The rise of city living and urban lifestyle, with the continued increase in real estate prices, have forced homeowners and 20-something millennials to make do with cramped apartments and tiny offices. Often, mainstream media and comedies have made their plight an object of ridicule, peppered with news of hopeless hoarders and warehouse-like living quarters.
There are, however, several ways to maximize the use of space. But no matter how big an area is, if you use the wrong things to populate it with, it will appear uncomfortable instead of cozy. Here are some tips from experts, ranging from interior designers to cross-country movers.
Fool Your Eyes
The cardinal rule in solving space problems is making it look like space isn’t a problem, and you do this by creating an illusion of space. Apart from using mirrors in strategic corners to give the illusion of depth where you need it, painting a room with light colors can make it look wider and more open. Bright colors, such as white paint on a ceiling, reflect light, giving you more to see in a room, unlike dark colors, which absorb light. If you have to use wallpaper, use light hues or small, repeating patterns set on a bright, subdued background. The same principle that makes a room look bigger if you have floor-to-ceiling mirrors in it apply in this case.
Whatever you do, stay away from wood paneling, experts advise, whether on the floor or the walls. This is a great pick, however, for home offices, so make sure that if you need to, choose light shades and pair them with light-colored office chairs.
Floor Your Eyes
What you do with the ceilings and walls, you typically do with the floor as well. Choose light tiles and use the same throughout the space. Aside from consistency, this allows the eyes to see the entire space as one whole unit, making it look bigger. For tiling, especially when you’re laying down planks, try to lay them down diagonally, which forces the eyes to view the flooring from a different perspective, elongating the space. Otherwise, the safest bet is to lay them parallel to the longest wall.
Open Your Eyes
The eyes are the windows to the soul, as they say, and this works both ways. The windows bridge the interior to the exterior and can also make a significant impact on your illusion of space. To do this, manipulate the light coming in from your windows by leaving them uncovered or with minimal window treatments, if at all. If you have to, use the same color as the wall the windows are set in.
Space is rapidly becoming a prime commodity in urban centers. This is why optical illusions can only take you so far. If you need a tangible way to save space and not just look like you have space, especially in homes where ample space is an essential part of your relaxation, arranging your interiors and using smart furniture are the ways to go.