Little Spaces with Big Heart

Monday Apr 11th, 2016


When we talk about houses, especially in real estate, we tend to talk about square footage and can sometimes lean towards the thinking that “bigger is better”. However, we seem to invariably be drawn to the cozy nook, the space where things are busy, such as the kitchen, versus the often comparatively sprawling and sparser living room. And, if we do venture into that big room, we tend to gravitate to the cozy niches. These spots can be like rooms within rooms. What would happen if we used every room in our house? Wouldn’t it be great to decorate in a way that makes every nook and cranny special, unique and inviting? Smaller spaces can afford you that attention to detail, that opportunity to live in every part of your home.

There are some little decorating tricks that help make a small space seem roomier. For instance, creating the illusion of height in a room can make a room feel bigger and the ceilings higher. If you keep any mouldings the same colour as the walls, you create a long panel look. Hanging the curtains right under the mouldings can really elongate your wall as a backdrop.

Mirrors always go a long way to reflect light and magnify space. Sometimes in a smaller space we err on the side of keeping things monochromatic and favour light colours. Those strategies certainly work, but don’t be afraid of pops of colour in the form of a dramatic door colour, a painting or a cushion. You can create drama in a small space effectively and much more easily than in a larger space in which little touches can get overwhelmed. Black is always a great choice for an anchor in a room. (Basic design principles regarding proportion and scale still apply of course in small spaces.)

Shelves instead of wall cabinets help a small kitchen feel more open. Use those shelves for display items as well, such as a unique pitcher or vase or a painting. Something as simple as a green tumbler goes a long way to create drama and interest on an open shelf in a small space, but it could go unnoticed in a larger space.

Small spaces certainly require that you edit your life and make tough choices on what serves both functionally and aesthetically, but remind yourself often -bigger is not necessarily always better!

This hypercompetitive world sometimes makes it seem like the biggest house is the sign that you’ve made it. Perhaps the true sign that “you’ve made it” is in finding and transforming the cozy nooks in your house into intimate spaces where people are comfortable, relaxed, happy and feeltruly at home.

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