Not all of us have spacious mansions with vaulted ceilings. Many of us live in studio apartments or small cozier homes. And as much as we love our little nooks, we sure do wish they looked just a little bigger.
There is a long list of techniques you can implement to make your rooms feel more spacious. You can downsize furniture, paint everything white, add a bunch of mirrors, just to name a few examples. If you want to make your house a hall of mirrors, knock yourself out. Just know that it might not be your most cost-efficient option.
If you want an option that is less expensive, quicker to install, and doesn’t cramp your style like a total overhaul would, then rethinking your window treatments might be your best move. Done well, window treatments have the ability to brighten a cramped space and strategically elongate undersized walls. Don’t believe us that a set of blinds can make a room more spacious? Test out these tips for yourself:
Choose a Window Treatment Style that Elongates
Plain shades are an ideal choice for making a room more spacious. The simpler the better. Any embellishments or attention-grabbing designs will feel clunky in a small room, so choose a flat surface and a traditional design.
Although blinds have a texture of their own, they elongate a space surprisingly well. By drawing the eye along the slats, blinds can help lengthen a room in height or width. If you have low ceilings, install vertical blinds. The long vertical lines created by the slats will make the room seem taller than it is. Alternatively, horizontal blinds establish a sense of roominess. By drawing the eye side to side, horizontal blinds promote width and depth in a shallow room.
Pirouette shades are another option to strategically open up a space. Pirouette shades are essentially a hybrid window treatment that look like blinds made from the materials used for shades. When closed, they provide the same sleek feel and semi-sheer coverage that shades do. When tilted open, they have a similar effect to blinds by elongating the space horizontally. They work especially well for small spaces because they have a lengthening effect yet are not as visually heavy as blinds.
Most curtain options work fine for small rooms, as well. The option to fully open them allows for plenty of natural light. Also, while open, they can add height to a room by creating another element of verticality. Just my mindful about installation. Curtain rods that stick out too far from the wall will diminish a space visually and physically.
Neutral Colors Are Your Best Friend
Not to take all the fun out of decorating, but it’s best to pass on textures and patterns when your goal is to make a room look bigger. Stick to light, neutral colors. You’ll thank us later.
If you choose blinds, steer clear of dark woods. While romantic, they can visually condense a space by preventing natural light in. Instead, choose a white wood or another light colored material. Lighter colors reflect light, helping to distribute light around the space evenly. This will give the room an organic, breezy feel.
As with blinds, choose shades and curtains with light, natural colors. The light color helps reflect light back into the room. This makes the room feel more spacious and airy. Also, if the surrounding walls are painted, consider purchasing curtains or shades in the same color. A monochromatic look like this carries the eye seamlessly around the room. Ultimately, this gives the illusion of harmony as well as spaciousness.
The Breezier the Better When It Comes to Fabrics
As with color, choosing the right fabric is critical when it comes to expanding a small space. Opaque blinds and shades will close off the room from natural light. As a result, they are visually abrupt.
To open rather than close the space, choose breezy, semi-sheer curtains and shades. The texture of the fabric looks less heavy and bulky than thick drapes and shades. The transparency also allows soft light to filter into the room even while they are closed. By allowing varying levels of natural light, you can keep the space feeling bright and open.
Strategize Before You Install
Before buying and installing your window treatments, think carefully about window size. No matter how light and breezy the shades, installing blinds or shades that are too big or small will have the opposite of the desired effect, making your space feel tinier than before.
If you have small windows, mount your window treatment outside of the window frame. This gives the illusion of larger windows whereas mounting within the frame will only emphasize a narrow window.
If you have average or large sized windows, mount blinds and shades inside the window frame. That way, they won’t take up physical space in the room. Plus the flat shape with look clean rather than clunky.
When it comes to curtains, take advantage of their ability to add height by choosing a floor length option. This vertical elongation is key for low ceilings. Before installing, also think about the device your curtains will hang from. Choose a slender curtain rod that hugs the wall so that the inherent bulk of curtains doesn’t work against your goal.
The great thing about interior design is that you don’t have to tear down any walls, buy a whole new set of furniture, or repaint your whole home to be monochrome. You can, of course, but you don’t have to. At the end of the day, investing in a few multitasking pieces is all it takes to give the illusion of a bigger space. Just by choosing window treatments that naturally illuminate and elongate the room, you can make the most of a small space.