6 Tips to Make Small Spaces Feel Cozy, Not Claustrophobic
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6 Tips to Make Small Spaces Feel Cozy, Not Claustrophobic

In small-scale homes, there’s a fine line between cozy and confining. Read on for our top tips to tread on the right side of that divide.

 Troy Theis photo

Minimize halls and transitional spaces.

One way to conserve space is to ensure your design elements pull double duty. For example, a staircase can reduce the need for an interior partition if it functions as space divider as well.

Focal points matter.

In smaller spaces, use a focal point like a fireplace or a window wall at the far end of the room to draw the eye. It will make the house feel more spacious without added square footage.

Maximize the open floor plan.

Good news: Airy layouts already feel bigger than they are. For example, combining a great room, kitchen and dining room is a good idea because those rooms can borrow a bit of space from one another when necessary. The best way to do this? Use the dining room as a transitional area.

Kill the clutter.

Small homes should never feel like the walls are closing in. To minimize the potential for crowding, keep knickknacks to a minimum. If you want to display a collection, choose a few pieces and designate one area for it. Don’t mistake clutter for decor. 

Keep the color palette muted.

In small-scale homes, experts recommend keeping wall colors simple. The space shouldn’t feel stark, but opting for more monochromatic shades will allow a cottage to feel larger.

Incorporate special spaces.

Add design elements to expand your home’s function and give it unique character. A wet bar in the family room, for example, will keep guests out of the working kitchen and create a party vibe. Built-in benches and bookshelves tucked inside bay windows provide cozy spots to read on a rainy day. And a wrap-around porch gives your living space a hefty boost and provides the perfect perch to enjoy the outdoors.

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