Urban living spaces are shrinking rapidly. Many of our older neighborhoods have humongous old structures that can very easily house four or five families. Sadly, they may just be home to one or two people who spend enormous amounts on maintenance and utilities. With the cost of living spiraling out of control and incomes being scaled down across the board, owning a McMansion is no longer a matter of pride. If you do own one of these, you may think of renovating and reorganizing your living arrangements. The options would be to create an independent living unit that you can lease/rent out or provide for your adult children.
On the other hand, if you’ve just moved house or renovated and discover that your bedroom is a tad smaller than you’d like it to be, there’s no need to stress about it. It’s a great way to use all the time you have now in the current pandemic situation. So why not launch a DIY project that will yield the bedroom of your dreams in the end!
The US Census reports that in 1950, the average US home was pegged at about 950 sq ft, and this figure zoomed up to nearly 2400 sq ft in 2010. But today, many who own large homes are looking at the advantages of smaller spaces. If your plot area is large, you can use a larger area for a garden, gazebo, or patio. Smaller living spaces have their plus points:
However, there’s plenty that you can do to make the small space appear bigger. Many of us tend to focus on the more public areas of the home, such as the living room or the kitchen, and give the bedroom low priority. But that’s not a very smart thing to do because human beings spend nearly a third of their lives sleeping and resting. It’s only logical that the space we use for these should receive as much if not more attention than other areas.
While nothing can change the actual size of the place you have to work with, there are several optical illusions and visual tricks that you can use to give the appearance of space.
Keeping the eye-level objects shorter allows for more wall space to be visible, giving the impression of more space. In practical terms, this is a smart way to prevent scuffs and scrapes. Avoid headboards altogether, as they add to the bulkiness of the bed.
Add a few transparent or translucent objects in the room, such as shelves, chairs, or tables in clear materials. This gives the feeling of lightness and airiness, and since you can see through them, it also adds to the visual space.
You’ve heard it so often that it’s almost a cliché – lighter colors help provide a feeling of space, while darker shades help reduce it. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with boring neutrals and dull shades. Choose a theme color and work with different shades of it in the room. The trick is to have the lighter hue walls, the ceiling in a dark one, and the trims and moldings in a mid-level shade to open up space completely. You can also select a focal point such as artwork or your drapes and work with one main shade in them.
While the bed is the most important piece of furniture in the room, make sure that it’s also comfortable and scaled to size for your height and weight. Otherwise, no matter how much time and effort you spend in decorating your bedroom, the whole project becomes a waste if the bed is cramped and uncomfortable. Place the bed so that there’s enough space to move around it on at least three sides. Move it around till you get the perfect placement.
Ensure that the covers are in a muted design. Avoid busy prints and loud colors.
Keep other items off the floor as much as possible. For instance, install wall mounted lighting and hanging night-stands. Ensure that the other furniture in the room has raised legs – this gives the optical illusion of more floor space.
They add magic and light to the room. Ensure that you place them strategically to reflect natural light as much as possible. If you have a window with a view, place a mirror opposite it to reproduce the image. Splurge on a full-size make-up mirror with lights and place it in a niche. This gives a double advantage of reflecting light and also providing interest and accent in a room. Large stand-alone mirrors framed in light-colored wood or painted the same shade as the walls are a great accessory. They’re practical and useful when you’re dressing to go out, plus they add style and personality to the room.
While this is a given as far as home maintenance is concerned, it’s especially important for small bedrooms. It’s easy for a small space to look cluttered and messy. Make sure that you throw away stuff that you can do without, or ensure that it’s stowed neatly out of sight if things have sentimental value for you. Don’t crowd the walls with too much artwork and never have a cork-board or post-it board in your bedroom – they’re simply too messy. Install built-in storage wherever possible, and stay consistent with the color scheme while painting shelves and cabinets.
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