A spacious and clutter-free home is the eternal goal. As the modern living space seems to get smaller and smaller, the idea of “space” (and even perceived space) grows more important for homeowners. In fact, space is the most coveted feature among homebuyers. On the flip side, when the time comes to sell the home, space comes at a premium on the resale market.
From a stylist and stager, here are some tried and true tips from the walls in, to make your home live larger than its square footage – regardless of its actual size.
The best way to bring more space to your home is to enhance its perceived space. Step one is quite simply to rid your home of visual clutter. Pack up all non-essential knick-knacks and ornaments, to free up visual space. Clear surfaces and uncluttered shelves will accentuate the clean, straight lines of your home’s architecture and furnishings, making the space feel larger and fresher. Remember: in the mind’s eye, the idea of space is almost as good as the real thing!
Wall colour is another “background” element that should be at the forefront of your plan if your goal is to make your home look and feel larger. Light, neutral wall colours can instantly open up the space and achieve a great sense of airiness. A light, neutral palette can help the walls visually disappear.
TIP: Use the same light, neutral hue throughout your home including the basement, bathrooms and powder rooms and you’ll be amazed at how the room expands visually.
If you’re lucky to have lots of windows, let natural light work to your benefit. Ever notice how dark spaces always feel smaller, while well-lit spaces look larger? Takedown those heavy window coverings and let the sunlight in. If you use curtains for privacy simply use white sheers conceal the view without blocking out light.
As a next step, when you’re ready to furnish your home, choose pieces properly scaled to the space. If you live in a small condo, compact furniture will be key to showcasing function without occupying too much real estate.
TIP: Measure the room before buying big-ticket pieces like a sofa, dining tables, accent chairs and beds. Furniture always looks smaller in shops and showrooms with their expansive floor areas with high ceilings – making it easy to underestimate measurements.
Consider your home’s function and the flow of traffic. By positioning your sofa facing the living room entrance, you’ll instantly increase the sense of space and welcome. Be careful not to block doorways, windows or beautiful sightlines like an outside view.
As a finishing touch, use mirrors to double your sense of light and space! A large mirror tricks the eye into seeing a twin room or a doorway. Before mounting a mirror, check what is being reflected.
You don’t necessarily need tons of space to create a space you will love. If it’s a home that functions well and is decked out with items you really love, it will certainly be your castle.
Toronto-based, award-winning Interior Stylist, Red Barrinuevo is an Interior Decorator and Principal of Redesign4more, servicing clients in Toronto and the GTA. The firm’s known for enhancing and creating stylish yet functional spaces through their creative home staging, interior styling services, and design services. www.redesign4more.com.