By Jane Blanchard

If you feel the walls are closing in on you, you could move to a new place or knock a wall down. Or take the easy route and just make your existing rooms appear larger with these 10 simple tips.

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via Apartment Therapy

  1. One way to make any space feel smaller is by filling it up with too much stuff. So don’t! Avoid visual clutter to make any space feel larger. Pick your furniture based on what you need for everyday use instead of planning for all eventualities. That’s what foldaway chairs are for.
  1. Make sure the ceiling is a different color, as rooms painted in only one color always look much smaller. A bright white ceiling with off-white neutral tones everywhere else works well.
  1. Pick furniture that you can see through or under. Nothing makes a room look smaller than a big dumpy couch with no visible legs. Raised furniture is key. Consider glass-top desks and tables that allow light to pass through. They will also give your room a fresh modern look.
  1. Use multiple standing lights and wall fixtures instead of relying on a single overhead light, which tends to focus attention in one spot and make the walls appear to be closing in. You can break up a room into different spaces with lighting just as easily as you can with furniture.
  1. Use high shelving or floor-to-ceiling shelving to draw the eye upward. For an even more spacious feel, don’t completely fill them up with books. Instead, leave some shelves empty except for a few photos or showpieces.
  1. Leave your windows uncovered, or, if you do cover them, make sure they let as much light in as possible when not drawn closed. Full-length drapes of light fabric work well. Place leafy plants near a window to add depth.
  1. You don’t need to go small with everything to make a room look larger. Often a few larger pieces, especially when it comes to paintings and wall hangings, make the room look larger. The eye likes to see clean lines and little clutter.
  1. Mirrors both trick the mind into seeing a larger space, and, if placed correctly, can reflect light, making a room seem both brighter and larger. Go for a big one.
  1. Create space by choosing furniture items that can do double, or even triple, duty. The right ottoman can be a footrest, provide storage, and can also serve as a coffee table if you place a tray on it.
  1. Lighten your floor covering. Dark floors shrink rooms, especially if the furniture is dark also. Use a lighter floor rug to fix this problem in a snap — Abbey Carpet of San Francisco has tons of beautiful rugs that will open up your space.

For more home ideas, inspiration and tips visit Modernize.com.

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