Sometimes a house can feel too cluttered with stuff, especially if it’s small to begin with. Whether you have lived in your home for years or if you’re moving to a new, you can always make adjustments to add more space and reduce claustrophobic clutter. Be honest with yourself and get rid of anything you haven’t used in over a year or any unnecessary multiples (your collection of coffee mugs might be awesome, but it’s killing your kitchen space). Make sure everything in your closet is fit for the season, and store unseasonal items on a high-up shelf or in bins under the bed. Making simple, regular adjustments and recognizing any slight hoarding tendencies can do wonders, but here are some other quick and easy ways to create more space in your home:
1. Use your wall space.
It is amazing how many options there are for a combined décor and storage. Create more space in your kitchen cabinets and drawers by hanging pots, pans, and large cooking utensils from the walls or even from the ceiling above the island, restaurant-style . Use floating shelves to hold books and décor. Keep in mind that using your vertical space (shelving all the way up the wall) also makes the room appear larger.
Bonus: storing things up and off the floor creates a more spacious and open atmosphere. Also, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it won’t be useful. Add additional shelving in your closets to maximize out of sight storage space.
2. Use two end tables instead of a large coffee table.
For small spaces, a large coffee table in the living room can seem like a spatial black hole. Using two smaller tables (which also can double as storage space if you get the right kind) can fulfill your coffee table needs, but can also be moved to corners or either side of the couch to create an open space for company or simply to breathe. Nested tables offer the same effect by providing more table space when you need it and more floor space when you don’t. The same principle could be applied to that second sofa. Too many big pieces of furniture fill up the room fast. Consider two comfortable chairs instead.
3. Create dual purposes for everything.
Use the space under beds for storage bins, use vintage suitcases or baskets to add character to the space under end tables and double as hidden storage, and use hooks to hang colorful scarves and hats to create a decorative color statement in your entryway and use the closet space for something else.
4. Ignore conventional rules and make your space work for YOU.
Do you have a deep closet? Add some lighting and a desk to turn it into a home office. A stair landing can be made into a small laundry room or craft corner. Although there are often rooms built for specific functions (the room off the kitchen is the dining room, the large room is the living room, etc.) there are no “designer police” who will penalize you if you wish to make these spaces something else. Maybe you have an extensive book collection. Go ahead and convert that dining room into a library, especially if you only use it on rare occasions. Have a favorite craft or hobby? Allow your living room to become your workspace. Your home should be about YOU and creating rooms to maximize your living needs will help you create the comfort you need to live your life and prioritize your space.
5. Use the power of illusion.
Light wall colors, plenty of lighting (as much natural light as possible), mirrors to reflect light and add depth, and furniture arranged in the middle of the room instead of against the walls can all create a more spacious feeling even if you haven’t changed anything else. Think simple: a monochromatic color scheme of light or neutral colors will make the space seem open and elegant, and one large print or piece of décor is always better than a cluster of photo frames or multiple small pieces of décor. Hang drapery where the ceiling and the wall meet above windows instead of at the top of the windows and allow drapes to extend to the floor instead of just the bottom of the window to add height to the room and draw the eye upward. Using strategically placed plants can freshen up a room and tie the outside scenery with your indoor space, creating more depth.
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