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Make the most of your new space: Tips for designing your new home

If you’re downsizing and moving from a larger home to a smaller one, you may worry that your new home will feel cramped. But with a few mindful choices, you can make your new home feel just as comfortable as your former one. Here’s how:

Lighten up.  For a spacious feeling choose light neutral colors for your walls. For an even more expansive space, use the same or very closely related colors throughout the house and create a visual sense of uninterrupted flow. Make sure every room is bright by placing lights at all levels: tables, walls and ceilings.

Bring the outside in. Drawing attention to a pleasing view outside is a delightful way to add a sense of spaciousness. Make it easy to see out by keeping your windows crystal clear and window treatments to a minimum. Choose sheer curtains and lightweight blinds in place of heavy draperies.  

Look up. Create a gallery of art and pictures you love for visual interest. Drawing the eye up makes use of vertical space which is frequently overlooked. For a lightweight alternative to bookcases, hang individual shelves on the wall.

Make use of mirrors.  Instantly make your space look twice as big by hanging a beautiful mirror — or two! If you can place a mirror opposite a wall with a window, it will also bring extra light into the room.  

Scale your furniture to fit.  Using smaller scale furniture will give you plenty of room to move in your new home. You’ll gain more visual space by choosing a sofa and chairs with exposed legs rather than having upholstery go all the way to the floor.  

Go for double duty.  With the increasing popularity of tiny homes, it’s easy to find furniture that performs double duty. There are ottomans with storage. Dining tables that fold up easily.  And beds that turn into desks. Even in a smaller space, you can have it all!