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