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5 Tips for Making Small Spaces Look Larger

5 Tips for Making Small Spaces Look Larger

By Erica Sofrina, International Feng Shui and Design Consultant, Author of Small Changes Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

In part II of  my interview with Jeanette Chasworth, the “color whisperer” and author of What’s Color Got To Do With It?, I asked her if she could talk about ways to make a a small space look bigger.

Jeanette: “Most of us would like a bigger space. While moving may not always be an option, there are ways to make a room look bigger that are easily attainable.

  • Paint is powerful: While light colors can make a room look bigger, often a darker color can do the job much better. The darker colors make the corners disappear, thereby making the room look bigger. (See: Home Color Tips from a Color Whisperer and  Feng Shui Home Color Guide.)
  • Make your drapes bigger than the window: This is a great mind trick. If your drapes go past the windows more than they need to, it gives the illusion that the window is bigger and the brain thinks there’s more light than there is. It will enlarge the space.
  • Lighting: Lighting is another area of home design that is often overlooked and can make a space look bigger. While this is an expense, its payback is way more than you will put into it. Instead of putting one light in the center of a room, put lights around the perimeter about 18″ from the wall, and every 3 – 4 feet. This will literally push the walls out and make them look bigger.
  • Declutter – the least expensive of all the tips: Often times our homes get cluttered and we don’t even realize it. Items come in one at a time and slowly add up and then we get used to them and don’t notice them. But that clutter does affect how you feel in the space and could be shrinking your space.  Everything in your home needs “breathing space”; without it, you can’t see it. If it’s a really important item, it will need more breathing room. Try not to add a bunch of little stuff around it to distract the eye. Try coming in your home and pretend it’s not yours and you will see all the things that are cluttering. If you can’t do that, and many people can’t, get a trusted friend, organizer, or designer to come over and help you. Look at each item and say, “Why am I keeping this? Do I love it? Is it adding to the feeling of the room?” If the answer is no, find another home for it.
  • Go Vertical!

  • I would add to Jeanette’s pearls of wisdom: Go Vertical. Use the vertical space for organizing and storage. If you are using shelves, keep things in baskets so that the eye just sees an attractive basket rather than lots of bits of items. Group items according to use, and pull out the whole basket when working on projects. Organization and keeping just what you need is the key to living in harmony in a small space!

For more ideas about how to organize a small space, see: Feng Shui for Small Spaces. Thank you Jeanette for your expert advise!

Jeanette Chasworth is the author of the book What’s Color Got To Do With It? and is an Interior Designer and Color specialist living in Monrovia, CA. You can visit Jeanette’s web site at www.TheColorWhisperer.com Her book is available at www.TheColorWhisperer.com and www.amazon.com. Photos courtesy of Jeanette Chasworth interior design portfolio.

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Erica Sofrina

Erica Sofrina is an Internationally recognized Speaker and Teacher and Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker and is the founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui. She has run a successful business as a Professional Organizer, Interior Designer and Certified Feng Shui Consultant for over a decade and resides on the charming coastal town of Half Moon Bay in Northern California. Find out more at www.ericasofrina.com.

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Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

By Erica Sofrina A Simple Guide to Feng Shui for our Western Lifestylesbuy now

61 comments

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7:20PM PDT on May 23, 2013

Thank you.

9:05AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

good ideas...vertical really works.

4:34AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

I suck at decluttering

2:38PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

thanks so much!

2:26AM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

Good article as always!
thanks Erica!

2:30PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Decluttering can be ominous and scary.....Start with a drawer or a room. Throw away 5 things a day. or I turn mine into a project, my house is long and skinny so I take it on in one day or a weekend. I do it twice a year. One time I start at the front and work my way back. By the time I get to the back, I am less invigorated. But then the next time I start at the back and work forward. The middle is really good and the two ends each get priority attention. As for someone else's clutter. I give my husband a week (two weekends) to do it and I tell him if he doesn't do it, I will. Sometimes it works. The key is not to throw away anything that may be important but rather to make sure that they have a good storage area and that things are easy to find in it. But by all means throw away the trash....they will forgive you once you show them how easy it is to find what they WANT.

12:27PM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

Great ideas thankyou!! Now that all the kids are gone, my house is looking like a barn to me...lol. I always liked the open concept but now it seems uber-spacious. I need it to be more cozy.

12:25AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

Thanks Erica. Yes, one is always told that light colours add space. Yet, this evening I was quite taken with a TV program featuring a number of homeowners who had purchased old factories, a library or delapidated industrial buildings and had spent a long time transforming them into spectacular living spaces.
They were all highly creative people with an eye for quality. All buildings had lots of outdoor light. Why I mention this, is that all their homes had lots of gleaming wood, eye-catching artwork, but, as you had mentioned, all made use of an array of dark wall tones - even dark tiles. Very exciting stuff !

8:29PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

thanks for the great tips!

1:31AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

Terrific ideas!

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