Make small spaces seem bigger, or vice versa
By Melissa Rayworth, Canadian Press
* Photos ( 1 )
Dining room designed by Brian Patrick Flynn demonstrates how the designer balances space vertically by grounding a room with pendant lighting. Photograph by: Handout photo , AP / Brian Patrick Flynn
When we furnish a room, many of us carefully measure to be sure the couch isn't too wide or the dining room table too long. We draw a horizontal map, determined to fit everything in without crowding. But design experts do something more: They think vertically. Kitchen and bath designer Matthew Quinn says as designers learn to sketch room layouts in design school, they discover the impact of the vertical and horizontal lines that furnishings and architecture create. For example, a homeowner might not realize that a dark countertop contrasting with lighter cabinets underneath will create a horizontal line across the room, making the ceiling feel lower and the kitchen smaller. "One of the main reasons that clients hire designers is that grasping scale can be difficult," says interior designer Kyle Schuneman. Ready for your own crash course in thinking vertically?
Quinn, Schuneman and decordemon. com founder Brian Patrick Flynn offer tips on how to work effectively with the heights of furniture, draperies and decorative pieces. Maximize small spaces To make a small or low room feel bigger, draw some vertical lines, says Schuneman. "Hang the curtains all the way to the ceiling, not to where windows stop. Your eye visually feels like the space has been lifted," he says. Patterned wallpaper or painted stripes on a wall can also help do the trick. For tile bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes, Quinn suggests hanging rectangular subway-style wall tiles vertically, so they appear as tall, thin pieces. People normally use subway tiles horizontally, presenting them as short, wide rectangles. BRING INTIMACY TO LARGE SPACES