Some people are spending more time at home, often sharing that space with family members for more hours than before the pandemic. Others are downsizing their homes as children move out and nests empty. Whatever the situation may be, rooms can feel crowded.
But a few simple tricks can make your home feel more spacious.
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Last year, Hershelle Burton moved from Brooklyn, New York, to a 1,200-square-foot house in Queens that she inherited from her parents. She remodeled the space to reflect her own style and make it appear larger.
“It’s very different — it’s lighter and brighter than it used to be,” she says. Burton, 52, knocked down a wall between the kitchen and living room, added more lighting, repainted in light colors, installed hardwood floors throughout and kept pathways open to create a sense of flow.
“It’s all about tricking the eye,” says Tammy Bolden, a Montclair, New Jersey interior designer and owner of Bold Interior Designs, who often works on spaces in New York City. “[Here] space is at a premium, apartments are small and rents are high, so it’s very common to make a small space feel larger and serve multiple purposes, especially during the pandemic.”
Here are 10 simple ways to make your home look and feel larger:
Before: This basement den was dark and felt cluttered. After: Recessed lighting and one neutral color for walls and furniture created a bright space.
1. Paint with one light color.
A monochromatic palette helps a space look airier and more open. If you have an open floor plan, one color will tie it all together. And white or lighter colors like grays and creams reflect light.
Tess Leeds, a Newton, Massachusetts, interior decorator and owner of Tess Leeds Redesign, recommends ordering peel-and-stick color samples from Samplize.com. The large squares are painted to provide a more accurate color match, she says. Each 12-inch-by-12-inch sample costs $5.95, about the same as a small paint jar plus supplies.
“I moved them all over and looked at them during different times of day,” says Ginny Packer, 76, who bought 16 samples from Samplize when she wanted to repaint the living room, dining room and foyer of her Bedford, Massachusetts, house. “That whole space looks so much bigger because it doesn’t look like separate rooms.”