If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

Inspirations for Home Design

 

Home Design 101: Small Spaces

 

The Challenge of Small Spaces

© Becky Linhardt 2011

Scale is the biggest factor to consider when decorating small spaces.  Intent/use of the space is also important.

BASIC RULES

  Big, bulky items in a small space are going to make the space feel even smaller.

  Color and pattern can shrink or expand your perception of the space.

 Hallways

Narrow or low ceiling hallways should be kept clear of furniture.  The intention of the hallway is movement, from one area to another.  Furniture that projects out into the “traffic pattern” becomes an obstacle and possibly a safety hazard.

Decorating should be limited to the walls in narrow hallways – small prints, family photographs, mirrors (to reflect light into the space).  If there is a door at the end of the hallway, consider mounting a full length or hanging a small mirror or picture (using a cup hook instead of a nail stabilizes the item as the door is being opened and closed). 

Hanging a mirror is very feng shui (mirrors confuse wandering spirits). A small picture on a door can add interest, especially when there are many doors leading in/out of the hall and you have limited space to hang artwork on the walls. 

Light color paint or papered walls with white woodwork will make the space seem larger.

 Small Full Baths

Many old homes have small bathrooms in the bedroom areas.  Though pedestal sinks often fit the “period” look the mounting of a sink in a furniture piece can offer much needed storage space to avoid clutter. Again, lighter colors make the space look larger. Installing sliding glass doors on the shower/bath can make the space feel more open.  Heavy shower curtain/drapery treatments can shrink the space, especially when the fabric is densely patterned or dark in color.

 Half Baths

Here is where you can have some fun.  Generally, a person using the guest/half bath is not staying long so the small and closed off space can be whimsically decorated.  I have seen wild wallpapers, even pages from fashion magazines applied to the walls of small bathrooms.  Since the doors are usually not left open, enjoy developing a surprise element for your guests – the jewel box element.  

 Small Bedrooms

Few bedrooms are large and the basics should be applied here also.  Avoid unnecessary furniture that would crowd the room.  Keep window treatments simple/tailored. Paint the walls in light colors or paper with small prints.  That said, some people want the cozy feeling or insist on having a big, comfy chair in THEIR room so rules will be broken to meet the owner’s intention.  Teen clutter – one friend just closed the doors to her children’s bedrooms until they “grew up” and was pleasantly surprised that as adults, in their own apartments, they adopted the concepts of neat, clean, and tidy.

 Nooks

Sometimes in older homes you will find small bonus spaces: on landings, under stairs, in wide upstairs hallways.  Consider creating a book nook with book cases and an overstuffed chair, defining the space as separate by the use of color or pattern changes.  That under stair space may be able to hold a desk, computer, and a rolling stool that can be hidden away by a door or folding screen.

 Small spaces may be challenging but that often leads to the most creative decorating solutions so after considering the basic design rules, follow your heart.  It’s your home.

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