Ways to Make a Small Beach Home Feel Big

nicole_0By Nicole LoCicero
While tiny homes are all the rage and make fitting more into less space seem elementary, the fact is that people have been living economically in small spaces with their beach cottages for a very long time.  While the architecture of the home does play a part in how big it feels, there is much more that can be done on the decoration and design end to make a small beach home feel like a beach mansion.  Here are ten ways to make your small beach home look and feel more spacious through design.

Paint it Bright!
The thought used to be that, in order to make a room look bigger, you had to paint it bright white.  While this still works wonders and looks amazing in a beach cottage, the consensus now is that you have other choices.  In fact, bright blues, yellows, and even greens can really expand a space.  The idea in using bright colors is to reflect the natural light instead of absorbing it.  So, when picking your colors, go bold!

It’s All About the Light
Nothing opens up space the way natural light can.  If you have big windows and doors, select window treatments that will allow that natural light to come in.  If you don’t, consider making use of high-quality light fixtures to keep the space well-lit as this will make it look much larger.  

Light Colors in Kitchen and Bath
Whether it be countertops or decor, having lighter colors in both the kitchen and the bathroom make these small rooms seem much more spacious.  You can also opt for light-colored area rugs and fixtures in these rooms as an added touch.

Furniture That Works
Smart use of furniture in smaller spaces can definitely make them feel much more spacious.  A round dining room table works better than a bulky square one.  Declutter the living space by using one or two couches instead of clusters of chairs.  Small portable tables make sense in a beach cottage and won’t be constantly in the way.  Another great trick to use with furniture is to bring in a lot of glass.  Having tables with glass tops will fool the eyes into thinking that there is more space in a room.   It’s ok to have a bed dominate in a tiny bedroom if that is your choice but also consider how a built-in, a Murphy bed, or even a futon might save space.

Use Your Vertical Space
If a room isn’t large horizontally, it can be made to look much larger by drawing the eye upwards.  Use the vertical spaces on the walls for shelving and artwork.  Shelves can serve a dual purpose by providing some much-needed storage.

Declutter Your Space
Speaking of storage, as you select the right furnishing and decor for your beach cottage, think about how you will store some of life’s essentials.  Whether it be that stack of beach towels or your collection of movies, they all need their place, and there are some great solutions for small spaces.  Some furniture can be purchased as dual-use, with hidden storage space inside.  There are also some excellent choices in bins and storage systems that can either be hidden or incorporated into your decor.

Ceiling Treatments
Another great way to draw the eye upwards in a small space is to either paint or wallpaper the ceiling.  This has the effect of making the room look taller.  While wallpapering a ceiling isn’t simple, the results can be pretty stunning and quite whimsical.  If this sounds like a tall order, you can always opt for painting.

Stowable Accent Pieces
If you have a beach cottage, chances are you will probably have more company than you do at your land-locked home.  To allow for this and keep your space decluttered in quiet times, have stowable accent pieces that you can pull out when hosting company.  These would be such things as folding tables or TV trays, stowable chairs, and even large floor cushions.
Use Mirrors
While mirrors don’t add space, there’s no doubt that they make a space seem much bigger than it is.  One option is having an entire wall-to-wall mirror that reflects the outdoor beach scene back to you while inside the cottage.  If this feels too extreme, consider placing mirrors on opposite sides of a room or creating a mirrored wall arrangement.

Live Outdoors
Having a cottage at the beach just begs for outdoor living.  Combine your beach cottage living with decks and patios to create a seamless living area that could virtually double your space.   Add outdoor couches, an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, and decorate the area with anything else that makes it feel like the perfect vacation spot.

Owning a beach cottage is a dream come true for many and creating a space that is uniquely yours should be an enjoyable part of that journey.  A small beach cottage can be designed to both appear and feel larger than it is so that your family gets the enjoyment out of it that they deserve for many years into the future.

Nicole LoCicero is a decorator, homemaker and mother.
Her love of the ocean drove her to open BeachDecorShop.com

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