By Cassy Young, 2015 recipient of International “Dream Home Award”
Economically scaled – or smaller homes – present big decorating opportunities. Bungalows, ranch-style homes, townhouses and condominiums offer the decorating challenge of using available space efficiently and beautifully. You don’t need to short change your decorating tastes simply because your spaces may be a bit smaller.
First of all, consider selecting furniture that is scaled to your room size. Smaller scaled furniture can make a small room seem a great deal larger. In a living room, for example, you may want to choose the cozy look of coordinating love seats instead of a larger sofa and chair combination. Sofas with open legs, such as Chippendale or Queen Anne, take up less visual space—but be careful not to have a room that’s “all legs.” Balance your open legged pieces with solid ones, perhaps a small skirted ottoman, or an enclosed wood table. Opting for a glass topped table is a good option to consider because the eye continues to travel through a glass surface giving your room a more spacious feeling.
Multiple purpose rooms, such as a combined living and dining room, can present a challenge to your decorating scheme. Textured neutral rugs over your wood or carpeted floors are a great tool to separate a multiple purpose room into two functional spaces.
Maintenance worries are minimized with the improved fibers in today’s area rugs. They offer beauty with enhanced stain resistance and are easily cleaned. The same is true for the wide variety of soft, durable fabrics for upholstery and window treatments.
Since pale, softer colors tend to recede, the lighter the wall and floor colors, the larger a room will seem. However if your room features a lot of natural light, you could actually be a bit more adventuresome with your color choices – and add a little more drama to your walls. Traditionally, it’s common in smaller rooms to paint ceilings lighter shades than the walls. This actually helps to give the impression of visually taller walls or a higher ceiling. Patterned carpets or light background wall coverings will also help give a smaller room a feeling of depth and visual interest.
Adding a framed mirror can visually expand the space. Be aware of what the mirror will reflect; you want to reflect something beautiful. Perhaps have the mirror reflect a gorgeous piece of art. Similarly, using mirrored furniture will lighten the space, giving the impression of a larger room.
One of the many benefits of smaller rooms is that you will always feel cozy and comfortable. Taking these ideas into consideration when you decorate your small space will create the inviting, warm and expansive look you want.
As an Allied ASID Interior Designer and owner of Decorating Den Interiors, Cassy Young represents more than 85 home furnishings suppliers and offers furniture, accessories, lighting, floor and wall coverings and custom window treatments. Please call Cassy at 706-540-8925 and talk about making your home beautiful.