Real Estate Guide 2010: Space is in the eye of the beholder
When people move from one house to another, they often cite size as the chief reason for moving. Many homeowners, thanks to growing families, simply outgrow their homes over time. For those homeowners who are too comfortable to move, there are a few old tricks to make your home feel larger than it really is.
• Make furniture functional: The way you arrange furniture can add or reduce the amount of space you have in your home. Whenever possible, group furniture together. For example, in the family room a sofa and chair grouped together at right angles will eliminate the need for separate lamps or coffee tables, freeing up space. In addition, larger furniture should be placed against a wall to free up space in the middle of a room. Rooms only feel more cluttered when furniture is placed in the middle and needs to be walked around to get in and out of the room.
• Bet on bookcases: Tall bookcases can do wonders and make a room appear larger than it is. While wide bookcases decrease open wall space, pulling a room together and making it seem smaller in the process, a tall bookcase will make the ceiling seem higher. Also, a tall bookcase can double as a shelf for family pictures or to store items you use on a daily basis, freeing up clutter from other parts of the home.
• Mirror, mirror on the wall: A strategically placed mirror can serve as an optical illusion of sorts, helping a room appear larger than it really is. For example, in narrow rooms hang a mirror on the long wall. This will distract attention from how narrow the room is and make it appear wider.
• Leave it to the lighting: A poorly lit room will appear small regardless of how big it is. Keep all rooms well lit. If a room is primarily lit with lamps, make sure the lamp shades are light-colored so the room is bright.
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