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  • Writer's pictureashleyhertherinteriors

5 Easy Adjustments to Optimize Your Space

  1. GET YOUR SCALE RIGHT

When your decor fills the space, it actually makes the space feel bigger. My own rule of thumb is if an accessory is smaller than your head,forget it! This also helps eliminate knick knacks that are usually too small to be appreciated, and, when grouped together, create clutter and unnecessary busyness. Less is more! This is one of the most obvious tell tale signs that a home has been professionally designed-the furnishings and decor fill the space appropriately. The trick is to balance the space with items that are big enough to fill it, yet leave enough white space to feel comfortable. A big, affordable thing these days is to find an oversized vessel/vase and fill it with oversized branches. This checks off the correct scale and the nature/ greenery in the home box.


Too many little accessories don’t do much for the space. Fewer, bigger items that draw the eye up and out also help furniture to feel more appropriate in relation to accessories.


This goes for rugs too. You should have at minimum the front legs of your furniture grounded on a rug. You want to avoid the floating island rug. 99% of the time a rug is too small, rarely is it too big. This often happens when someone purchases a rug for a space at home 1, moves to a new home and then tries to make it fit in a different sized room. If your existing rug is too small you can always layer it with a solid, neutral sisal. This trick works very well with persian rugs- another reason I would argue they’re a great investment as they can work in multiple rooms and can be layered. Not to mention, they’re timeless!


Persian layered over a wool sisal:





2. HANG YOUR ART AT EYE LEVEL

The tendency is to hang pictures too high. You want people to easily enjoy them without having to look up. If you have high ceilings and want to bring the eye up, stack a series vertically, but, at a minimum, hang the lowest one at eye level. I like to target the center of a picture ~60” from the floor.





3. LAYER YOUR LIGHTING

Say what? Most people, for example, have can lights in their kitchen and pendants over the island. That’s 2 layers. An easy DIY/handyman project is to install under cabinet lights (3rd layer) that create a soft glow that is especially nice in the early morning/ after dinner. If your countertop space is plentiful, you could add a table lamp for a 4th layer. In older homes it’s common to have no ceiling lights, which can create a dark room. Wall sconces, floor lamps and table lamps will be your best friend. I’m also a huge fan of picture lights as both hardwired and plug in options exist. This is a great way to create a focal paint and bring much needed light to a space. If you’re building new/ remodeling, down lights to highlight a corner/ vignette in a room create an intimate space. Lastly, you can never have too many dimmers! Dimmers in kitchens and bedrooms are a must have. Every room in my house has at least 1 dimmer - even the closets!






4. HANG YOUR CURTAINS HIGH AND WIDE

Assuming your windows have trim, hang your rod a minimum of 3” above the trim and 6” to the left and right of the trim. The objective is to make your windows appear as big as possible. The higher you hang your curtains, the taller the room feels as they draw your eyes upward. When curtains are pulled back completely they should not block any of the windows. For practicality, do not hang curtains on a rod with tabs/ rod pocket unless they are solely decorative. Opt for pleat style panels that hang on ring clips or a traverse rod for easy opening and closing. If curtains in your bedroom are primarily for blocking light, consider using a french return rod to prevent light from peaking through the sides.





5. ADD A MIRROR

When windows are few and light is low, add a mirror! The trick here is to select one that is 1. Big enough and fits the space well and 2. Hung at the correct height. Again, when hung incorrectly, it’s usually too high. It’s important to be mindful of what a mirror is reflecting - avoid a messy, cluttered countertop or a bathroom entrance and aim for art/ fireplace/ focal point on the opposite wall or a hallway to create an illusion of depth.



That's all!

Ash

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