Small rooms are great but they pose a special problem when you’re hosting guests: How do you make a space feel comfortable without being tacky or making things feel cramped?
Fear not – there are lots of ways to do it and none of it will cost a fortune. Make some simple changes and before you know it, your small Airbnb vacation rental will be all the rage among guests.
1. Repaint your walls and stick to lighter colors.
Light, fresh colors make a room literally feel like it’s breathing. If you’re lacking a lot of window space, this can help brighten your room, too.
Using light colors like white, creams, or even pale pastels can help make your rooms appear larger. This is partly because lighter colors will help reflect light rather than absorb it, like deeper or more vibrant colors.
2. Get some mirrors.
Along with helping reflect more light (and if you follow the advice above, you’ll be even further ahead of the game), mirrors help create more depth. Invest in some mirrors and try a few of these simple tricks from Apartment Therapy to help expand your space with a little bit of reflective magic.
3. Go furniture shopping.
There’s an old rule that a small space should be filled with small furniture. We say that rule is either outdated or a complete myth altogether.
Here’s why: When you fill a small room with small furniture and trinkets, it just reminds everyone that the room is small. You’re making no attempt to change that perception. And while, yes, you can argue that smaller trappings in a room make “more space,” what are you gaining other than winning an obvious argument? Not much.
Instead, choose one or two bigger “statement pieces” that will fill a room and become the focal point. Wedge an overstuffed sofa between two walls or add a large coffee table at the center of your seating area. Opt for floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (you get bonus points here because these also help the room appear taller) and fill them with both books and trinkets. The moral of this tip: Think. Big.
One more thing about furniture: Legs are your friends. Choose pieces that have exposed legs rather than covered legs. The space you see between the floor and the furniture plays another mind trick making our brains thing there’s more space than there actually is.
4. Take stock of your decor.
Look around and see what you’ve got decorating your walls and tabletops. Any trinkets that are rather small and dainty? Experts say this is a no-no.
Instead, follow “The Cantaloupe Rule” and opt to display items that are at least the size of a cantaloupe. Things smaller than this rotund melon just make the room appear smaller. (Not to mention, they’re the perfect place for dust to collect or could possibly be easier to break on accident.)
5. Invest in lamps.
Overhead lighting is so last century. Instead of making guests rely on a harsh, single light source on the ceiling, give them the option to turn on multiple lamps in a space. This will create a warmer, more inviting space that they’ll enjoy spending time in.
Don’t sweat it if your place is snug. Try a few of these design tips out to help you make your place appear larger than reality. Your guests will love it.
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