Interior Design Wonders: Making Your Condo Look Larger Than It Is- By: Jamie Mathwig
Living in a smaller home, such as a condo, can be a comfortable environment for many people, especially those who have the knack for decorating to suit the space. It does not take a lot of money to create an inviting room that allows you to relax and unwind in your own private sanctuary.
No matter what size your home is, each area has its own function and can be decorated with light, airy accessories to enhance the space. You can create illusions of opulence with large pieces of art or decorative flowers (real or artificial) in stylish vases.
A classic, space-enhancing trick is to use mirrors, strategically spaced, to create the appearance of a larger room. This does not need to be floor-to-ceiling as some homes are, but adding three or four mirror strips on a wall will do wonders to brighten the room, especially if natural light can be reflected back into the area.
Color is another key to making a small condo feel bright and open. Soft-colored paint hues will allow light to reflect into the living space and create a feeling of spaciousness. Developing a monochromatic color scheme will also enhance the room by elongating the sight line, especially if a piece of furniture is the same color as the wall.
Do not clutter your walls with too many photos or paintings. Choose one piece of art or photograph that will draw the eye to a focal point in the room, without additional objects to distract from the beauty of your favorite piece.
Size does matter. People who are new to living in small spaces often make the mistake of bringing furniture from their previous family home, including the three-seater sofa and large dining room table with six chairs. Furniture manufacturers today are aware of the smaller footprint that goes with today's condo and townhouse construction. To accommodate this modern way of living, they are producing elegant pieces to suit a number of decorating tastes.
Choose a wall away-style love seat that allows you to relax in your living room without taking up the entire floor. Slim-back chairs give guests a place to sit, without making the room appear overcrowded.
Lighting is another consideration for enhancing a smaller home. Track lighting is often installed to create focused illumination in specific areas, such as kitchen working spaces or in a living room to shine on a feature wall. For long hallways, or to create elegant look to bedrooms, install decorative wall sconces just above eye level. Recessed lighting adds elegance to any room without taking up space on walls or floors.
If you have large windows, be sure to let as much light in as possible. Keep blinds pulled back during the day, and in the evening if privacy will allow.
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