Few people live in mansions and this has many homeowners complaining about their homes feeling too small. Using these disguises can make a tiny house feel grander.

When the ceiling is too low, try hanging curtains several inches above the the window frame to trick the eye. Ready-made panels are available in lengths from 63 to 144 inches, allowing them to be hung above the window molding and still hang down to the floor. The general rule about the length is to keep them no more than one inch away from the floor.

To create the illusion of a taller window, mount the rod four to six inches above the window frame or halfway between the frame and the ceiling molding. However, don’t go more than eight inches above the frame because it begins to look awkward if you do.

Lighting plays a role in making a room feel spacious. Every room should have three types of lighting; ambient, task and accent.

Ambient provides overall illumination and commonly comes from the ceiling. Task is the typical lighting found in the kitchen or in a reading nook, and accent lighting is more decorative and highlights artwork and small spaces.

To figure out how much light is needed in a space, calculate the square footage of the room and use three watts of light per square foot, this should allow for ample lighting.

A room can actually be made to feel larger when a floor lamp is placed in the corner of the room and casts light onto the ceiling.

A small space can make a huge statement when decorated correctly. Take for example the “powder room.” Use the small space as an art gallery. Hang large, beautifully framed works of art from chair rail height up to just six inches from the ceiling. This little space will pack a punch no one will have seen coming and disguise the cramped quarters.

Commonly, homeowners will place all of the furniture up against the walls feeling as if it creates a spacious room. Actually, bringing all or some of the furnishings forward away from the walls gives the feeling of more space.

Lastly, hang a little plaque that reads, “Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it.” -Leonardo Da Vinci.

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise

appears in the Times-Journal weekday editions.

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