Sim­ple dec­o­rat­ing tricks can in­stantly ex­pand a small room

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - REAL ESTATE Q&A LIVING G SPACES - By Kathryn We­ber

Tri­bune Con­tent Agency Small spa­ces

can be a chal­lenge to dec­o­rate be­cause any­thing added to the room takes up pre­cious space. It helps to use a few dec­o­rat­ing tricks that can open up the space and make it feel larger than it re­ally is. Here are some ba­sic tips:

Good light­ing. All rooms need good light­ing, but small rooms need ex­tra light­ing. Add lights in the cor­ners of the room to brighten and ex­pand the space.

Mir­rors. Add a mir­ror over a bed, sofa or fire­place to make the room in­stantly dou­ble in size and in light. And don’t over­look mir­rored fur­ni­ture; it can work small space magic, too.

Add stor­age. Make all fur­ni­ture do dou­ble duty, whether it’s a chair that hides a fold-out bed, an ot­toman with stor­age un­der the cush­ion, or a cock­tail ta­ble that has shelves or draw­ers. The more stor­age you have, the more spa­cious the room will feel.

Think con­trast. A dark car­pet with light walls or fur­nish­ings will draw the eye go to­ward the walls, mak­ing the room feel larger than it is.

Think monochro­matic. When a room is bathed in sin­gle color, the walls ex­pand. To break up the color monotony, add tex­ture in floor­ing, up­hol­stery and ac­cents.

Sheer magic. Heavy cur­tains can close off win­dows, views and all-im­por­tant light, so ease up. Sheer cur­tains dress win­dows with soft­ness and add light while pre­serv­ing pri­vacy.

Hang ‘em high. Long cur­tain pan­els hung at the ceil­ing cre- ate vis­ual height in a room. Or, use a valance at the ceil­ing and layer long sheers be­hind it.

Sim­plic­ity. Small rooms beg for edit­ing. Pare down ac­cents and ac­ces­sories to sin­gu­lar bold items that stand out but don’t add clut­ter.

Grand pro­por­tions. Don’t be afraid to use a large piece of fur­ni­ture in a small room. A canopy bed or floor-to-ceil­ing book­shelf can make a big state­ment and look chic.

Clear it up. Glass and clear fur­nish­ings can be both prac­ti­cal and space-en­hanc­ing. Go for chairs like the bud­get­friendly To­bias chair ($79, Ikea. com) or the clas­si­cally-styled Louis Ghost Chair ($300 for a set of 4, Add a glass ta­ble and you have a stylishly space-friendly ar­range­ment.

Skirt the is­sue. If you have open shelv­ing you use for stor­age or open plumb­ing be­neath a sink, cover it with fab­ric skirt­ing and dou­ble the stor­age ca­pac­ity.

Fo­cal point. If hav­ing a fo­cal point in a large room is im­por­tant, it’s dou­bly so in a small one. With­out a fo­cal point for the space, the eye keeps swim­ming like a gold­fish in a bowl. Use a large piece of fur­ni­ture or art­work to an­chor a small room.

. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Kathryn We­ber through her Web site,­lo­tuslet­ter. com.

(c) 2013 Kathryn We­ber. Dis­trib­uted by Tri­buneCon­tent Agency, LLC.

A large piece of fur­ni­ture can add drama in a small space.

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