Small homes are typically defined as about 1,000 square feet or less with the average home in the United States coming in at 1,650 square feet. "Small" homes may feel a lot tighter with the wrong layout or paint choices.
When dealing with a smaller home it is important to maximize the space to make it feel larger. Below are some projects that will help create the illusion of more space in your home.
1. Pick cool toned neutral paint colors
Rich colors tend to make a home feel small. These colors can be appealing in certain contexts but make almost any room feel smaller. Think of rich, warm colors like red, orange and yellow and any dark shades. You'll want to avoid these in smaller homes. Aim for cool neutral colors like grays and whites which give rooms an open and airy feel. Painting is easy to do and can bring new life into an old stale space.
2. Less is more when it comes to wall art
A big trend these days is the gallery style wall, with many individual items packed together. In an already small space, this will make it look smaller. Instead, opt for one or two larger scale pieces. Having a single piece of art on the wall will draw your eye towards it rather than magnify the smaller dimensions of the space.
When hanging a larger scale, single piece on your wall, make sure to hang it 57 inches off the ground. This is where the average eye level sits and many museums and galleries use this method. Aim for abstract or modern design over detailed patterns that can be visually confusing.
3. A skylight is a life-saver
Not only will a skylight allow for natural light to enter your home, they also make the room feel more spacious.
Make sure you hire a pro as adding one isn't an easy task and expect to pay anywhere from $500-3,000 for the improvement. Areas to consider installing one should be the kitchen, bathroom, or hallway where natural light is usually limited. The best time to install a new skylight is when you are getting a new roof, as many won't install one on a roof that isn't new.
4. Swap out for a glass shower door
If you're working with a small bathroom, odds are it feels even smaller with an opaque shower door and enclosure. A clear shower door will dramatically open up the room and make it feel larger. You can even make a weekend project out of it as frameless glass shower kits are available at home improvement stores and start at around $500. Just make sure you have someone else helping you as it is definitely a two person job.
5. Hang those curtains high
If you want to create the illusion of height and size in a room you will want to hang your curtains or drapes as high as you can. To maximize this, follow these steps:
- If you have molding in a room aim for 4 inches above the window frame. No molding? Then go for 6 inches above the frame.
- Extend the curtain rod to go 8-12 inches beyond the width of the window
- Stay away from horizontal patterns and opt for vertical patterns to make the walls appear taller.
- Curtain length is also important. Look for curtains long enough to almost reach the floor. Go for only an inch of space between the bottom of the curtain and the floor.
6. All about flooring
This tip goes hand in hand with cool-toned walls. A lighter floor will make the space feel bigger by reflecting the natural light. Here are ways to lighten your flooring no matter what type you are working with:
Install new carpeting
Although white carpet could be difficult to keep clean you could instead choose a cool-toned blue, green, or neutral color and it will have the same impact. Look to spend $980-$1,680 per room on new carpet.
Sand and refinish hardwood floors with a lighter stain
Hire a professional or make it a DIY. It only takes a day or so to sand down your floors and once you do you can refinish them with a lighter stain to brighten the room.
Install a lighter laminate
Laminate flooring comes in almost every shade imaginable and will cost $3-8$ per square foot. Pick a lighter shade and transform your space.