Sometimes, we haven’t quite grown into our rooms. When that happens dark hardwood floors, dark tile, furniture arrangement, and other additions to a space can help you make it cozy. Here are some more suggestions.
The location of your new digs is perfect; close to work, big yard, sunny windows, good schools, safe neighborhood, close to public transit. You couldn’t resist it, but the rooms are ginormous and swallow up your furniture, making the space look even bigger. Suddenly you feel like you’re living in a bright cave that isn’t very cozy.
What can you do to visually minimize the space? Whether you are a renter or a homeowner, you can create a cozy, comfy home quickly and on the cheap.
An effective way to trick the senses into believing you’re in a small room is with color. First, remember that warm colors advance, and cool colors recede. To make walls come towards you, paint them in warm colors. Use rich, dark, earthy colors to absorb light, an abundance of which gives the feeling of spaciousness. Even paint the ceiling a dark color to bring it down towards the living area.
Use a flat matte finish to further absorb light. My mother gambled with a spare bedroom with one large window on the north side of the house. She painted the walls and ceiling chocolate brown, turning it into an intimate den for tv and reading. She used a glossy paint, because it was not a big room to begin with. That kept it from being claustrophobic by giving the room some light. So paint finish does make a difference.
Add wainscoting or a chair rail along your walls, and paint the lower half a dark color. The horizontal line and the dark paint will seemingly pull the ceiling down. You know how they say short people shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes, because they will look shorter? Same principle.
The warmth and weight of a dark wood floor will further ground the space. If you opt for tile floors, again choose dark colors and non-reflective surfaces.
Several small pieces of furniture will make your space seem hollow and frenetic. Choose large-scale furniture, including couches and chairs that are overstuffed. Use an ottoman instead of coffee table.
Use furniture groupings to define separate areas of one big room. Place a couch across the middle of the living room as a room divider. A chunky earth tone area rug can define the living area, while the space behind the couch can be an office, den, or dining area.
Alternatively, put a screen type room divider behind the couch for an even cozier and more closed in feeling. A screen also works well placed in a corner to actually make the room smaller.
Pull all the furniture into the room away from the walls. Place a small seating area along the wall instead. Use the same idea in the bedroom with a loveseat or chair and side table.
High contrast and large patterns visually make a room smaller. Think big and bright for pillows, textiles, lampshades, end tables, and art. Avoid mirrors, which bounce light and expand space.
Got a fireplace? Want one? Create a faux fireplace of stone or brick veneer, and add a visually heavy, textured wood mantle. Top it with a few bright accents, and hang a large abstract painting over it.
Lighting should be soft, warm, and low on the wall. Floor and table lamps are preferable to overhead lighting. Don’t point lights towards the ceiling, but instead, direct the eye to the floor.
Plants should be few and large. Instead of a screen in a corner, install a large palm in an earth-toned pot.
Remodeling not necessary
These home décor tricks work whether you are a renter or a homeowner. There is no need for construction to make a cavernous space feel like an intimate spot for two. You don’t need to feel uncomfortable in a large room, and it’s not a major project to get comfortable. Paint, textiles, and accessories are available to everyone. Enjoy transforming that perfect place!