colors help to make a space appear larger. Dark colors deter light and give the sensation of darkness and confinement. On the contrary, a bright color will bring more light into a room. You don't have to choose white, but the closer you are to it, the more open your space will seem. Bright colors are an excellent solution for smaller rooms, and rooms with small windows. As a general rule kitchens and bathrooms should be bright!
Don't just stick with bright paint. Consider all aspects of your room. If you have large amounts of glass in your space like glass blocks under a counter, or in place of clear windows consider cleaning them or lighting the molding between them.
Also consider: are your counter tops gloomy? Do you have dark cabinets?
Another tool in your arsenal of space renovation is reflection! Instead of drab carpet consider laminate, tile, or hardwood. Stick to lighter colors of each to optimize your small space or enforce the emphasis on openness.
Reflective surfaces will bring in more light, and open up a room. Natural light is always the best, and if you have access to it then bolster it with bright paint and shiny floors. If you must have carpet, spring for a light color. Any area rugs should ultimately be bright as well when the effect of breezy and open is the goal. Because carpet and rugs can be hard to keep clean, a hard flooring is ideal. Fearing the price? No worries, see our blog on how to have the look for less!
Any dingy yellow light will make a room look dark, closed, and date your decor. Think energy efficient bulbs for your room. They are extremely (and I mean, EXTREMELY) affordable. Often times just as cheap, or even more so than the standard incandescent bulbs. Sometimes these bulbs can be found individually at dollar stores - so make sure to scan them next time!
While on the topic of energy efficient bulbs, I have to press the energy-saving issue. These bulbs can last up to seven years or longer! They also use 80% less electricity than a standard bulb. Which can equal anywhere upwards of $7.00 a year PER bulb depending on use.
Why it's a must for opening your space: These energy efficient options generally emit twice as many lumens as their standard counterparts (1220 versus 600). That means that even though they use less electricity, and may appear to give off less light, the QUALITY of the light is far improved, brighter, and truer.
It's no secret that mirrors have the power of illusion! That's why carnivals and magicians rely so heavily on them. You can share their secrets by adding some mirrors to your small space (or space you desire to open further).
When utilizing the trick of mirrors, consider placement and size of the mirror. Floor-length or longer mirrors will make a low-ceiling appear taller. A wide mirror will likewise elongate a room. Placing two decent-sized mirrors across from one another can also double the effect.
Try strategically placing a mirror adjacent to, or across from a large window or door wall. Centering a large mirror over a mantle, or sitting area will also give any guests the impression that the room is airy and big.
Note the above picture and how it utilizes every trick mentioned in this blog thus far! The use of bright paint, shiny floors, natural light, and mirrors!
And last of all, the old stand-by and space organization 101: furniture placement. Most of you will have heard at one point or another that one of the key ingredients to making a space look bigger is keeping the bare minimum of furniture in it.
Though this definitely rings true to an extent, don't feel like you have to give away all of your things or hide them away. Make sure you curate your room to suite your tastes and fit your design. Anything that doesn't go - has to go. Having some knick knacks adds personal flair and decor. Just make sure you don't have so much that it looks cluttered!
A small space can easily flaunt all you need. Two chairs, a coffee table, mirror, and bookshelf. Why not? Just keep in mind your space limitations, and what you will need for moving room. In other words the cardinal rule is: keep furniture small in a small space, and always avoid bulky and chunky designs!