When you own a really narrow house or condo, your interior space might feel cramped and confined. Alternatively, if have your eye on a narrow lot in your town or city, you might worry that you’ll hate a narrow home design.
One way to get ideas for building the perfect narrow home is to check out narrow house plans for inspiration. Another way is to learn from the experiences of others who’ve transformed their slim houses into comfortable and inviting spaces. Making a narrow house feel more spacious doesn’t always require a big budget. You can combine natural light, optical illusions and other smart tricks to create the illusion of width within a narrow footprint.
Keep It Glassy
Glass lets natural light inside and extends sight lines, making narrow rooms look bigger. In a narrow-lot home, big windows and glass doors can eliminate the feeling of being confined. Use shades, blinds or drapes to give yourself privacy when you need it. Also, choose energy efficient windows and doors, and use caulk and weather stripping to keep the exterior temperatures at bay. Glass coffee tables and shelving can also make a small room appear larger.
Adding mirrors to a wall or choosing mirrored closet doors can make a smaller room appear larger than it actually is. Mirrors also reflect light, so they brighten up dark or cramped spaces. If a single large mirror or framed mirrors stretch your budget too much, try covering a wall with mirror tiles for a fraction of the cost.
Let There Be Light
In addition to taking advantage of natural light from windows and French doors, paint your rooms using light colors such as light green, beige or light blue. Repainting a dingy ceiling either white or a lighter version of your wall color can give the illusion of height in an otherwise small room. Additionally, maximize lighting wherever you can. Use bright overhead lighting, recessed lighting in corners, display lighting for décor and lamps for reading and writing.
Emphasize Diagonal Lines
Take advantage of diagonals in small rooms to create the illusion of more space. For example, you can install diagonal flooring or arrange furniture at a diagonal. Just be sure that you keep the center of the room clear of furniture and clutter. No room feels spacious if you can’t walk through it comfortably.
Unify Your Color Scheme
Instead of painting each room a different color, choose a color scheme and carry it from room to room. For example, you could use black and white tiles in your bathroom, black and white curtains in your living room and black and white barstools in your kitchen to tie the house together.
Open Up Your Stairways
Think beyond the traditional stairway and make your stairway open up a narrow room. Using open risers on your stairs makes them look less blocky and allows you to lengthen your line of sight. If you don’t have children or elderly family members living with you, eliminate bannisters or stair railings altogether. You can also replace the traditional railing with transparent side panels or glass blocks.
Cleverly Arrange Wall Art
Instead of extending photos or wall art along the length of a wall, arrange your wall art in groups. For example, put together a group of nine black-and-white family photos arranged in rows of three. Alternatively, purchase a large landscape painting and then surround it with smaller canvasses.
Rethink Your Entertainment Setup
Trade your traditional television set and TV cabinet for a pull-down movie screen and a ceiling-mounted projector. You’ll create a great home theater experience and eliminate the visual weight of large electronics. You can also mount a flat panel TV to the wall to save space.
Invest in Custom-Made Furniture
Instead of poring through the IKEA catalog to find furniture for a narrow space, ask someone to custom-build the perfect furniture for you. For example, place two custom benches and a narrow table in your kitchen to form a breakfast nook. Ask your builder to craft benches that can double both as seating and storage space.