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Sometimes upsizing just isn’t an option, even if the extra space would be wonderful. Maybe you just can’t afford the higher cost, or you just absolutely adore the house you’re currently in. Optimizing space to make a home feel bigger can save you all the costs of upsizing, and make a smaller home feel infinitely more comfortable. So whether you’re planning on expanding your family, or you just seem to accumulate more and more stuff, here’s how you can make that home of yours feel more spacious, without all the costs of upsizing.
Let all the light in
A dark, dingy space automatically feel smaller, more cramped, and even a bit more depressing. The best way to make a small space feel bigger is to welcome as much light in as possible. Keep the walls painted in light, neutral colors, and ensure any larger pieces of furniture follow the same theme. This allows natural light to reflect around the room more easily, making it feel bigger. Make the most of your windows, too. Paint the section around it a brilliant white, and keep the windows completely unobstructed. The best way to achieve this is by using a curtain rail that is larger than the window, so when the curtains are open they obstruct the wall, not the window, allowing all the light in and making the window appear larger from the room. If you’ve not got access to a lot of natural light – maybe your home is south facing, or you’re occupying a basement flat – using bright LED lights is a good way to emulate this, and can still make a room feel far larger.
Use mirrors to make spaces seem bigger
Sticking with the theme of natural light, just like with painting the rooms white to help the light reflect, it can also be helpful to put some mirrors in to get even further reflection. When a large mirror is placed opposite a window, it can almost double the light in the room, and also helps to bring the outside in, creating the illusion of more space that way. They can also help to achieve the illusion that a room goes on for further than it seems. While mirrors are the most obvious way to get this effect, using other reflective surfaces around your home will also create the illusion of space and light. Using chrome or stainless steel fixtures, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens can make the space feel larger, and even glossy surfaces and tiles can add to the effect.
Make shared bedrooms fun
The difficulty of a smaller home with a larger family is enabling everyone has enough space to feel comfortable, including space to call their own. If you have a multi-child family, sometimes those children have to share their bedrooms, and this can pose all manner of difficulties. For larger rooms, multiple single beds with large curtains or room dividers allow each child to create their own, private space, separate from each other. For smaller rooms, double or triple bunk beds have to be employed, and those areas are then the ones to be personalized. Allow each child to choose their own bedding – a child’s bedroom is no place for cohesive decor after all. Then allow them to put artwork on their section of the wall, and use bunting and fairy lights to personalize. Keep the rest of the room light, neutral, and as clutter-free as possible, and you’ve got yourself a room that multiple kids can use, without having to sacrifice their own sense of identity.
Choose multi-functional furniture
Throughout the home, furniture obviously takes up the most space. Being able to use multifunctional furniture allows you to keep the number of items down, but also allows helps to keep the costs down. Consider a large dining table which can also double as an office desk or homework area. Sofas and beds with large amounts of storage underneath are also great for homes with limited space, as storage always tends to become an issue. A coffee table which is also a trunk, a sofa which is also a guest bed, all of these things are great space and money savers, and look amazing too. Don’t be afraid to opt for larger pieces of furniture, as they can actually make a room seem bigger than lots of smaller items, which can break cohesion and create the illusion of clutter.
Utilize all outside space
If your inside space is chock full of furniture and people, the logical place to go next is to the yard. A house with a yard is a house with a space screaming for an extension, although not necessarily of the building kind. An area of decking, with outdoor seating, potted plants, and maybe even a barbecuing area allows you to move outdoors when the weather is finer, meaning you feel less cramped. Instead of forking out for an expensive house move, why not use a little bit of that money to create a yard you want to spend time in, which suits your family and gives you an extra place to relax?
Keep it clutter free
Clutter is the bane of a smaller house – it takes up space, confuses the eye, and doesn’t really help the room to feel larger. The key here is to be a little bit brutal – throw out anything you don’t need, avoid buying anything unnecessary, sell anything worth any money, and if you can’t throw it out, make sure you have somewhere to store it. Smart storage solutions in a smaller home are the way forwards, so it’s important to get imaginative. Do you have a nook which is too small to use for anything? Put a cupboard door over it and keep boardgames or crockery in there. Do you have a bathroom with a blank wall? Put up shelves or cupboards for keeping toiletries or cleaning products in. They key to a spacious home of any size is good storage, but it’s especially important for smaller homes.
Keep it clutter free, get smart with your use of space, and there’s no reason you can’t all be happy in a smaller home, without having to fork out to upsize.