When it comes to creating an inviting sense of space and openness in a home, even those with ample square footage can struggle to obtain the balance they desire without creative solutions. For optimal flow and functionality regardless of the size of your home, consider integrating a few of these concepts which have gained popularity among designers and contractors for their play on varying dimensions, scale, cohesion and space utilization:
Flex-rooms that serve multiple purposes: Thinking beyond defined and rigid ideas for each area in your home can open up a number of possibilities with just one or two structural changes, or the addition of a furniture item or a few accent pieces. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) illustrates this concept with a TV room that can be converted into a guest room with the addition of a Murphy bed, and a master bedroom den that can be used by anyone in the home by creating another entrance from the living room. Find a variety of uses for transitional areas in “15 Ideas to Customize Space at Home” from Treasured Spaces.
Space-saving kitchen appliances: From vintage-style refrigerators outfitted with the state-of-the-art technology to in-sink dishwashers with lids that double as cutting boards, the appliance industry has been churning out impressive alternatives to standard-sized kitchen fixtures, many of which will save you time and money in addition to cabinet space. According to Above Remodeling, which specializes in New York City apartment renovations, the in-sink dishwasher uses 50 percent less water than traditional models, and can clean dishes in as little as 15 minutes to half an hour. Doubling as a dishwasher and an extra-deep kitchen sink, it can accommodate up to about five place settings, or several pots and pans. Quick and easy to load and unload, it tends to be more energy efficient than traditional dishwashers.
Branching out beyond white paint: To provide the illusion of space and height, Above Remodeling generally recommends monochromatic, soft neutral color schemes that are consistent from wall to ceiling. While white was a go-to choice for kitchens and bathrooms for years, this trend appears to be fading, according to the contracting company. For example, MarthaStewart.com points to subtle gray hues for a kitchen remodel, suggesting that a dove-gray color palette can create a calming and synthesizing feel, in contrast to kitchens that feature a mix of competing colors.
At the same time, there is no need to play it too safe when it comes to color balance. For instance, Above Remodeling suggests mosaic tiles and bright backsplashes that rise to the ceiling as a way to enliven a kitchen or bathroom. Apartment Therapy also recommends adding layers of color to a palette of mixed neutrals to create openness and interest. In addition,“15- Game Changing Kitchen Remodel Ideas,” from Martha Stewart features a kitchen that achieves a space-opening effect with wooden cabinets painted a semigloss, seafoam hue.
Effective use of vertical spaces and open shelving: Overhead areas are a great place to forge needed storage space to help you declutter and restore peace of mind. Apartment Therapy suggests floor to ceiling shelving with doors and a combination of open and closed storage. The home and décor site also recommends hanging drapery panels as high as possible to add more height to a room. MarthaStewart.com also reminds us not to overlook the ceiling, demonstrating this with light fixtures while adding that a pole can be used as a hanging rack for pots and pans. The brand also touts the advantages of open shelving, which create an illusion of greater space while allowing you to showcase beautiful serveware.
Extending the living space to the outdoors: Not only can a landscaping feature like a deck or patio greatly enhance your enjoyment of your home, but exterior improvements also tend to provide a strong resale value. While a deck that harmonizes beautifully with your natural surroundings is one way to go, NAHB also suggests covered patios that can be enhanced with features such as shades, seating walls and retractable screens to create separate rooms.
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