Most people feel the need to present an array of objects that define them personally. In a small space though, too many of your prized possessions might make you feel like you’re at a yard sale. Also, guests are probably not there to compliment your 8th grade bowling trophy, so find somewhere less galling to place it. Knick knacks are the hardest part of containing a space, so keep your countertops and floors clear of objects. Choose key pieces to display and discreetly organize the rest unseen.
While most people tend to think bright neutrals like white or tan can open up a space, it can often be their first mistake if using the wrong tone. A dullish white in a flat finish will constrict and confine your space, which doesn’t suggest warm and welcoming at all! So open up your space in an inviting way, using bright airy colors or warm (but not dark) tones if you aren’t as bold. Paint your ceiling and trim with a high gloss white so the light reflects, giving you an airy, spacious feel. Remember, with a high gloss or satin finish paint, you really need to be perfect because you will see any and all imperfections.
Will adding a light color floor to light color walls create even more space? This depends. I have decorated many houses in Miami that have white gorgeous floors and white walls. The key to making it appear more spacious is not only your paint choices, but your furniture layout, your area rugs, your accents and accessories and your art. I personally love elegant and classic dark floors with light or bright colored walls. To bring out the best in your space, it needs to have balance.
You don’t need to stuff everything you own into a room to give it personality. Use just a few interesting pieces of furniture and decor.
MAINTAIN YOUR “SPACE”
When you have an NYC apartment, you may feel that you’ve maximized your space by squeezing everything you can fit into it. Please don’t do this! You need your space and by crowding things around you, your mind has no other choice than to become stressed and crowded as well. So think minimal in every way, and make sure your furniture gives you a great traffic flow, so guests aren’t bumping into things or tripping.
Photo © IKEA
The right way to take advantage of the space you do have is by incorporating multi-purpose pieces. It’s as if double-duty furniture was made for New Yorkers! Where beds can become desks, coffee tables can transform to dining tables, and couches can become bunk-beds! Don’t settle for anything just because it doubles down; make sure it fits in with your room, style, and color palette. Make smart choices that help you open your space. If your apartment is 500 sq/ft, then probably don’t get a 7×5 ft armoire.
All photos © HGTV, except where noted.