** A portion of this article was previously published on Examiner.
One of the most frequently asked questions in home decorating is how to make a room look bigger. Whether you live in a small apartment, or have a decent sized home of your own, at some point you may ask yourself this very question. With the use of a few decorating secrets, you can easily make a room look bigger.
Try these decorating tricks to make a room look bigger:
Fool the eye – Use mirrors to increase the visual space of a room. Any reflective surface will assist with making a room look bigger.
Omit bulky furniture – Instantly open up a room by omitting a bulky coffee table and replacing it with side tables on either side of a sofa or loveseat. This will even out the room and create a larger living space.
Clear out the excess – Make a room look bigger by avoiding unnecessary “stuff”. Select key pieces that are functional yet pleasing to the eye, and get rid of the clutter.
Brighten trim – Trimwork should be painted with a semi-gloss finish, preferably in a bright clean white shade. Semi-gloss paint picks up reflections in the room and looks clean.
Brighten with color – Select a sunny paint color that will give a welcoming feeling to the room. If it doesn’t look well against the bright white trim, it’s wrong for the room and will give off a muddy appearance. Sunny colors help make a room look bigger.
Let in the light – Window treatments should be designed so that they can be pulled back during the day to let in light. Sunshine brings life to any room and gives it an open, airy feeling.
Even flow – Find a wood tone that you like and stick with it. Don’t mix dark and light wood tones in the same room.
Furniture placement – Groupings of furniture should appear open and airy with at least one piece placed near a window. Imagine how you would like to sit and converse with guests, and arrange your furniture accordingly.
Select small wallpaper border – If you are planning on adding a wallpaper border to your room, you’ll need to be careful with the size you select. Wide wallpaper borders will bring down the height of the ceiling, and actually make your room appear smaller. Select a border no more than five inches in width.
Keep in scale – When you are trying to make a room look bigger, you want to keep furnishings in scale with the room. For example, if the room is small, don’t add overstuffed recliners and bulky side tables. Opt for slim chairs and tables with smooth lines. The scaled down furniture will help give the appearance of a larger room.
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Personal knowledge and experience