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Making a Small Hosue Feel Big | Manolo for the Home

4 Ways to Make Small Feel Big

Built-Ins, Built-Ins, Built-Ins
Obviously you can bring a ton of furniture into a small house or apartment, but you can maximize the space you have with built-ins like cabinets and cupboards and window benches and bookcases. These don’t have to be as deep as standalone furniture so you’re not encroaching too much on the airspace of the room, and you end up with a place for everything and everything in its place. Have I mentioned that clutter is a major no-no for those of us who live in small houses and apartments?

Divide With Doors
In my house, the kitchen and the living room are open to each other in two ways: a big interior window sort of thing in the wall and the wide doorless doorway between the two rooms. The idea is that a small kitchen and a small living room will feel larger if they’re attached, but instead it ends up feeling like one cramped room because there’s no usage division. Installing a set of French doors in the doorway between the two rooms helps the mind see two separate spaces that are useful and sizable.

Let In the Light
While not a solution for the renter, the homeowner can install more or larger windows that let in light, air, and a view of the wider world that will make a small space feel more ample. Bumped out windows can do a lot to enlarge an awkward space, as can very tall windows.

Make Rooms Do Double Duty
The reality is that if you don’t have a lot of space, you don’t have the luxury of having a room just for X and another just for Y. That means that whenever possible, a room should have more than one purpose. You can put a pretty writing desk in your living room, for example. Your home office can double as your crafting room. A landing can play host to a chest of linens. Bookcases in the dining room. And so on.

What are your favorite tips for making a small house or apartment feel bigger?

4 Responses to “4 Ways to Make Small Feel Big”

  1. Linda Mercury December 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Mirrors! After that, keeping the books in the bookshelf straight. I’m a bit of a slacker when it comes to keeping my shelving tidy, but an organized bookcase magically makes every room feel larger and more peaceful. Also, really good lighting.

  2. Christa Terry December 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    @Linda Mercury I, too, am not so good about keeping my shelves tidy, ut luckily all the books are downstairs in the family room, which is a part of the house that no one but family really ever sees. We have so many books that having them in the main areas of the house would be absolutely overwhelming and would definitely make our small house feel small.

  3. marvel December 31, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    I don’t think there’s anything I could do to make a small room feel bigger without getting rid of at least half the stuff in the room.

  4. Ash January 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    The right color – my entire house is painted the same pale blue, which unifies the space, making it feel larger. The cool tone also opens it up.