Once again, The Flooring Girl, Debbie Gartner, hits the nail on the head. Whether you are planning to sell or just want to enjoy the home you live in, these simple suggestions will create more useful and comfortable spaces. The "open concept" is in and likely here to stay, so if the last option is in your budget, go for it!
Here are 6 suggestions on how to make your home look larger. 5 of them are simple and 1 is a larger investment.
1. Clear the clutter
This is probably the easiest and least expensive way to create more space. Clear as much clutter as you can - less is more! This holds true when it comes to furniture as well as knick knacks. Look around your room. Determine what furniture you really need and what can go. What do you really use? Whatever you are not using on a regular basis should be eliminated. Try to remove at least 1 big piece per room. Look at the set up. Is it ideal or would you move things around after eliminating. Now, look to clear all the stuff - papers, knick knacks etc. Clear as much as possible. It will open up your space. Donate the furniture or give it to your kids, or use it in another room.
2. Lighten and Brighten
Lighter makes your space look larger, regardless of whether it's floors, walls, windows or just light.
- Windows - Open the shades, blinds, window treatments and let the light in! It will make a huge difference on how the room looks and your outlook on life will often improve. Clean your windows, or if need be replace the windows or screens so that you have a clear view. Of course, in some cases, if you don't have enough light coming in, you may want to add a window or widen one or even add a skylight.
- Lighting- Make sure you have good lighting. This can also have a big impact on how cheery a room looks, especially at night. Make sure you have enough lights and bulbs are bright enough. This could be a matter of adding lamps or installing lights in the ceiling as they will cover a larger area without taking up floor or table space.
- Floor color - Lighten the color of the floors. If you have hardwood floors, you can sand & refinish them natural or a lighter color. If you have carpet, you can replace dark carpets with a lighter beige or cream color. - Paint color - Just paint the walls lighter. If you have dark paneling, it will make a huge difference if you either remove this and paint, or even if you just paint it white. If you want some color, consider just painting 1 accent wall in a color rather than all of the walls.
3. Be consistent with flooring across rooms
The more you can be consistent with your floor surface, both in type and color, the larger your space will look. If you have hardwood in your Westchester home, refinish all the areas the same color. If you have carpet, make all of it the same color. This will do wonders for how large your space will look.
4. Wider planks (or larger tiles)
Wider wood planks and larger tiles just make your space look larger. Our eyes are programmed to interpret larger objects fit in larger spaces. So, if you are installing new hardwood, rather than do the traditional 2 1/4" strip wood, try a wider plank such as 3 1/4" or 4" or 5". If you are doing tile on the floor, if your space is small/modest, use a 12" x 12" or 13" x 13" tile. If it's a larger space, try to do a larger tile such as 16" x 16" or 18" x 18" or 12" x 24."
5. Lay flooring on a diagonal
When you have a room that is a square or squarish, laying the hardwood or tile on a diagonal can do wonders for how large the space looks. When the flooring is on a diagonal, you eye will follow the largest side which is the hypotenuse of the triangle. Plus tiles and hardwood on diagonal (or diamond lay) just look super cool and more contemporary.
6. Create an open floor plan.
This option is definitely more expensive and can not be done in all homes. But, if you have the ability to create a more open floor plan, that will do wonders for your space. If you can eliminated a wall (assuming it's non weight bearing) or create open space between 2 or more rooms, even with a half wall, you will be amazed at how much more space there is. I frequently see customers doing this when they are remodeling their kitchens. They will create a much larger kitchen or a combo kitchen/family room which creates much more of a gathering space for the family. It's easier for the whole family and it will definitely help you later in the resale of your home since so many buyers are looking for this type of a space. But, this can be more complicated vs. the other options listed above. Often, it will require an architect and certificate of occupancy/permits, so tread carefully. So hopefully these tips will help you as you when you want to make your Westchester home look its best. These tips can be helpful if you are looking to sell your Westchester house as well as if you are looking to enjoy your current home.
If you live in Westchester County, NY and you're interested in advice for your flooring, Give The Floorng Girl a call at 914-937-2950.
Originally posted at
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Debbie Gartner, "The Flooring Girl" and owner of Floor Coverings International Westchester NY
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