We all have a natural tendency to spread our furniture and belongings out to fit the size of our homes. Like the nature of a gas to expand to fill whatever container it finds itself in, we always seem to find a way to crowd and clutter a room—no matter how large—if we don’t proactively organize it.
Sadly, there never seems to be enough space. There are, however, a few tricks we can play on the mind to make a room seemingly double in size, and a few handy tools to unlock the hidden space in any room.
To illustrate, we’ll focus on a small, crowded room in your home. You feel claustrophobic in it, and it may be hard to move around freely as well.
Color Impacts Perception of Size
First, what color is this room? Studies show that lighter, neutral colors make a room seem more open and spacious, which can make all the difference, whether you’re conscious of it or not. And when thinking about your color scheme, try to limit contrast as much as possible. Especially when concerning adjacent rooms that connect to one another, this can give the perception of one large room, rather than two small ones.
More: For more studies on using color, please see our category – Color.
Consider Natural Light
Next, let’s talk about windows and doors. First off, it’s important to have them. A room without a view can feel closed-in, and natural lighting gives a room a warmer air, but if you don’t have one, that can be worked around. If you don’t have a door, well, you’re most likely in prison, and interior design probably isn’t a priority for you anyway.
Second, it’s important for these windows and doors to be visible. Seeing the outside world can give the subconscious impression that one is in a larger space than just the room, and being able to see the door helps avoid the trapped feeling brought on by some small rooms.
Now that we know where the clutter shouldn’t be, the next step is knowing what to do with it. The first thing to do when inspecting an overcrowded room is to see if your walls are equally cluttered—they probably aren’t. For whatever reason, we rarely utilize walls as much as floor space. Hanging things up is often the more convenient option. Instead of a bulky bookshelf in the middle of your living room, hang up a few shelves to distribute the clutter. The room will look cleaner and more organized with minimal effort.
More: Shelves come in different designs, demanding differing hardware. See Shelves Hanging Hardware options on Amazon, here.
Another important factor to consider is the furniture you’re purchasing. While we may not always be able to afford a whole new set of furniture whenever we move, when we do have the opportunity, functionality should be considered just as much as aesthetic appeal. You can even double the value of your furniture by having it serve two functions, such as using a chest as a coffee table, or a bench that conceals storage.
Whether you’re organizing on a budget or revamping your home with some state-of-the-art space-saving furniture, all it takes is a little proactiveness and creativity, and your home will have a refreshing, lively feel once again.
– Chris Coleman writes for Signature Furniture Rental. They provide stylish, high quality furnishings for temporary residences in Southern California. Based in San Diego, Signature Furniture Rental offers solutions for home staging, temporary furniture needs and long term contracts for new homeowners, traveling professionals and real estate agents.
Expanding on the notion that Decorating is in part based on Perception, see our article – Using Optical Illusions in the Home to Create a Bit of Magic.
All images via Signature Furniture Rental.