Guest Blog: Sofia Lockett

Guest Blog: Sofia Lockett

How to Make Your Small Home Feel Bigger and Better

If you are looking for ideas as to how to make your small home feel bigger and better, then read on…

How to make a small room look bigger with paint
Choose light colors which reflect the light, and also have a space increasing, airy effect. Dark colors absorb light and make a room look smaller and more confined. Paint all of the walls the same shade. This encourages your eyes to move freely around the room. Painting walls in different colors causes your eyes to come to a stop at the color change and so draws attention to the boundary. Paint the moldings and trim in a lighter shade than the walls. This creates the illusion that the walls are further away, making small spaces look bigger. Painting the ceiling in a lighter tone than the walls has a similar effect.

How to make a small room look bigger with mirrors
Cleverly positioned mirrors can bounce light into all parts of the room to give the impression of more space. Place them so that they reflect natural light during the day and artificial light during the night. Using mirrors to reflect outside spaces gives a feeling of expansiveness. Remember that mirrors do not only have to be hung on the walls. Try mirrored cabinet doors or tabletops to create a lighter, brighter effect.

How to make a room look bigger with wallpaper
Striped wallpaper can stretch a room. Use vertical stripes to give the room a taller aspect. Horizontal stripes are the perfect solution to the problem of how to make a narrow room appear wider. Creating a feature wall using striped wallpaper or one with a repeat pattern, can help to draw attention away from the small size of the room. A dramatic wall mural can also add depth.

Other things to consider when decorating a small room to look bigger
Lightweight draperies give a breezy, spacious, airy feeling. Curtains of a similar colour to that of the walls are a good choice for how to make a room look bigger with drapes. These do not break up and draw attention to either the smallness of the wall or the small size of the window. When considering flooring, choose wide boards to have fewer jins. Place the boards running lengthways to make the room seem longer. Laying the floor diagonally can give a different perspective which can create visual interest. Tiles or carpets with large designs are a good choice if you are trying to decide how to make a room look bigger with flooring.

Finally, here are Sarah’s top three rules for small space living.
1. Choose furniture with feet or legs
This allows light to circulate better and lets you see the continuous flooring. Furniture which sits down on the floor creates boundaries which make a room feel smaller.
2. Place lamps in all the corners.
Illuminating the corners with lamps or lights encourages our eyes to view right to the furthest points. This helps to increase the perceived size of the room.
3. Invest in multi-purpose furniture.
Choosing furniture with different functions means that you do not need to clutter up your space. Take advantage of the many different designs of furniture which have more than one use.

Sofia Lockett is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand. Sofia has previously written for NZ sites such as Sea Containers NZ. She is passionate about travel, interior design, and home trends. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her checking out the latest design news and blogs.

Sarah at Home: Garden Living

Sarah at Home: Garden Living

It’s summer in San Francisco, and that means there will be a couple of days of sunshine before the fog tumbles in again.

Bashford Design’s studio looks upon a sweet, flower filled backyard: the main domain of Harvey the Dog. Sarah and her husband Chris have nurtured the space over time, creating a varied experience with a small lawn, a pretty flowerbed and a patio complete with a gas-fueled fire pit.

Harvey surveys his kingdom

Right this way: a vine draped doggy door

The garden is the perfect spot for hanging out with the dog and kids on the weekends, for afternoon barbecues and the occasional big party, complete with flame throwing dancers. (More on that later.)

What makes for an inviting garden design? The goal is to include lots of color with elements of traditional English gardens.  “Multiple heights give more interest than a flat space,” Sarah says, “so terracing or even adding tall planters can make the garden more interesting.”

A variety of heights

Pathways lead to discovery

When considering a garden layout, determine which areas get the most sun and where there is always shade. Then pick plants according to what will thrive in those light levels. “Trying to grow a sun loving plant under a big tree will lead to disappointment!”

Containers get seasonal attention and feed the pollenators.  A brown butterfly refuels.

The Bashford clan most enjoy running through the sprinklers on a hot day, reading in the cozy hanging swing chair, and sitting around the fire pit watching the light fade at the end of the day.

The details draw you in: pink poppies

We asked Sarah, do you have any good stories or memories of times in the yard?  Indeed she does.

“Apart from the time the fire dancer burned his chest hair, the most memorable time might be when we picked up a playhouse from someone in the south bay and drove an hour on the highway with it strapped to the top of the car. We got some strange looks but it was way more exciting than ordering it online!”