Light and airy colors help small spaces feel larger. Cool colors like blue and green will also add to the effect. For paint techniques, fabrics and patterns, think tone-on-tone in cream and white, pale greens and buttery yellows. Even paint or cover some of your furniture the same as the wall color for a visual look that extends a rooms’ size.
Use fewer, larger pieces of furniture and low benches, ottomans and armless chairs and other furniture that opens up floor space and avoids blocking windows. Add drama and visual interest by purchasing pillows, throws, lamps, candles, pottery and other decorative accessories in contrasting textures and colors. To gain storage space, furnish rooms with multi-functional furniture: ottomans that open for storage, round tables with table skirts for “hiding” items, and bamboo trunks to be used as coffee tables and for storage.
To make a guest room space when you don’t have an extra room, purchase a sleep sofa for your living room. Use a folding room divider to afford some privacy and create a separate space for overnight guests. Keep a basket of toiletries, lotions, and other items handy and place it on a side table at bed time for warm welcome.
Small kitchens can be made more workable and practical with a few changes. Install large, sturdy hooks under kitchen cabinets to hang coffee mugs, and free up cabinet space. Store cookie sheets, broiler pans and other large pans in the oven when you’re not using it. Three-tiered mesh baskets can be hung up to store dishtowels and pot holders so drawers can be used for plastic wrap, foil and sandwich bags. Use cabinets over the refrigerator for seldom used or seasonal serving pieces.
A corner cabinet can be placed in a kitchen or dining room to store dishes and tablecloths and placemats, freeing up cabinets in the kitchen.
Convert the linen closet to a pantry. Store sheets and bed linens on the top shelf of the closet in the bedroom and store towels in an extra dresser drawer or in an underbed storage container. Toilet tissue, Kleenex, shampoo and other bathroom items can be stored under the sink, on shelving units designed to fit under the sink and slide out for easy access to items.
Laundry products can take up valuable space in a laundry closet. Store detergent and fabric softeners inside the washer and dryer when they’re not being used or purchase a specially made bottle organizer that can be hung from the towel rack or heavy-duty hook.
Install floor to ceiling shelving units, painted the same color as the walls. Use baskets or other decorative containers for storage of CD’s, DVD’s, kids’ toys, magazines or anything else.
Remember that less is more when trying to maximize small spaces. Think of new ways to use everyday items and be sure to buy as multi-functional items to maximize storage and floor and wall space.