Using Open Spaces

When it comes to rustic décor sometimes less is more. There are many decorating ideas out there that tell you how to fill a space but very few tell you how to leave a space open for maximum effect. Here are some great ideas for using space creatively in your home.

1.    Focus on the Heat – A wood burning stove can be a great room accessory. A focal point that is hard to miss, the heavy cast iron heater sits prominently in the middle of the room. Simple wooden walls and equally simple wood and leather furniture complement the rustic décor. Throw a skin rug on the floor and you have the perfect setup for a room that will bring to mind the good old days out on the prairie.

2.    Focus on the Light – A modern chandelier can bring focus to an industrial styled room. Make sure the chandelier is large enough to stand out and if it has a strange or organic shape then more the better. Whitewashed brick walls and exposed rafters bring even more industrial vibe to the loft-like space. Classic curved chairs and decorative cement flooring makes the most of the bare space and turns it into a comfortable seating area.

3.    Focus on the Books – A wall of bookshelves can make any room seem homey. Think big and bold, with muted colors to fit right into a dark space. Add a soft leather love seat and a simple coffee table and you have a library fit for a night in.

4.    Focus on the Windows – When you have a room that is mostly windows it can be hard to figure out how to place the furniture without blocking the view and the light. In this case, just do not place furniture at all. Low seating and a chaise lounge take up minimal window space and give you a chance to really get the full effect of the window walls.

5.    Make it Round – A kitchen is not usually something you think of as being minimal, but it can be. Making a kitchen round is a great way to leave lots of space but make it usable. The sink, oven and refrigerator are at the edge of the room in a C shape. The rest of the room is left open with a bar area against the far wall for seating. Whitewashed wood flooring and wood paneled ceiling accents make this kitchen really stand out.

6.    Lose the Door – Another feature of rooms that takes up a lot of space is the door. You can’t place furniture anywhere near it because it has to be able to open and close. You have two options. You can remove the door and just have an opening, which would not work in most spaces, or you can replace the classic door with a sliding door, like a re imagined barn door. With simple to install railing and virtually no wasted space, all it takes up is a couple inches of room to slide open and still gives you the privacy you need.

7.    Under the Stairs – There is always a lot of wasted space under stairs. Well, use that to open up a room. Instead of building something under the stairs leave them as a sort of room divider. Bare stairs gives a bold impression and can be a work of art. A simple couch and table setup, complete with a colorful rug, can make under the stairs the place to hang out.

8.    The Odd Corner – There is always an odd corner in the house where nothing seems to fit. Throw a nice leather chair, accented with soft pillow, and a reading lamp attached to the wall above it. There, now you have a reading nook that everyone will want to curl up in.

9.    Staggered Stairs – Stairs do not have to be just from getting from one floor to another. They can also be a cool accent to any room. Use stacked boxes or wood to create the illusion of stairs and place knickknacks from your travels artistically along it. Not only are you taking up space while keeping things open, but that is one less piece of furniture you have to buy.

10.    Love the Loft – A lot of apartments and homes are cramped for space, so make the most of it. Even a tiny loft area can double as a guest sleeping area in a pinch. Throw down a couple of twin mattresses and you have a nice place for visitors without them being in the middle of your living room floor.

11.    Outdoors – Even on the patio space is limited. Make the most of it by choosing a long, slim table and low profile chairs made of simple, see through materials. Accent the space with a long, narrow fire pit and you have the perfect outdoor patio without a lot of wasted room.

12.    In the Bathroom – Bathrooms are typically places that are too small already. Do not cramp them up further with unnecessary elements. Have lighting hang from the ceiling to minimize infringement into headspace, opt for narrow cabinets with plenty of shelving, and try to keep everything inset for maximum walk space. Even the shower can be more open with clear glass doors or frosted curtains.

13.    Canopy Without the Trouble – Canopy beds are beautiful, but those posts can be a pain. Make your own canopy like bead by hanging curtains from the ceiling and bunching them at all four corners of the bed. It looks the same but gives more openness to the room.

14.    Color Without Clutter – Bringing color into a room usually involves a lot of heavy furniture and knickknacks. Well, it does not have to be that way. Decorate with colorful rugs, throw pillows and fabrics. Drapes can be found in a variety of patterns and colors to match any décor. Even lighting can be changed. Lampshades come in various styles and are easily accented with ribbons or material. For an Asian or Moroccan flair, try paper lanterns and round colorful chandelier. They provide light and color without taking up valuable floor space.

15.    Paint it Up – Another way to add color and adventure to your home without adding more junk is paint. Vivid paint colors on your stair’s bannister and railings brighten up your home. You can also paint doors in bright shades with complementary colors outlining the pattern.

16.    Seating Solutions – A lot of time a big table means lots of chairs. Lots of chairs means lots of room for people to move them in and out and get around. Solve this by using benches instead. Not only can you fit more people around the table with a bench but it takes up less room and the lack of a backrest means that it also takes up less room visually. For storage you can usually tuck them away under the table a lot easier than you can a bunch of chairs.

17.    Reflect on the Idea – Opening up a small space can sometimes be as simple as thinking outside the box. While a wall of mirrors is usually gauche, you can open up a room but placing several decorated mirrors together to reflect the light and open spaces. This not only brings more light into the room but also gives people more visual space to make the room seem bigger than it really is.

These are just a few ideas on how to make the most of your space. Less is more, especially when you do not have a lot of room to start with. Think uncluttered and minimal to make the most out of your small spaces and remember there are other ways to bring in your taste than furniture alone.

Author Bio:

Roxanne Porter is a freelancer & a regular contributor for  She helps in providing knowledge about nanny services & love writing on nanny related articles. She helps in giving a fair knowledge about nanny Jobs to the community. You can be in touch with her at “” .

Interior design by Richard Keith Langham. Photograph by Francesco Lagnese.

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