Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Guest Post: 5 Design Tips To Open Up Your Space!

5 Design Tips To Open Up Your Space

All over the country, it is starting to get warmer as winter finally gives way to spring. Flowers are in bloom in the local parks and birds are chirping in the warm morning sun. We start pulling out our sunglasses collection and putting away the cashmere scarves as the weather gets warmer and warmer and we start spending more and more time outside. We watch as the sidewalks fill up with people enjoying outdoor lunches and mid-day strolls. But no matter how warm it gets outside, we still spend a lot of time in our homes, so it is important that we love them and enjoy being indoors, too. If you live in a small space, you might find yourself feeling a little cramped. There is good news though: you can make some adjustments in your design and d├ęcor to make your space feel larger. Below are some tips to get you started opening up your space.

#1 – Clean up! If you have piles of clutter around – even just a stack of mail on the counter – it will make your space feel smaller. The more clutter you have, the less open your space will feel, not to mention that clutter induces stress. Make sure you are taking advantage of all the storage space you have and not allowing bookshelves, coffee tables, and armchairs to accumulate what should be in drawers, closets, or the garbage.

#2 – Paint the walls a light color. Any designer will tell you that one of the easiest ways to make a room feel larger is to paint the walls a lighter color. Dark colors can work well in large spaces that you want to feel cozier, but should be avoided in tighter quarters. If you want to pick a color that coordinates with your current furniture – instead of buying new furniture – then just go with a lighter shade of the color you have.

#3 – Organize your furniture according to the room’s shape. Instead of trying to find ways to fit your furniture into the room, let the room dictate the furniture’s arrangement. That might mean not using a beloved piece, but sometimes that is the price you pay for great design! Ask yourself if that corner table really belongs where you have it.

#4 – Use area rugs to break up space. Sometimes a studio-type apartment can look like it has more rooms if you use area rugs to break up the space into the bedroom, the sitting area, the doorway, or a combination. Even a couple small area rugs with little else can create the illusion of a multi-room apartment. A small silver lining: because rugs are often priced based on their size, when you are shopping for small ones, you might find higher quality rugs in your price range than if you were looking for a rug for a bigger room.

#5 – Keep the ceiling white. Though an interesting or creatively decorated ceiling can be a fun way to personalize your apartment, it will also make the space feel smaller. So if you have low ceilings, stick to basic white. And while you’re looking at the ceiling, make sure there are no watermarks or cracks that need to be inspected! Not to mention, that if it looks a little dingy, consider repainting it.

About the author: Jillian Watkinson is a DIY expert and has written about home and gardens for many years. When she’s not writing, you can find her covering CHS, and other useful supply companies for various projects.


  1. These tips will definitely come in handy for decorating my new home! I just moved in a couple weeks ago and I need all the creative home design tips I can get. I am going shopping for Large Rugs on Saturday. Thanks!

  2. Excellent resource! Thank you for sharing this great piece of information with us!