Four Tips for Making Cozy (aka “Small”) Spaces Seem Larger

Four Tips for Making Cozy (aka “Small”) Spaces Seem Larger

Why can’t we all live in a villa on the French Riviera?

Or in a mansion on Lake Shore Drive?

Perhaps because we’re not François Hollande, president of France, or Oprah Winfrey, president of Everything Else.

We live in our own cozy castles on Main Street. Sometimes our castles are single-family homes, sometimes townhouses, sometimes condos. But no matter the size, the great equalizer is that one room – or many rooms – that is, metaphorically speaking, not much bigger than a breadbox.

There are, however, several things you can do to make that space seem lighter, airier, and even larger.

1. Paint with Light Hues

Cream, light gray, light blue and white keep a room airy and open. And white ceilings reflect light, making the room feel more spacious.

2. Use Mirrors

Don’t underestimate the power of reflection! A mirror is an immediate way to expand a small space. Prop a full-length mirror against a wall and you create instant square footage. Or hang one on a wall facing a window to bring an expanse of the outdoors inside.

3. Choose Furniture that does Double Duty

A table that’s attached to the wall and folds up when not in use…a desktop that flips up…an ottoman or bench with storage inside. Small spaces are roomier when clutter is kept at bay. Utilize under-bed storage for wrapping paper and out-of-season clothes, put hooks on the back doors. Consider a bed frame with roll-out drawers, or a murphy bed (that’s what old-timers call it) or bed-in-a-box (for you young whippersnappers out there).

4. Mono Matters (no, not the disease)

Blend window treatments with walls. Our eyes generally come to a dead stop where contrasting colors meet. Monochromatic hues across an entire wall provide a long, uninterrupted sweep of color, creating simplicity and a feeling of space.

You might not have President of France Hollande’s massive state dining room or President-of-Everything-Else Winfrey’s rooms for her live-in cook, personal trainer, maid, chauffeur, guests and suite for Gayle, but you can make your small spaces work for you. And when you’re happy and confident at home, who knows? You just might get your own talk show.

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