How to Live Large – Even in a Small Space

Today I think we have more respect for those who can put together a functional and happy home on a much smaller footprint.

Matt and I have had a relationship with Hunter Douglas shades and blinds for a very long time. They were always there for us while we taped room by room and we had a strong mutual respect.  Today, they still send me information about their products as well as decorating ideas.  This is an article they sent a while back but I thought their information was well worth passing along.

~ Five Ways to Maximize What You Have ~
UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J., June 27, 2011 – Put down the boxes and the real estate or apartment listings, you don’t have to move for a more spacious home. If you’re feeling too confined, there are ways to simplify matters and easily maximize what you already have. Here are some easy tips to go from cramped to comfortable and realize that you too can live larger with less.


Contain It
Less is more when it comes to a tight space – the more items in view means the more crowded and compact the room appears. No need to cart your cherished belongings to the dumpster in order to stretch out, simply contain as much as you can in stylish storage. First, designate a spot for every belonging so that there are a few items on tables and desks. Try putting small items in neutral-colored boxes or decorative bins. Line up the storage pieces side-by-side and organize books or other items by color for an orderly look that, along with uncluttered surfaces, makes the room feel more spacious.


Furniture that Fits
Find the right fit. Replace large and overstuffed furniture that overwhelms with trim, tailored pieces more in scale with the space. Next, take note of the heaviest piece in the room, whether a couch or a chest, and place it along a wall to save space. To create balance, position another weighty item across from it. For smaller furniture pieces such as chairs, place them diagonally in corners to not only look inviting, but to open up the room. With sleek furniture and an uncluttered floor plan established, find something the eye can focus on when entering. Anchor the design with a focal point such as a beautifully dressed window or unobstructed view, piece of art, decorative mirror or well-kept fireplace. Lastly, invest in as many multi-tasking pieces as possible, like a coffee table that doubles as seating and also has built-in storage or a compact drop-leaf table that opens up to a desk or dining table for guests.


Lighten Up with Window Dressing
No one likes a dark space. Even if the home feels cave-like with less windows and light than desired, capitalize on what you currently have. Add mirrors that act as virtual windows to enhance the light a room receives. Hang them so they can reflect something you want to see like artwork or the outdoors. Brighten the room with window coverings that make the most of mood-boosting natural light. Try Silhouette® window shadings with the Signature S-Vane™ from Hunter Douglas. Its patented design softens harsh sunlight as it enters while drawing it deeper into the room and offers view-through and protection from UV rays to boot.


Color that Creates Space
As color is one of the most powerful ways to affect a space, watch walls recede by choosing the right ones. Keeping in mind that bold and warm hues make a room feel cozy, while light and cool tones instantly expand the space, try light yellow, soothing soft blue or always-complimentary ivory on walls. Continue with a neutral palette for the overall design to further optimize the space by backing away from a crayon box assortment of colors, and adding only a few “pop” colors and patterns on pillows, art or tabletop accessories. Lastly, keep these cooler hues harmonious throughout the home to break down walls and create a flow. 


Divide and Conquer – Another Way to Enhance a Small Space
Sometimes what matters most, is to not just have an open design, but a place of one’s own. In order to carve out a space you can retreat to, create a breakfast nook, home office or even separate bedroom without costly construction. Try a decorative divider such as Hunter Douglas Skyline® Gliding Window Panels featuring a versatile track system that allows it to be used as a room divider as well as a window treatment. Available in 11 1/2-inch or 17-inch panels that overlap for continuous coverage as well as in dozens of fabrics in the latest colors, textures and patterns, Skyline window panels are a great choice for both dressing windows and redefining a room’s layout while adding an attractive architectural element to both. The product also coordinates with Hunter Douglas Designer Screen Shades and Roller Shades for a cohesive look on horizontal and vertical openings.

With a few creative additions and changes, you can transform a confined home anyone and everyone can’t wait to crawl out of, into a spacious home to settle into.

Hunter Douglas, Inc. is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada. Headquartered in Upper Saddle River, N.J., the company is the leading manufacturer of custom window fashions in North America. For more information, contact Hunter Douglas at 1-800-274-2985 or visit

Matt and I want to offer many thanks to Hunter Douglas for all of their fresh and interesting ideas and their support throughout the years.  As I mentioned, we used Hunter Douglas products exclusively when we were taping room by room.  Yes, they were given to us to use, but we wouldn’t have wanted anything different.  Here are the reasons from someone who has used all types of blinds and shades.

Hunter Douglas window coverings are beautiful, they offer a myriad of styles to fit every need possible, and best of all, they install with ease.  What more could you want from a window covering?


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