Little tricks for making a room look bigger

It's not as easy as ditching some of the furniture

June 17, 2006|By NICK HARDER | NICK HARDER,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Rearranging a room in your home to make it appear larger doesn't sound like a big challenge. Take out one or two of your big, clunky pieces of furniture and presto - instant bigger room.

Well, yes and no.

Removing big, clunky furniture often helps make a room appear larger. Ellen Hassler, owner of Rooms With a View based in San Clemente, Calif., confirms this.

"We rearrange a room to make it look bigger than it is," she said. "That may involve repainting and moving furniture out, but there's a lot more that could be involved."

Hassler is a member of the Interior Arrangement and Design Association, a nationwide organization dedicated to room arrangement.

Often she transforms rooms using just the things the homeowner has. I asked Hassler for tips on making a room appear larger. I've included her advice with some I've learned from interior designers over the years.

Instead of placing furniture against a wall, locate it at angles. This is because the longest distance in a room is an angle - a diagonal. If your furniture is placed on an angle, the eye naturally follows it.

Keep the contrast low between floor coverings, furnishings and walls. If everything in the room seems to flow together, it won't seem so cluttered.

Don't have too many prints in the room. They tend to catch the eye, which can make the room seem cluttered.

Speaking of clutter, collections need to be grouped, Hassler said.

Mirrors on the walls and glass tabletops will make it seem like there's a more open flow.

In your bathroom, install a glass shower enclosure. It will give a more open feeling to a usually small room.

In a kitchen or bathroom, choose a lighter counter surface. Though black granite is very popular right now, it makes the room appear smaller.

Black absorbs light, instead of reflecting it as a light color would.

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