Wish your living room were 50 percent bigger than it is? With a few design tricks, you can make it feel like it is. And you don’t even have to take down a wall. Try these tips for tweaking your colors, furniture, window treatments and more to make your living room look and feel bigger.
1. Use plenty of light colors.You’ve probably read that painting your walls white or another light shade (like soft gray or subtle taupe) can help a room look bigger, and that’s definitely true. But you can make this effect even more powerful by using similarly airy shades for other furnishings as well.
2. Include hits of dramatic black. Just because you’re using a lot of light colors doesn’t mean you can’t add a little drama. Introduce small elements of black to give your living room a strong sense of contrast and therefore interest. Black-and-white patterns especially add just the right hint of black to energize a small room without shrinking it, as do black-and-white photos or art pieces.
3. Layer a feature wall. Speaking of playing with depth, if you want to add an interesting feature wall, consider doing it on a wall with a window and layering the dramatic treatment behind a light curtain. The wallpaper feature in this room looks a bit farther away because it’s tucked behind the simple white drapes, and that makes the room seem deeper. It also gives a visual break that keeps the paper from appearing too busy.
4. Use soft sheers. For window treatments in the living room, soft sheers are often a great pick, assuming you don’t need absolute privacy. Curtains that aren’t completely opaque let your eye take in a hint of the view beyond, which makes the room feel less closed in when the curtains are drawn.
5. Uncover your windows altogether.Privacy not a concern in your living room? Consider leaving the windows uncovered. It removes one more element that breaks up the room, saving a precious inch or three of space and leaving the outside view fully exposed, which draws the eye outward.
6. Include lots of lighting. Natural light goes a long way toward making a living room look bigger, but artificial lighting helps too. Include plenty of light sources to create a big and bright look during the day and a more selective and cozy glow at night. Include lights with dimmers when possible, and try to use lighting from at least three categories (such as floor and table lamps, hanging fixtures, recessed ceiling fixtures or wall sconces).
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