Most houses have at least one small room. While small and cozy works for some, others prefer larger, airier rooms to allow things to look more spacious. Designers get paid thousands of dollars to help clients ‘transform’ rooms, but if you are looking to do-it-yourself, the following tips can help you easily create more room within a small space.

Use similar colors and textures – Using colors on opposite ends of the color wheel breaks up a room and makes each of the pieces seem smaller than one continuous color. As windows often become a focal point, it’s important to use a blind that doesn’t distract from the openness the window provides. Neutral colors are the best bet, blending into wall colors.

Mirrors give the allusion of space – Placing one large mirror on the wall reflects light which makes rooms look larger. A single mirror will also create the illusion of doubling the room. While ceiling to floor mirrors have fallen out of fashion for most, they do expand a room.

Use window treatments to frame a scenic photo or piece of art – Bringing the outdoors in is a popular expression for designers. Using a scenic image that is well lighted, framed with blinds lets people feel they are closer to the outdoors and helps expand a small room. Try to stay away from several small pieces of art as they tend to break up the room and make it feel smaller.

Use window blinds to control light – Windows are one of the best ways to make a small room feel big. Using the proper window blinds can allow light in during sunny times and conserve energy when it’s cooler out or vice versa. If the window looks out onto another building, use window blinds to create privacy but not block out light entirely. The brighter a room the more spacious it feels. Translucent cellular shades or sheer roller shades permit light to pass through but diffuse it so that people on the opposite side are not clearly visible. The shades offer a diffused glow, adding the illusion of warmth.

Think clean – One of the biggest distractions in a room is clutter. The more there is in a room, the smaller it will feel. Create a focal point, whether it’s the window, bed, a sofa or painting and work around that. Keep only what is essential for the room to function. The rest can go.

“There can be a lot of challenges when decorating a room without a designer. It can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be with the right information,” says Chris Stanley of Blinds Chalet.

RISMEDIA, May 2010