13 Downsizing Designer Tips, (How to love your next home as much as your last!)

These 13 downsizing designer tips will let you love your next home as much as your last. So if you’re an empty-nesters, or semi or newly retired you don’t have to give up the quality and designer touches you’re used to in order to downsize into a simpler home! 

AND none of these tips require major renovations like moving walls. But instead they are all designed to transform your home by updating and upgrading the finishes and fixtures like paint, flooring, window treatment and light fixtures.

Even your kitchen and bathrooms can be transformed this way by painting, re-facing or replacing cabinets, and replacing countertop, tile, sinks, etc, while keeping the layout.

Downsizing done right will give you the designer looks you love, and without the mess, cost and time of a major renovation.

sw-img-diy-reasoned-hdr-Sherwin Williams
#1 PAINT UPDATE
– Keep the Walls Light
Light walls (neutral or pastels) will automatically make your rooms feel bigger.

– Paint the Same Color Throughout
Have one fabulous wall color flows from room to room without a color change to break up the spaces and making them look smaller. (The above is a gorgeous neutral that just keeps flowing from small space to small space all the while making them all look larger!)

nice-wood-flooring-options-floor-extraordinary-flooring-options-ideas-whole-house-flooringhardwoodflooringusa.com
#2 FLOORING UPDATE
– Similar Flooring Throughout
Flooring that is the same, or similar in color will make your floor space seem larger by not breaking it up with color changes. (This small kitchen looks so much bigger because visually there’s so much “borrowed” flooring from adjoining areas.)

22069685_671962426341553_809436915357974528_n-Sophia Paterson Interiors
#3 WINDOW TREATMENT UPDATE
– Keep It Similar to the Wall Color
Window treatment that is similar to the wall color will make the wall look bigger by not breaking it up with a color change. (I also like how this treatment goes almost to the corner so it doesn’t break up the wall space into part drapery part wall. )

– Hang Them High 
If you want your ceilings to feel higher hang your draperies at the top of the wall like this room.

101932137.jpg.rendition.largest-Better Homes & Gardens
#4 LIGHT FIXTURE UPDATE
–  An Instant Improvement
Light fixtures are so noticeable that updating them will add an immediate designer touch to your spaces. (One reason they have become such a popular design element for any room.)

– Adequate Lighting
When your spaces are well-lite, they will not only look bigger but they will feel cheerier.

– Add Dimmer Switches & 3-Way Bulbs
The multiple light levels dimmer switches and 3-Way lamps will give your spaces means you can vary the mood as well as the light for different activities. Dimming for watching TV and conversation or brighter for reading and hobbies.

BONUS:
HOW TO DECORATE SPACES TO LOOK BIGGER!
Maximize your space to make it seem bigger than it is just by decorating!

small-bathroom-vanity-Jenna Sue Design Co.
#5 COLOR SCHEME
Use a light neutral and/or pastel color scheme for the major surfaces (walls, ceiling, flooring) and for the large furniture or cabinets and vanities.  You can then accent with:

COLOR:         Accessories. art work, plant and flowers.
TEXTURES:   Fluffy towels, woven baskets in bathrooms. In other rooms consider faux fur pillows or rugs, nubby woven ottomans, velvet fabrics or tall sticks in a floor vase.
FINISHES:    Matte or shiny metals, and mirrors, glass, various wood finishes, and glazed or unglazed pottery.

1400973388436-Jen Bekman, 20×200 online art shop
#6 GALLERY WALLS
Group your art or framed pieces together. They will not only look better but they won’t break-up the wall space by being scattered around the room.

big-circle-mirror-36-inch-round-mirror-round-wall-mirror-with-thin-black-frame-beside-of-window-with-a-gray-vase-for-plant-and-brown-sofa-chair-with-two-ball-chair-and-poly-davidparrryracing.com
#7 MIRRORS
Even though we know a mirror create the illusion of space, it still works! (In modern spaces I like over-sized, decorative mirrors with narrow frames, so there’s lots of mirror with little frame to distract from the illusion.)

Small Living Room Design Ideas 2017 2-Hilma Liederbach
#8 FURNITURE WITH LEGS
The more floor space you can see the bigger your room will look so “Leggy” furniture is perfect for this effect.

sherwin-williams-alabaster-1512676692-Michael Aiduss
#9 SAME COLORED WOOD FURNISHINGS
You can decorate with different kinds of wood furnishings but if you make them all the same color they won’t break up the room with color changes. (Plus you’ll get a more “pulled together” looking space.)

gallery-1464892326-interior-designers-waldo-fernandez-and-tommy-clements-Waldo Fernandez  & Tommy Clements
#10 USE PAIRS
Use pairs wherever you can: lamps, chairs, art, side tables, bedside tables. Your room will feel bigger with coordinated pieces. (The two sets of paired chairs above balance a space with a number of individual pieces.)

54c144e41667d_-_07-keri-russell-bedroom-lgn#11 AREA RUGS
Keep your area rugs small because the more the floor space you see the bigger your room will look. And make them similar in color to the flooring so they won’t break up the flooring with a color change. (It may be small but this rug adds so much to this bedroom… texture, comfort and luxury!)

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#12 COVERED STORAGE
Use furnishings that will also give you covered storage any opportunity you get:  Bedside tables, side tables, entry and dining consoles. (I especially like this one as it gives lots of storage but has legs so we see more floor space!)

c64fe6ffb611c99b9cf12a8b4d75e36a-Marie Flanigan Interiors

#13 AVOID CLUTTER & FILLERS
The less little things you see in your spaces the more open, airy and bigger your rooms will feel. Likewise, any non-essential “chotchkes” that aren’t your best pieces (that you would use or enjoy the most) are better edited out. (I like this room because the best pieces all stand out: dining room furnishings, chandelier and art work; without a lot of small things vying for the attention.)

Keep these 13 “downsizing designer tips” in mind and you’ll have the home everyone loves… including you!  Read More