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Small but perfectly formed

Small but perfectly formed
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Want to make the most of cramped quarters? These genius decorating tricks can actually make any small room feel bigger.

Pale colours can help make a small room feel bigger

Pale colours can help make a small room feel bigger
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Dark colours are a no-no in small rooms. As suggested, a lighter colour palette creates the illusion of more space. Dark colour schemes, although trendy and high-impact, are best used in larger areas. When dark colour schemes are used in smaller rooms, it can create a suffocating feeling as though the walls are closing in on what is already a space-challenged room.

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“Leggy” furniture makes a small room feel bigger

“Leggy” furniture makes a small room feel bigger

Opting for furniture with legs showing opens up a small space. Compared to large furniture pieces that rest directly on the floor without legs showing, which can appear too big and bulky for a small space, furniture with legs showing draws the eye upward and creates the illusion of more light and space in a small room.

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Sheer window treatments make a small room feel bigger

Sheer window treatments make a small room feel bigger
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Stay away from window treatments that are bulky, heavy and ornate. They may look pretty, but drapes, cornices and curtains made of heavy material subdue too much natural light. Use the window(s) in a small room to bring light into every corner. Along with light-coloured walls, the sunlight will make the room seem larger. Consider slatted window blinds, very sheer lace curtains or bamboo shades. Slatted blinds provide privacy when closed and bamboo shades offer semi-privacy when closed (but also allow sun to filter through the woven material).

Create the illusion of space with mirrors

Create the illusion of space with mirrors
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Work your magic with mirrors. They are an ideal accessory for making a room appear larger. Mirrors can be installed on sliding closet doors or as a covering for an entire wall (preferably near a window). Mirrors serve two beneficial purposes: First, images, accessories, wall hangings, furniture and light from lamps or recessed lighting will be reflected into the room. Second, during the day as natural sunlight pours in through the window(s), it reflects off the mirrors making the room brighter and lighter.

Colour co-ordinate items stored on open shelving

Colour co-ordinate items stored on open shelving
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Got open shelving? Reduce the visual clutter and keep a small room looking organised by storing items with like colours together.

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Add stripes to make a small room feel bigger

Add stripes to make a small room feel bigger
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Stripes—both vertical and horizontal—can create the illusion of more space. Vertical stripes help to draw the eye upward and horizontal stripes help to make a room seem wider. Be sure to select colours that go with the rest of your finishes and fabrics in the room.

Multifunctional furniture makes the most of a small space

Multifunctional furniture makes the most of a small space
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To utilise the space in a small room to its maximum potential, decorate with furniture that can serve a dual purpose such as a sofa with pullout storage space, an ottoman that opens for extra storage, or a large trunk that can also double as a coffee or end table. Furniture that can be downsized is a great way to create space, too. Remove the leaf from a dining room table until it’s needed, replace a full-size recliner with a medium-sized chair and footstool, or replace a traditional bed with a pullout sofa or a daybed that can also serve as a sofa.

Moulding can help make a small room feel bigger

Moulding can help make a small room feel bigger
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Create an illusion of your small room being much larger than it is by installing a band of small moulding about a foot down from the ceiling around the entire room. Paint the ceiling above the moulding a colour different from the wall area below the moulding. Keep in mind the suggestion about using lighter colour paint. In this case, the ceiling could be white or cream with the walls a lovely pastel like pale yellow or blue.

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Want to make a small room feel bigger? Ditch the clutter!

Want to make a small room feel bigger? Ditch the clutter!
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The adage “less is more” holds true when there’s too much stuff taking up precious space. A quick way to make a small room feel bigger is to spend a Saturday afternoon decluttering. Do this by reducing the number of decorative accessories, knick knacks or any other items you have on display that serve no functional purpose. In a small living, corral those small items that you absolutely must have handy (remote controls, for example) in an attractive storage box.

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Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team