Managing Small Spaces

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Are you renting a small city apartment? Bought a gorgeous 1960s property, only to realize that rooms used to be a lot smaller back then? Taken up the challenge of living in a tiny cottage? Fear not. There are many ways in which small rooms can be decorated to give the illusion of space. The last-ditch response is to break down a wall, but we need not go to those lengths. Try out these methods first:

  • Wallpaper the ceiling: This creates the illusion of height, which is great for rooms with low ceilings. It draws the eye up. Opt for a light-colored wallpaper that matches the general color scheme of the room. 
  • Remove the clutter: Random objects lying pell-mell can make the biggest room appear small. Keep only what is necessary and organize it neatly on wall-mounted shelves. Creatively use spaces that were otherwise useless-for example, you could use over-the-door organizers.
  • Allow light in: Unblock all the windows. Remove heavy curtains or shutters and replace them with the airiest drapes that you can find. If possible, have the window size enlarged. Protip – move the curtain rod upwards. Instead of having the curtain start at the window, let it fall from just under the ceiling. Long curtains make the height of a wall appear taller. 
  • Create a focal point: Pick one feature that is the highlight of the room and let everything else be muted in contrast. For example, find an eye-catching office table for a small workspace and add a striking picture frame right above it. Let everything else around it be practical and straightforward. Too many exciting things in one room will be distracting and make a space look busy.
  • Choose light colors and mirrors: Perhaps the most cliché advice for making small spaces look larger, but it works. Reflection helps in opening up space. Off white and light grey are usually the best bets.
  • Match your furniture: Choose the wrong furniture size and try to match it to your walls or floor. It will create an unbroken line for the eye to follow.
  • Find furniture built closer to the floor: Look for low beds or floor seating options. This creates an open feeling since there is a lot of room left above the furniture.
  • Use striped rugs: Just as fashion designers use stripes to elongate the body, stripe-patterned rugs can make a room look longer than it is. You can also use multiple small rugs to create ‘zones’ in a small room that delegate one area different from the other.
  • Use glass or Lucite furniture: If it is comfortable for you, use glass-top tables or other such transparent material furniture pieces. As they allow light to pass through, they will seem to take up less space. 

Tiny homes shouldn’t cramp up your style. With some creative arrangements, it can be just as valuable and beautiful as a mansion. 

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