By Barbara Pronin
Hanging large mirrors on one wall of the living room has been touted for years as a way to make the room larger. But, said New York designer Jeffrey Blum, mirrors reflect everything in the room, creating the illusion of clutter.
Blum, the owner of SixZero6 Designs, suggests seven less traditional ways homeowners should consider to create the illusion of more space:
Invest in built-ins – Whether you add window-seats or built-in bookshelves, small rooms will benefit. Unlike groupings of furniture which can appear awkward or cluttered, built-ins make small rooms provide vertical interest and architectural detail, making them appear gracious and more substantial.
Open up the doorways – Renovate doorways, making them as wide and tall as possible, preferably to the ceiling. There may be no need to remove an entire wall between rooms when enlarging a door can make a huge difference.
Choose larger floor tile – The larger the tile, plank or pattern on a floor, the larger the room will look. Even the tiniest of powder rooms can benefit from this trick. Another tip? Install tiles on a diagonal.
Make use of the hallway – Hallways often seem small and closed-in. ‘Open’ them by hanging an eye-catching piece of artwork at the far end. This draws the eye to the longest distance, making the hallway appear less cramped.
Add a wall of windows – Replace the living slider with a wall of windows or French doors. They will brighten the room and draw the eye out to the landscaping, making the room itself seem more expansive.
Use light colors and scaled-down furniture – Rooms painted in light colors, especially cream colors and icy blues, help make a room appear larger. Choose low-profile or slim pieces of furniture, rather than large or overstuffed pieces, to maintain the open look.
Please the senses – Just placing fresh flowers in a room, playing soft music and opening windows or sliders to let the breeze in can go a long way toward making a small room appear airier and me spacious.