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Regular visitors to this "idea boutique" may recall that I recently attended a wedding in Georgia. In case you missed it, you can read all about the highlights here. During that same trip, I spotted a model home, conveniently located across the street from my hotel. (Why didn't I bring my camera again? Argh! ) Anywhoo...
When I saw the double front porch on this baby, I had to stop in to see what it was like inside. This, four bedroom, 4.5 bath, 2-car garage home boasts a whopping 3300 square feet. Constructed by the Enclave at Stonehaven, it contains a study, laundry room, an upstairs bonus area, and a finished basement with a wine room. Yes, all of this can be yours for just a little over $700,000. I'll just keep talking while you pull your jaw off of the floor.
As I walked through the space, I noticed very tailored looks that could easily be modified for a smaller home. The photos below are just a sampling of ideas that could be incorporated.
1. Let In the Light
Flooding a room with light immediately breathes new life into it. Room darkening curtains are perfect for a good night's rest. When paired with light filtering shades (which I use in my home), your windows can work harder for you. If natural light is scarce, use a combination of up-lights, lamps, and overhead lighting to open the room.
2. Elongate Your Cabinets
During my Whole House Organization Challenge earlier this year, we talked about using the open space above the cabinets. But for a more custom look, enclose the area with matching wood and add glass fronts. As seen in the photo above, large serving pieces or artwork look great displayed above the cabinets.
3. Add Built-ins Where Possible
Even the tiniest homes have hidden areas that can be transformed into storage, bookcases, or even a small closet. Although this home was enormous, the dining room was remarkably small. Yet they managed to squeeze in some storage for fine china and glassware.
4. Use Neutrals
There is a never-ending debate among designers and decorators about this one. Some believe that light, neutral colors make spaces appear larger, while others argue that a space is still the same size no matter what color you use. My opinion is that both sides are correct. It's all up to you. If bold colors make you nervous, then opt for calmer shades.
5. Add a Personal Touch
Small spaces are relatively easy to personalize. A cozy hand-made blanket, a framed black and white photograph of a person, place or thing, or a simple vignette of tea cups, saucers and napkins can all make strong statements in a small room.
6. Use Mirrors Strategically
In this earlier post, I wrote about the use of mirrors in small spaces. The key to making this element work - without the room looking gaudy - is to use mirrors strategically. In the photo above, the mirrored chest sets directly opposite of the window. I love how it causes the light to dance all around this room.
7. Embrace Minimalism
For those who live in small spaces, unnecessary "stuff" is the enemy. This is an area where I've been focusing my efforts. My husband worries that I'm going to give away or sell all our "stuff." Little does he know, I'm just getting started.
8. Use the Outdoor Spaces
When there's little or no room inside, change the scenery and head outdoors. Even if a small balcony is all you have, it's still another room. Put it to good use.
9. Add a Statement Piece
A beautiful statement piece like this floating live edge bar adds a bit of whimsy to an otherwise bland space.
10. Raise Your Curtains
That's right when horizontal space is lacking - go up. Hanging the curtains as close to the ceiling as possible can make a room with low ceilings feel grand.
And there you have it, 10 tips that I've taken from model homes. Tell me, of all the tips mentioned above, which one(s) do you see yourself using?
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Welcome to "my place". I'm Ola, a self-confessed décor addict and DIY think-tank. I love working with small spaces. Make yourself comfortable, and feel free to "shop" my ideas.
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