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August 2nd, 2016 at 11:00 am

small-space design tips

If you’re saving up to buy your first home, or just bought your very first “starter” home, chances are your living spaces aren’t as spacious as you’d like. Fortunately for you, there are tons of ways to make any space feel and look bigger than it actually is. Follow these 12 easy steps to get started.

Trash, keep, or give away

1. Tackling the clutter in your home is the first step to making your spaces feel bigger. Take a look around the rooms in your home and ask yourself if the items you are holding on to and displaying are there for a better reason other than “they’ve always been there.” If it doesn’t have a functional or sentimental value, and adds more clutter than style to your space, get rid of it. Tackle one room at a time and separate your items into trash, keep, or giveaway piles.

Utilize your vertical space

2. Shelves are a great way to utilize every inch of your home. Consider what you will be storing on the shelves before you install open shelves, or shelves with closed cabinets. In the living room, open shelves are good for picture frames, books, and any knickknacks that you didn’t toss or give away. In the kitchen or hallways, consider installing shelves with cabinets to store extra appliances, guest towels, blankets, and other items you will not want on display.

3. When considering lighting options, remember that table and floor lamps require a table and floor space to sit on. Mounting lights on the wall will give you more space and brighten the room even more from above.

Remember that table and floor lamps require a table and floor space to sit on Click To Tweet

Avoid bulky pieces

4. Although your grandmother’s armoire or the large sectional sofa that was handed down by your parents may seem like an easy, cheap alternative to furniture shopping, they will definitely make your space feel more crowded. Look for sleek but inexpensive pieces with thin legs and open bottoms. You can always redecorate when you’re in a larger home and the cash you get from your bulkier pieces will help fund your new decor! (Just check to be sure no items are sentimental before you sell.)

5. Another trick is to buy pieces that can double as something else, like a coffee table with storage underneath or a side table that doubles as a bar cart.

Selective color decor

6. Light-colored decor can really open up a space, especially if your home is lacking in windows or has dark interior features. Consider all-white decor in your bedroom or bathrooms for an open, clean feel.

7. Choosing a nice, neutral color to paint the walls throughout your home allows walls to flow into one another and will make your space feel less choppy. Then use colors and accents to liven up each unique space.

8. However, don’t be afraid to go bold with your decor. Choose a fun pattern and stick to just a few colors so that it does not overwhelm your space.

Don't be afraid to go bold with your decor Click To Tweet

Increase your ceiling height

9. Or at least make it look like you did. Hanging your curtain rods just a few inches below the ceiling will make your windows seem bigger. By adjusting the curtains and rods so that the curtains cover wall instead of window, you will also let more light in during the day.

10. If a space is really tight, consider going without curtains. This works best in the kitchen or living room, or in rooms that have a private view.

More than just a looking glass

11. Mirrors are great at opening up a room. Placing mirrors in the right places adds dimension and pulls in light, creating the illusion that a room is bigger than it actually is.

Built-in seating

12. Instead of four kitchen chairs at your table, swap a couple out for a built-in bench. Not only will you save room, but you will have extra storage space underneath. You can also consider utilizing this option in your bedrooms or living rooms.

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