How to make your home seem bigger

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The art of illusion comes in handy when it comes to living in a tight space. There are steps you can take to make a small space feel bigger. While some might have some cost associated with them, they are a lot cheaper than adding actual square footage to your home.

Let’s start with a step that costs close to nothing. Simply declutter and brighten your home, removing excess furniture and thinning out crowded book shelves.

A space that’s filled with stuff, like large furniture and decorated in dark colors, will feel tight and oppressive no matter how big the room is. Decluttering, lightening up your decor and right-sizing furniture are three of the easiest ways to make your home feel bigger and work better.

While you’re at it, replace dark drapes and carpets with lighter colors. Paint the walls in pale neutral colors, and retire the sectional that takes up three walls of your small living room.

If there’s some additional money in your budget, consider adding modern skylights, to let in more natural light.

You can control the light from skylights by adding solar-powered blinds in designer colors and patterns to complement the décor. To help pay for this modification, homeowners can receive a 30% federal tax credit on the skylights, blinds and installation costs.

Knocking out walls

If you are willing to make a significantly larger investment, consider removing a non-load-bearing wall between rooms to create a more open space. For example, if your kitchen is partitioned from the family room, removing the wall between the spaces — or even half of it — can make both feel bigger.

Taking out a wall between bedrooms can give you an impressive master suite, but keep in mind this can have a downside, making your three-bedroom home a two-bedroom home, and that could ding resale value.

What about converting unfinished areas, like basements and attics, to living space? Basement finishing systems make it easier and faster than ever to create a comfortable and attractive space below ground, while finishing an attic may be as simple as adding insulation, sheet rock and skylights or roof windows.

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