What we place in our homes and how we place these items can define any given space. The world is a crowded place these days, and living spaces are shrinking fast. No matter what the actual square footage of your Kitchener-Waterloo home may be, there are so many ways to open up your space and not only make it look larger, but feel larger, too!
No worries, opening up a space can be a lot of fun! We tend to get so used to where things are placed that they seem fixated. A certain joy exists in realizing that any of these items can be moved, rearranged, or perhaps even find a new place in which they seem to belong, creating a living space you’re certain to love.
It All Starts with Decluttering!
It’s hard not to be familiar with the concept of decluttering because it’s become a zeitgeist, but it can feel like a looming and overwhelming task to approach. So, how do you make it happen without the panic attack? Start with one room, and then begin with one part of that room. You can begin by clearing off surfaces (including the floor) and evaluating what can be discarded altogether. Organize like materials with bins or small boxes. Once you’re able to see how much more open a dining room can feel with nothing on its table or a living room with only one or two items on the coffee table, you’ll find natural motivation to declutter throughout your entire home.
Seek Out Space Savers
We tend to think more on the horizontal plane rather than the vertical when it comes to object placement, but the simple reality is that vertical methods of storage create more space in a room and can offer a more efficient method of organization. Over-the-door products are great for shoes, bathroom items, or even miscellaneous collections like mail. Also, you may want to consider shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling. You could place small boxes of belongings on some shelves and aesthetically pleasing items such as a vase or photographs on others. Ceiling height shelves not only take the burden off the floor and horizontal surfaces, but they also make the room appear taller.
Furniture Placement Matters!
Your furniture helps define the activities in each room. Sometimes just shifting pieces of furniture that have been in the same place for a long time to a new place will make the whole room feel new and more open. Consider how each piece of furniture interacts with other things in the room – other pieces of furniture, windows, doorways, etc. If any furniture blocks the light, try angling it so your window can do its job properly. Additionally, make sure furniture doesn’t block pathways in one room or from one room to another, as an interrupted flow can feel cramped. Keep doorways and walkways open– this creates more space visually and physically.
Rugs can also open up space by drawing attention to all the room on the floor with its design. Rugs bring new definition to furniture and items with its particular lines and contours– like a painting on the floor that interacts dynamically with other objects in the space. Select rugs that are perfect for the size, space, and design of a room
Lighting is an Essential Factor
Light is key to opening space. Light allows every room in your house to breathe. Aside from not blocking natural light, there are also ways to attract light. Painting walls in reflective colors such as yellows, grays, and whites will give the room a larger feel. While there’s a place for beautiful, rich dark colors, if you’re trying to open up space, lighter ones are the way to go. Dark colors tend to define the space in a more confined way; lighter colors let the light move.
The Magic of Mirrors
Mirrors reflect light and give any room a more spacious feel. Hanging a mirror to reflect a window will give the appearance of another window in the room, and will make that room feel bigger as well as brighter. In a small bedroom, try placing a tall full-length mirror against the wall. While it doesn’t actually expand your physical walking space in a literal sense, it will feel as though it does, which makes a big difference. In places like the living room, try propping a small mirror against the wall or on an unused fireplace. In lieu of natural light, burn some candles in front of the mirror to reflect candlelight and see how that light softly opens up the space.
Creating a sense of openness is essential to a home feeling bigger, and these steps will create a more open home. In a poem, “stanza,” is Italian for “room.” Just like part of a poem, we want our rooms to be concise (not too many words, not too many items) and expansive (instead of items cluttering, they instead can draw attention to the open space). Each room can be a kind of artistic creation that you design yourself. We are partnered with Rooms in Bloom Home Staging to help our clients get the most out of their living spaces.
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