Art of Design: Creating Spaces, Making Your Home Grow
Do you feel like Alice in Wonderland sometimes?
Do you have the feeling that your house has shrunk around you? Even in larger homes, this sensation is possible.
From time to time, we need to look at our surroundings and make adjustments that can give us the illusion of more space or, better yet, create space for all the items we own.
Take advantage of all corners and nooks.
The space underneath a staircase, for example, is a great place for luggage storage or a bookcase. An ample staircase landing could be the perfect place for a desk or chest. Hallways, especially if they have a dead-end wall, could accommodate a row of thin shelves for collectibles or art glass.
Kitchen cabinetry often does not go all the way up to the ceiling. This space could also serve as storage for items that are used less frequently, such as serving platters and other kitchen equipment. If your home has higher ceilings, the space above a door is great for shelving and discreet, out-of-sight storage.
The perception of space involves a bit of fooling the eye and mind.
Using the same paint color on the walls and materials gives a sense of unity and continuity. This prevents the rooms or areas from seeming blocked off from one another or chopped up.
The use of the same flooring material throughout a home visually allows the rooms to flow from one to the next. Painting the ceiling a shade or two lighter than your walls will make the ceilings seem higher and give a loftier feel. Mirrors and mirrored walls in the right locations can aid in connecting rooms, making spaces appear larger and bouncing light around a room.
Furniture also plays a big role in your perception of space.
The scale of the furniture should be relative to the space you are decorating. This is perhaps the area of decorating that requires the most attention.
Placing a large overscaled and overstuffed sofa in a small room is a big mistake and just won't do. For tight locations, my recommendation is to use a sectional sofa.
Since these are composed of individual seating sections, it is easier to arrange them to fit into your area. Another suggestion for confined areas that require more seating is to use an L-shaped sofa. This offers the same seating as two sofas in less space.
Finally, multifunctional furniture is a great trick for tight spaces.
An upholstered stool that has a storage compartment within is perfect because it can act as a coffee table, accessible storage and additional seating when needed.
Stackable chairs and tables are great because they take up the space of one item, yet can be pulled out when guests arrive for more seating and serving surfaces. The same goes for a foldable table that when closed looks like a console, yet when opened can be a dining table.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. These ideas can make your home "grow" without adding any additional square feet of construction. Think out of the box and into your home.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla.
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