Small House, Big Feel
Sarah Susanka's 10 great tips on how to make your home seem more spacious*
* Excerpted from Creating the Not so Big House by Sarah Susanka (Taunton Press, 2001)
1. Dispense with rooms that are rarely used. Take the money you would spend on square footage and put it into the details that enhance the comfort and livability of your home.
2. Think about using pods, instead of walls, to distinguish different activities.
3. Make spaces do double duty by serving more than one function.
4. Vary ceiling heights. High ceilings are often more impressive than comfortable.
5. Think as much about the composition of interior views as placement of windows for outside views.
6. Arrange a space so that you look along the diagonal, from one corner to the opposite one. When you do that, your eye follows the longest view, which makes the space feel larger.
7. Create a small area for each adult to have his or her own space. “Our houses are getting bigger in part because we have no place to get away to, no place to be by ourselves,” writes Sarah Susanka.
8. Use framed openings to indicate room changes rather than solid walls.
9. Use a series of openings and surfaces to subtly break the perceived space into segments.
10. Adopt a few special shapes or materials that are repeated throughout the house. Done thoughtfully (and not in a heavy-handed way) it gives your home personality.