Make the Most of Your Home’s Square Footage

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Guest post by Yazmin Gray

Moving into a new home is exhausting, rewarding, exciting and challenging. When you looked at the home, you likely filled your head with ideas for how to decorate, where to put your favorite pieces of furniture and what you wanted to buy to make the house uniquely yours. Before you jump into all those projects with both feet, take some time to think about how to make the most of your home’s square footage.

Living Large While Keeping it Cozy

make the most of your square footageA large living room is fantastic for entertaining and family charades night, but big living rooms also run the risk of seeming cold and uninviting. To keep a big space hospitable and cozy:

  • Create different areas. Maybe you want a reading nook in the corner and a home entertainment system on the other side of the room. If you have room, you can add a nice table and chairs for game night or doing homework.
  • Use warm colors to give it a more intimate feeling.
  • Rugs can help distinguish the different sections of the room. If the rugs have something in common, like a color or a pattern, it helps unify the entire space.
  • Place tall plants in empty corners.
  • Use one wall as a “gallery wall,” the go-to place for your favorite artwork and family photos.

Big Solutions for Small Spaces

Small spaces present the perfect opportunity to create a cozy, close feeling, but the last thing you want to do is end up with a room that is as cramped as a coffin. To make small areas work for you:

  • Don’t fear big furniture. A few chairs and a little loveseat in a small living room can seem cluttered, while a large sofa gives the impression of simplicity and cleanness.
  • Use mirrors to maximize light and expand small spaces.
  • Think vertically when it comes to storage and displaying art.

Wendy Peterson, a Redfin real estate agent in Tampa, has experience making the best use of space. “Right after college, my daughter moved into a small fixer-upper, causing us to get creative about how she used her space. Pinterest was a great source of inspiration. We focused on making the space seem bigger by painting the walls light, airy colors and painting paneling and woodwork white to further brighten things. We also purchased a few pieced of mirrored accent furniture to help reflect natural light.”

Store Smart

If your home is the size of a cracker box, a castle or somewhere in the middle, wise storage options will help you get the most out of your square footage.

When you moved, you probably got rid of a ton of stuff you didn’t need and won’t miss. Do you still have some items like that hanging around? Ditch them, and then take a look at what you have left. Before you go out and buy storage containers or shelves, know what you’ll use them for.

Shallow storage containers that slide under furniture are great for bedrooms and living rooms. If you don’t have a lot of cabinet space in the kitchen or office and don’t have the time or resources to install permanent storage, hit the Internet. Pinterest is full of creative ways to store things.

Plan Before You Purchase

colorswatchesThe thrill of moving into a new home might get you a little carried away at home stores and department stores. Before you go shopping, put away the things you have and make a plan for the things you want. For example, maybe you need a new dining table because your old one doesn’t work in your new dining room. Measure your room, and think about what else you want to put in there and what overall ambiance you’re aiming for.

The same principle applies when making home improvements, like installing cabinets or painting a room. Make liberal use of color swatches and fabric samples. Your goal is to make your home a haven where you love to live, so take your time, make a plan, and watch it come to perfection.

Make it Personal

You can imitate those cool ideas in magazines and the Internet for decoration and furniture arrangements. Whatever you do, though, make sure it fits in with your personality. It doesn’t take much to make a room go from bland to all about you.

A piece or two of statement furniture, like a cool antique chair, can say volumes about your personal style. Eye-catching art, a bold display of your favorite books, or splashes of your favorite daring color can all help make your home a place that is unmistakably yours.

The process of decorating and arranging your new home is a rare experience, and it’s one worth savoring. Use these tips to help you make it happen.

About Yazmin Gray

Yazmin Gray is a graduate student at the University of Tampa. She recently purchased her first home and has had the pleasure of decorating it. DIY projects are her favorite. Tampa is one of the newest Redfin markets. Search for a home in Tampa or contact agent Wendy Peterson to schedule a tour.

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.

Published on May 13th, 2014

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