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7 design mistakes that make your home feel small

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If you live in a small home or have rooms in your house that don't seem to have enough room, you are probably struggling with how to fit the things you want and need into them. However, if you try to fit too much into a small space it can feel really cramped and smaller than it actually is. Even if you carefully plan your furniture and how you arrange everything in your space, it can still come out looking small and crowded just by adding small things, like books or appliances.

Below are seven common design mistakes that make your space feel small. By doing the opposite of these, you will find new and creative ways to make your home feel cozy and have all the necessities, all without creating a crowded and cluttered space.

1. Too much stuff makes a room feel small.

People love to collect things and display them all around their home, but if you have a smaller space then this is the beginning of your problems. Small rooms are not meant to display many items, as it turns the already limited space into a cluttered mess. This kitchen, for example, features quite a number of glass bowls and vases that are on display above, and a number of items on the counters, which makes this space feel too cluttered. Clutter not only makes a space feel small but it can also give the illusion that a room is dirty, because there is just too much stuff.

Try keeping kitchen counters and cabinets free of appliances and things that aren't used on a regular basis. Essentials such as a toaster, coffee maker, and perhaps a food processor, can stay but anything else should be put away. This will give the space a sleek and clean look without much effort at all.

2. Feng Shui is more than just a trend.

We've all heard about Feng Shuing a home to make it more conducive for better energy flow and many people dismiss this as a bunch of nonsense but there is some truth to it. Having a room with furniture that is organized can do wonders for making your space look and feel bigger and better. This doesn't mean you need to go out and get a Feng Shui professional, but it does mean that you should put more thought into how your furniture is organized so that you can easily move from one space to another without any problems. 

Think about how a room, for example a living room, is arranged and how to make it better for conversation. You don't want a round coffee table if the space you have near the couches is square or rectangular, as it can make for awkward movement. Choosing furniture that is slightly smaller or sleeker will also help in this case so that they don't feel too bulky in a tiny space.

3. Poor lighting isn't good for anyone.

No matter the size of your space, if you have bad lighting it will make everything look darker, smaller, and unwelcoming. Light has a great effect on the human brain and is crucial to setting a mood for your space. Poor lighting can cause strained eyes and ultimately lead to headaches.

Invest in good light fixtures, such as chandeliers or table lamps, as well as a good bulb that produces warm white light for so that you don't strain your eyes. Fluorescent CFLs are both energy efficient and emit that warm white light we are looking for, plus they last for much longer than traditional light bulbs!

4. Dark colors make a room feel smaller.

If you're searching for a color scheme for your small space, avoid any dark colors. Just as black clothing makes you look slimmer, very dark colors in a room will make it feel much smaller than it is. Light can't reflect properly off dark objects so even if you have great lighting, as we just discussed above, it won't have any effect on making the room feel bigger and less cramped. 

When designing your home, opt for lighter colors that not only make a space feel bigger but also makes it feel more cheerful and full of life. Scandinavian design is perfect inspiration for cheerful and colorful designs as they tend to use pastel colors mixed with a lot of white and very minimal decoration to achieve a greater sense of space in their homes.

5. Organize your home office.

The home office is generally a place where a lot of things happens. You pay your bills, do some work, browse the internet and ultimately it becomes a mess because it's a space for you and only you. But if you don't regularly keep up with the organization of your office it can become very overwhelming and make your space feel more like a closet than a work space. 

Get yourself an organization system that works best for you to store all your papers, bills, and other important documents that you won't want to lose. Also, try limiting the amount of books and bookshelves in a small office as it can make it feel really cramped. But if you must have some, opt for a cascading bookshelf that will give the space dimension and enough storage space for everything.

6. Spending money on items you don't use.

Technology is a beautiful thing and can be really helpful for those with small places, but sometimes spending a lot of money on something that you may not use can make your space feel smaller and then you regret the money spent on that item. When thinking of valuable items for your home, truly think about your day to day activities and whether you would and could incorporate this item into your home. For example, if you want to by a kitchen appliance that claims to replace seven kitchen items but is a bit pricey, ask yourself, are you really willing to get rid of those few items and use this every single day or would you just be throwing money away? You don't want to crowd your space with things you don't use, no matter how cool or advanced they are, so think before you buy!

7. Get rid of clunky and bulky furniture.

We've touched on this a bit but having old fashioned and clunky furniture is a sure-fire way to make your space feel really small. It can be difficult to part with these items as they were, at one point, very expensive and usually very sturdy (which is why you've had them for so long), but in order to make your space feel bigger you should upgrade. Purchasing sleeker and thinner furniture will help to create a flow in your space and reduce the cramped feeling in your rooms. This living room, for example, features a much too old TV cabinet and shelf system that just wouldn't work with today's technology or help to make the room feel bigger. There are millions of options on the market, just find the style that works best for you!

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