If your home or apartment is a bit lacking in the square footage department, you probably know all about getting creative when it comes to adding storage and finding ways to fit everything you need into small spaces. But creativity can only go so far, as your living space may soon look and feel completely cramped depending on your furniture and storage needs.
While you may not be able to start knocking down walls to create extra space for your belongings, you can do several things that minimize that cramped feeling—including changing your window coverings.
The blinds and shades you choose don’t just affect the amount of light that enters your home—they can also affect how big or small your home looks and feels. Choose the wrong window coverings and a small space feels even more cramped, but choose the right window coverings and previously tight quarters suddenly feel homey and breezy rather than confined and claustrophobic.
To give the smallest rooms in your home or apartment some extra breathing room without resorting to using a sledgehammer, check out Blindster’s tips below:
Choose blinds and shades that are low-profile and flush with your windows.
Large, intricate, and billowing shades, such as certain types of Roman shades, cellular shades, and even vertical blinds can enhance your home’s beauty, but their design can also make small rooms feel even smaller. When choosing window coverings for tight spaces, always look for ones that are as low-profile as possible. That means roller shades, aluminum blinds, and wood blinds are all great options, as these window treatments are effective at both complementing your window and your décor without overwhelming the room.
Install sheer shades for the ultimate in natural light and openness.
Heavy, thick, and dark shades can look beautiful, but they aren’t always the best option for small rooms. Sheer shades, on the other hand, are among the most conducive to tight spaces. In addition to letting in huge amounts of natural light, they’re also unobtrusive both from a physical and visual standpoint. Letting in ample amounts of natural light always makes rooms look and feel larger, and the sheer materials and fabric used in sheer shades also make the window treatments seem to disappear at all hours of the day and night.
Mount your window treatments outside of your windows.
If your room seems small due to small windows—commonly found in garages, basements, laundry rooms, and other utility areas—creating the illusion of larger windows can also create the illusion of more square footage. Instead of mounting your window coverings flush inside your windows, considering mounting them outside of the window itself. By attaching them to the window frame, or wall, and allowing the edges to overlap frame by several inches. Your windows will appear up to a foot larger, which in turn, will make your room look and feel larger as well.
Hang a mirror facing your windows and window coverings.
Using a mirror to create the appearance of a larger room is a tried-and-true tactic, but it’s doubly effective if you use one to reflect your windows. A well-placed mirror can greatly enhance the effect your real windows have on your own perception of the size of your room and increase the amount of natural light inside your home.
Opt for light colors when choosing your blinds or shades.
Dark colors make a bold statement and can match your furniture and décor, but they can also make small spaces feel even more enclosed. Light colors, on the other hand, are perfect for making the most of your room’s square footage. In fact, for the best results, consider choosing shades with white or off-white fabric to maximize this effect. In addition to opening up your space, white décor also promotes feelings of calmness—especially when combined with ample amounts of natural light.
Think vertical for rooms with low ceilings.
Vaulted ceilings are becoming more and more popular in new homes, but if your home has a traditional low ceiling, there is a trick to making your ceiling seem higher. By mounting your window coverings close to your ceiling, your eye will be drawn upwards, creating a sense of verticality in your home that may have been missing due to the low ceilings.
Choose solid colors over textures and patterns.
If you’re opting for shades over blinds, choose shades that are monochromatic in color (with light colors being preferable). Shades that utilize a single color have a more matte and built-in appearance when mounted inside or outside windows than shades with intricate designs, textures, and patterns, all of which can subtly make rooms appear smaller. When square footage is an issue, every inch counts—even those created by visual tricks—and choosing solid colors is one way to create that advantage.
Opt for uniform colors across the board.
This requires a bit more planning and a higher cost than other tips and tricks, but if you’re serious about maximizing the appearance of your space, it may be one of the most effective of them all. Choose a single light color—such as white, grey, beige, or slate—and decorate your room almost entirely in that color. Yes, that includes paint, carpet, furniture, window coverings, and other assorted decorative items. The more uniform the colors are in a single room, the larger it will appear due to the lack of contrast.
Remove clutter from areas near your windows and window coverings.
Having large windows—or creating the illusion of large windows—is a small-room advantage that can be quickly wasted when you move too much “stuff” in front of them. Although it can be difficult to resist placing a table, chairs, or other essential furniture near a window due to your room’s layout, do your best to rearrange these items elsewhere or simply get rid of them altogether. An unobstructed view of your windows and the light they let into your home can dramatically increase the perceived size of your living space.