5 Decorating Sins That Are Making Your Place Look *So* Much Smaller Than It Is
“Good things come in small packages”? Yeah right, say we small-space dwellers. But gals, there are in fact ways to maximize your modest square footage. Here, the five most widespread space-shrinking decor mistakes—and how to fix ‘em fast.
PROBLEM: FLOATING RUGS
We know—it can be tempting to make an old or small-scale rug work when you travel from home to home. (They’re so damn expensive!) But if your rug is so small that it’s floating in the middle of the room, the floor plan looks squashed, choppy and fragmented.
SOLUTION: LARGE RUGS
See? A scaled-up rug is the worthiest of splurges. Large floor coverings literally trick the eye into imagining more square footage. A good rule of thumb when buying: Rugs should reach at least six inches beyond the edges of your furniture.
PROBLEM: LOW-MOUNT CURTAINS
Putting curtains right at the top of your window frame visually squishes your windows themselves—and makes your ceiling look shorter.
SOLUTION: HIGH-MOUNT CURTAINS
How about them apples? Hang curtain hardware 6 to 12 inches above your windows to make ceilings feel bigger and give the room instant grandeur.
PROBLEM: ONE LIGHT SOURCE
Dining table or dentist’s chair? With just a single light source—in this case, overhead pendants—there’s little sense of dimension.
SOLUTION: LAYERED LIGHTING
Lighting concepts are often overlooked as a final stage in a room’s design—but they’re a powerful tool for creating space and warmth. Add layers: task, ambient, accent. In the ever-tricky-to-light dining room, the addition of buffet lamps or even a floor lamp can add so much depth.
PROBLEM: PETITE FURNITURE
Small room, small furnishing, right? Wrong. Undersized furnishings create weird dead space and play up the overall small vibes.
SOLUTION: TO-SCALE FURNITURE
While it may sound counterintuitive, choosing large-scale pieces that really fit the room will make it feel bigger.
PROBLEM: DARK PAINT
Yes, you want to make a design statement. But in a small or otherwise boxed-in space, that statement reads: “The walls are closing in on me.”
SOLUTION: LIGHT PAINT
Voilà: Instant airy vibes. A quick note: Bright white works best as an enlarging agent in spaces with lots of natural light. Most often, you’d do better using a dimensional neutral, like ecru, dove gray or ivory.