“It’s a small apartment.
I’ve barely enough room to lay my hat
and a few friends.”
– Dorothy Parker
The Tiny Home: Living Large In A Little Place
First off, stop thinking your home, or even just a room, is “small” as if that’s a bad thing. This will alter your mindset away from believing you have to fix it. Embrace your space as is. While it’s true that clever editing and space saver ideas rule, it’s also true that in a small space, you can get away with wonderful outrageous style statements, that tried in a larger area, would be overwhelming.
Push Me Pull You: What’s your favorite color? Use it everywhere from walls to fabric for drapery and upholstery. Try using one shade of paint color on the north and south walls and a slightly deeper shade of the same color on the east and west walls. This causes the appearance of expansion and contraction, so you can make a room appear longer or more square with no demolition.
A Pattern Language: Using the same splashy (but tasteful of course) fabric with matching wall paper all over walls, drapery and furniture can be fabulous. Add a big wonderful mirror and you may find yourself with a favorite hide-away…more about mirrors next post.
White Wonder: Don’t assume that if you paint a teeny room white it will magically appear larger. It won’t, though the room will appear brighter. In terms of seeming to enlarge an area, you might as well consider white paint only if you really like white. However, you will find that white paint in an inherently dark room looks like an unnatural act. Shades of colors used to work with the existing conditions of light are your best bet. In other words, bright Sunlight Yellow won’t serve you as well as Mellow Old Gold.
Oh, Stop Pouting. If you are convinced that white paint is the only way to go regardless, there is a way to make white work wonders in a small space. Paint the floors white too, The white shell effect doesn’t appear to have any boundaries. Actually, this shell effect works with any color.
Thumb Rules, If You’d Rather: In a small space, minimize the number of visual contrasts. For this reason, whether or not you use color or simply use white everywhere, paint the the doors and trims the same color as the walls but using a satin finish paint rather than the matte finish usually used on large flat surfaces. For a little more definition, start with the Paint the walls slightly darker than the trim with the ceiling as light a shade or even lighter. Lacquer or use a semigloss paint for the ceilings. In general, semigloss paint, even in dark colors, can blur the boundaries of a room and make it appear larger.
Next Time: Small Space Solutions #4: Subversive Tactics