American Farmhouse Style

Maximum EFFORT

Five tips from designer Kate Lester for getting the most from your spaces.


1. SHOWER DESIGN. To make a bathroom look larger, continue the design into the shower. In this home, the horizontal lines of the tongue and groove walls blend into the shower's white horizontal tile, as does the floor tile. “If you do a frameless shower door, then you continue that line of sight,” Kate says. “It gives the illusion that the space is larger than it really is.”

2. CEILING HEIGHT. Bring cabinets up to the ceiling. If there’s a gap, Kate suggests adding shorter cabinets at the top for infrequent­ly-used items. Or if you have room, add a ladder to access the taller items more easily.

3. HANGING CURTAINS. When mounting window treatments such as curtains or drapery, Kate splits the difference between the top of the window and the ceiling. “It elongates the look of the room, and no one knows that there’s six inches of wall underneath that shade,” she says. This also allows every bit of natural light to enter the room.

4. LEVELS. Another way to give a room a larger appearance is to think of a cityscape, with everything at different levels. Follow the same principle to add layers to your room. This multi-level design “allows people’s eyes to move freely throughout the space,” Kate says.

5. LIGHT. Find ways to increase the amount of natural light entering your home. For example, while plantation shutters are easy to use, they block a lot of light. “If you want your space to look bigger, utilize these tricks and then absolutely try to infuse as much natural light as you can,” Kate says.

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