Just a couple more weeks till the premiere of my YouTube decor and design show!  We are busy filming content you will love! I hope you’ll join us for Real Life Design With Courtney Warren on March 13!

youtube home design channel premieres march 13

Maximizing Small Spaces in Your Home

Today, let’s look at a dilemma many of my readers and clients face: a living space smaller than they would wish.
I’ll share some tricks I’ve used in my own cozy historic home for making a small space feel and live larger.

Tip #1 – Built ins!

When floor space is at a premium, grab some vertical real estate! It’s what we did in the breakfast nook–carved a mini task space out of a void next to the pantry. It’s a very efficient spot for checking email or jotting to-do’s while the boys are eating.  In addition, some high shelves above the window offer storage but don’t take up any people space.
 breakfast nook built ins

Tip #2 – Make it FEEL larger.

You can make even a small room feel larger, as I did in our teen’s second floor room. First, the aforementioned built-ins, which function as headboards and eliminate the need for space-hogging nightstands. Then two twin beds open up floor space (a fool-the-eye trick) where a full bed would overwhelm.
 I used lots of graphics in bedding and pillows to draw the eye in.  And I downplayed the space-stealing sloped ceiling by using it as”wall” space to hang pennants. Bonus: the pennants also draw the eye up, making the room feel larger.
boys bedroom
I used “feel larger” tricks in our bathroom, as well. I kept it simple and classic with a bold black and white palette and subway tile.  Instead of a large vanity, I brought in pedestal sinks, which open up the space visually. Using sconces instead of pendant lights hanging down into the space keep the ceiling clear and make the room feel larger. Even the use of symmetry conveys a “just enough” message to the eye.
vintage farmhouse bathroom

Get Creative with Storage

Well, what about storage then? In a small space, get creative with furniture use.  A little chest next to the tub is perfect for cosmetics and extra towels.

farmhouse bathroom

Avoid Boxy/Large Furniture

In the living room, I used furniture with exposed legs to make the area feel larger.  Because you can see under them, leggy pieces seem not to take up as much room as skirted seating or boxy case goods.  Fewer and/or smaller scale pieces will also help open up your rooms.  The more floor you see, the bigger the room looks.

farmhouse living room

What tricks have you used to make your small space live large? Maybe you’re stuck and need some guidance?

If you live in the DFW area, here’s some good news! For my new YouTube show, I am accepting submissions from individuals or families that need a home/room refresh or even a total makeover! If you are interested in submitting your home for consideration in this new series, please email [email protected] with the subject “YouTube Makeover”.

And watch for my YouTube premiere March 13.  If you’d like an email reminder just….

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