According to this article by STL today, in order to get the best return on your home there are five remodeling projects that get you the most bang for your buck. But like most cities, Nashville is a city with a lot of history, style and small homes. Maxwell coffee started here, Vanderbilt’s, and of course, country music. At the turn of the century many every day folks lived in wonderfully small bungalows, not in the suburbs where many of today’s urbanites find sprawling square footage! Thankfully, because of our history we have some of the most quaint neighborhoods and homes that I have ever seen. Edgehill, Sylvan park, 12 South, Berry hill, Downtown Franklin, just to name a few. Several of my client’s live in these beautiful areas, and they take pride in their wonderfully small bungalows. But how do you maximize and update a cracker jack lifestyle, two kids, and a dog when trying to salvage your homes original charm?  It’s hard to imagine a massive remodel, that includes exploding that home’s charm out into the garden, just to suit the needs of your 21st century lifestyle. So what do you do if you live in a smaller space and a remodel is not an option? Heres how to get an update without the cost of adding on!

1) Taller doors

Tall doors

Taller doors give the illusion of more space in your home. Have you ever walked into a small family room that had vaulted ceilings? Often, when there is added height, the space creates it’s own optical illusion and you don’t feel cramped. Same goes for the doors. Taller doors give you the illusion that there is more space, and they also allow more light to flood into the space. An added bonus is painting them something special. Like the photo above, this home’s kitchen is very small, however, the beautifully tall, GREEN, doors take your attention away from the obvious, and makes the space spectacular! Here is a great place to find stylish doors, that are tall and affordable.

Designer tip: Can’t afford to replace and remodel your doors from 6’8 to 8′? Add pediments, antique windows or mirrors above your doors. It will give you the added affect, and won’t break the break.

2) Raise the drapes

Tall drapes

Just like raising the doors, raise your drapes all the way up to the bottom of the crown. Drapes add softness to a space, and draw your eye upward. For additional illusion select colors for your walls, trim and drapes in a similar color.

Designer tip: Add features to the top of your drapes like grommets, ribbon, or buttons. The added texture creates shadowing and more weight to the top of the drape.

3) Extended cabinets

Taller cabinets

Instead of choosing the ever-popular and standard 42″ upper cabinet, opt for the 36″ cabinet and top it with a 12″ upper with glass. As with the drapes and doors, it extends the eye up and the glass adds sparkle. The 12″ uppers can have lights placed inside them, grabbing the eyes attention with light. It is a great way to display some of your more special china, and also makes your space look more custom.

Designer tip: Already have a good kitchen in place and not about to remodel your kitchen? Paint your ceiling the same color as your wall, and add rope lighting or LED ribbon to the top of your cabinets. It will be harder for the eye to discern where the wall and ceiling meet, and the lights will help expand the space up.

4) Mirrors

Vintage mirrors

Mirrors add sparkle, grab and bounce light, and reflect objects from different angles. They are superb weapons for a small space.

Designer tip: You can never have enough mirrors!

5) Rug

Small Rug

Instead of choosing a small rug, go for the largest one that your room can fit. The photo above is a great example, by Southern Living, on making a too small rug, work.

Large rug

Many homeowners want to put a small rug in their small room, for fear of covering the floors! Above, this photo is a great example of extending the eye with a sisal rug, and then adding color and texture with a beautiful hide. If the rug option you have is too small for the room, layer it with one or two rugs to add texture and color. Otherwise the eye will only devote attention to the rug thats in a small room.

What are some of your favorite tricks?

Ready to get your room started? Contact us. We offer an array of services to meet your design needs whether you live in our area, or out of state. Click here for more info!

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images: houzz, kitchen cabinets, elements of style, simply seductive, emily clarke

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