4 Favorite Ways to Create Visual Space

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Whether it is vintage bungalow from 1920s, a contemporary condo with an intimate floor plan, or a cozy home with compartmentalized rooms, small spaces are plentiful and require lots of creativity in order to make them feel expansive and luxurious. These are my 4 favorite ways to create visual space.

1. Go for Tone on Tone Elegance and Add Splashes of Color for Excitement

In design, in order to create excitement we use contrast tones, textures, scale, etc. But, in a small area, the best way to create visual space is to soften and blend the largest areas, making colors and textures one with eachother. Deepen the color of your walls so that they nearly blend with the larger pieces of upholstery.  Pick a rug in a similar tone to the floor for easy on the eye transition. Tone is not color–color can contrast, but tone (light medium, dark) must be softened. If the largest pieces in the room blend, then the eye will travel past them creating visual space. Then to break the sameness, create areas of interest by adding texture and exciting pops of color with high impact accents.

After photo showing deign improvements

AFTER the tonal refinements are made this room appears much larger.

Image showing interior design before tone modifications

BEFORE tonal refinements, the white walls are stark and overpower the furniture.

2.  Storage for Everyone!

In small spaces we must find creative solutions for keeping things organized as clutter takes away from visual space.  Consider both the horizontal and vertical spaces for storage additions in every area.  Chests and dressers are always good as they can double for storage and a functional TV stand, decorative console, sofa back table, etc. Bookcases and etageres help to organize vertical space but also provide more storage opportunities. Look for seating, stools and coffee tables that provide storage and consider built in furniture to really maximize the function in a small space.

Trays on table provides a place to house fruit or magazines. Custom banquette features a full storage capacity design. Photo credit: Space Case Design and Build.

Trays on table provides a place to house fruit or magazines. Custom banquette features a full storage capacity design. Photo credit: Space Case Design and Build.

Fill an empty corner with a storage chest and add an item of interest to the top. Design and photo credit: Space Case Design.

Fill an empty corner with a storage chest and add an item of interest to the top.
Design and photo credit: Space Case Design.

3. Always Remember the Composition of a Room- How will the Eye travel the Space?

I like to think of a room as a piece of art. All the great Masters create the most pleasing compositions by addressing the foreground, middle ground and background of the canvas. A room works in the same way. We can create great spacial depth by correctly layering in pieces to the front, middle and back of a room.

Even in this small room we can see the simple additions of a throw, a piece of art and a colorful lamp--these accents lead the eye and create special depth. Photo found at: http://decoratingfiles.com/2012/08/room-makeovers/

Even in this small room we can see the simple additions of a throw, a piece of art and a colorful lamp–these accents lead the eye and create special depth. Photo found at:
http://decoratingfiles.com/2012/08/room-makeovers/

One would think an empty room would feel most spacious--think again and look at how this room composition adds a depth to the space that is wonderfully welcoming. Photo found at: http://decoratingfiles.com/2012/08/room-makeovers/

One would think an empty room would feel most spacious–think again and look at how this room composition adds a depth to the space that is wonderfully welcoming. Photo found at:
http://decoratingfiles.com/2012/08/room-makeovers/

4. No White Ceilings = Maximize The Height in Each Room

This is a shocker for most of my clients. Whenever I have the opportunity, I LOVE to increase visual space by painting the ceiling the same color as the walls. White ceilings are the most popular, but they come toward the eye–they hover brightly above our heads and seem to say “helloooo, I am the ceiling, hear me roar!”. In a small space we do not want to give walls, ceilings, floors and large pieces of furniture that much power. So, take the leap–paint the ceiling out and watch the visual space in the room increase.
The idea is to create vertical height, even when it’s lacking. To do so hang curtains and mount window treatments near ceiling height–this will draw the eye up. Do not be afraid to add wall decor. Most think that wall decor and art can clutter a space or make the room feel closed in–it is the opposite! A well placed piece of art or wall sculpture will help to add depth to the space–the eye will move into the object d’art, instead of being hit be the emptiness of a blank wall.

White ceiling was painted out to Ben Moore Paladian Blue and room feels larger. Plus we added a tall mirror with bold impact to lead the eye up to the ceiling. Photo and design credit: Space Case Design.

White ceiling was painted out to Ben Moore Paladian Blue and room feels larger. Plus we added a tall mirror with bold impact to lead the eye up to the ceiling. Photo and design credit: Space Case Design.

 

I’m Kamaren and just like Sherlock Holmes I solve cases. Instead of crime, it’s interior design. Creating beautiful well edited living spaces is what I do best and I LOVE seeing concepts turn to reality. I blog to share my work, fabulous finds, and the things I am passionate about that make me happy and fulfilled. Please explore, enjoy and connect with me.
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