4 Favorite Ways to Create Visual Space
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.
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.
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.
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.