The main factor that contributes to that feeling of tightness that one has in small spaces is clutter. Newspapers, magazines, or books thrown randomly in the living room add to that “lockdown” feeling. Simply stacking magazines or placing them neatly on a table will add space to a room. The kitchen or dining room table is another culprit when stacked with mail, keys, or other things that one tends to drop there because it is faster and easier than putting them away. The author had an aunt who lived in a very small house (so small that people called it a dollhouse) that was always clean and tidy and never made one feel cramped. Aunt Leta’s motto was “everything has a place and everything is in its place.” Above all, keep the floors clean and tidy.
Light or neutral colored walls and floors add a sense of space to the environment. Leave windows uncovered and decorated with blinds that can be opened during the day and closed at night for privacy and / or consider curtains that frame the windows rather than cover them. Too many pictures on the walls can close a room. Too much furniture can reduce your space and make you feel cluttered. Not only should the furniture be small in number, but it should be light or neutral in colors with perhaps a colorful accent table or two. Light gray furniture comes to mind accented with blue and orange pillow touches.
Let’s move on to the dreaded kitchen, a place that seems to be especially susceptible to that closed-off feeling. If one can afford it, a skylight is extremely useful for providing light and ventilation. White cabinets and light neutral countertops with just a few strategically placed frequently used items can add a lot of space to the room.
Children’s rooms can be helped by offering convenient places to store unused toys and games. A desk and library in an older child’s room will provide storage space for those items that often contribute to clutter, such as books, CDs,
If you are looking for a new home, look for one with high or vaulted ceilings. It is amazing how high ceilings can open a small house. Large windows will open up the house and make it appear larger. Wood floors are less limiting than wall-to-wall carpeting. Imagine hardwood floors with some strategically placed rugs.
So one does not have to spend a lot of money to provide an open atmosphere. This entire article seems primarily devoted to the importance of good cleaning, doesn’t it? I’m sorry about that! But it is important. So let’s ditch the clutter, clear the dining room table, and put an inexpensive accent or conversation piece in the center. Then sit back in your favorite easy chair, look around the room and maybe out the window and enjoy the space you just created.