Dec­o­rat­ing a small space

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Bray People - - HOUSE & HOME -

THOSE OF us who live in small spaces can re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the need for or­ga­ni­za­tion - even if we don't live it out. It's amaz­ing how quickly a small space can be filled with clut­ter, and poor decor choices can make it feel like the walls are swal­low­ing us up. Not ev­ery­one can pull on a pair of over­alls and smash out a wall or two to make more space - es­pe­cially if we don't own the apart­ment we are liv­ing in. But, the good news is that there are some sim­ple ways to make the space feel much big­ger than it is with­out spend­ing a ton of money.

TAK­ING THE FIRST STEP

Start by tak­ing ev­ery­thing you don't use reg­u­larly out of the room and stor­ing it. You'll be amazed at how much more open the room feels al­ready. If you don't have room in your apart­ment to store your trea­sur­ers, see if you can put them in a friend's place - or, if you have an at­tic or base­ment locker, store them there. You'll be sur­prised to learn that af­ter about three months of not see­ing or us­ing them, you'll prob­a­bly be ready to give them away or sell them. That's step one.

LIGHTEN UP

The more light you have in your space, the bet­ter. Put light sheers on the win­dows, or bet­ter yet, leave them un­cov­ered if it is at all pos­si­ble. If you are able to, add a sky­light. You can use a large mir­ror or a col­lage of mir­rors across from the win­dow to re­flect the nat­u­ral light and make the room ap­pear larger.

BIG OR SMALL - EI­THER CAN WORK WELL

Fur­ni­ture is an in­ter­est­ing item. Whether you sub­scribe to the phi­los­o­phy of smaller scale pieces of fur­ni­ture or think one or two larger pieces are great, con­sider fur­ni­ture that is flex­i­ble, mo­bile and can be used for stor­age. A din­ing room ta­ble with drop leaves, or a bed with draw­ers un­der­neath, are ex­am­ples of func­tional fur­ni­ture that works well in small spaces.

CHOOSE YOUR COLOR CARE­FULLY

Paint color is an­other of those de­bat­able things. Some de­sign­ers be­lieve dark color in a small space is fine while oth­ers sub­scribe to the be­lief of us­ing col­ors that re­fract a lot of light. In gen­eral, in­tense col­ors are okay to use; just limit the use of col­ors that ab­sorb light, like dark blues, pur­ples or dark, in­tense reds. When choos­ing your paint col­ors, al­low them to blend from room to room. In a small space, if you change color dra­mat­i­cally it will cut the space up and sep­a­rate the room too much, mak­ing your space choppy. By main­tain­ing con­ti­nu­ity with the floor­ing, wall color and trim, you help to cre­ate a sense of ex­pan­sive­ness. De­fine spaces for dif­fer­ent pur­poses by us­ing a vari­a­tion of tex­ture, or use French doors, or sheer cur­tains on a pres­sure rod, to sep­a­rate rooms.

STOR­AGE IDEAS

A great way to cre­ate stor­age is to build a shelf about a foot be­low the ceil­ing all around the room. It can be used for stor­age and also for dis­play­ing trea­sures. By us­ing fur­ni­ture pieces that are glass or that have thin legs, it al­lows your eye to pass through them eas­ily and lends to the feel­ing of space.

A lit­tle in­ge­nu­ity and some guid­ance from good books, and you're on your way to cre­at­ing your own look in your lit­tle space.

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