Making Little Feel Big: Tips to Upsize Your Small House

Has your home started to feel a little small for your family?  It happens to the best of us.  The things we own gradually end up colonizing a lot of our free space, and the house which felt “just right” a few years ago can suddenly feel as tiny as a shoe closet.

Fortunately, there are some simple tricks you can try to supersize your small space.  Most of these tricks are a matter of changing perspective rather than opening up more square footage.  Before you try them, consider a real effort to declutter first.  If your declutter campaign falls short, though, these tactics may come to your rescue:

Lighten up the walls.  Color can make the difference between breezy, cozy, and claustrophobic.  Dark colors on walls make them seem smaller and denser, while lighter ones broaden your view and reflect more light.  While white can be a bit harsh, there are other cheerful tones such as lemon, mint, and cornflower which can transform a space.

Aim high.  Many times, our gaze tends to lock onto the things in the way of our feet.  If you have zones of heavy storage occupying square footage, look for ways to get those items off the ground.  Corner shelves, hidden cabinets, and even hanging racks can do wonders for widening up narrow spaces.  Hanging pictures higher up on walls can make rooms feel taller, too.

Widen up the windows.  Big curtain rods which extend beyond the border of the window can make a window seem larger, and making the move to keep them open (perhaps with sheer drapes for privacy) can let in crucial light.  If you have a little renovation money, consider adding windows to rooms where less-than-ideal lighting conditions exist.

Cast mirror magic.  Amplifying light is a big theme here, so position large mirrors across from windows to create “windows” where no window can exist.  Even if you don’t have a window handy, a large mirror can double up the tiniest room.

Demand double duty furniture.  Hidden storage in large furniture can be a boon for making the most diminutive room more manageable. Take, for example, raised bed platforms with drawers built in the frame.  Look for any opportunity to hide storage in existing objects.

Hopefully these five tips will make your small house more spacious.  If they still don’t make enough room for peace of mind, it might be time to consider upsizing.  I’m happy to help you assess how much home you can afford, and what you might be able to get for the house you’ve outgrown.  Drop me a line if you’re ready for the big time!

Lynette Williams


When the Los Angeles home market rebounded, so did home builders eager to show off their design skills. Buyers expect that newly constructed homes will be safer and more energy efficient, but they’re also looking for homes that meet the needs of the more modern urban buyer. Here’s a round-up of some of the most popular design trends seen in today’s newest homes.

Pubsub-New-Construction-300x300-300x300Kitchen islands look more like continents in today’s Los Angeles Home Designs.
Maybe it’s the Food Network’s influence or maybe builders have finally realized that people ALWAYS end up hanging out in the kitchen. Either way, kitchens are now being designed to accommodate the crowds they always seem to attract. Globus Builders integrates the kitchen island in their Los Angeles home design with plenty of seating to allow people to sit and watch the home chef in action, which lets the host and hostess interact while feeding family and friends. With lots of incorporated storage and attention to design details, the extra-large kitchen island is becoming the focal point and showpiece of the modern kitchen.

Foyers that earn their keep.
Los Angeles home buyers don’t want to walk in the front door and straight into a living room setting. So foyers that give a sense of entry are making a strong comeback in modern construction. But today’s foyers aren’t just a short hallway. Builders are adding built-in benches, alcoves, book nooks or high-end places to hang your things up as you enter.

Extended uses for extended families
As the Baby Boomers age, the number of multi-generational households continues to rise. Buyers are requesting more homes with two master suites – often with one upstairs and one downstairs, which better suites elderly parents living in the home. Also, small “shadow” homes are being built alongside the main house to give aging parents a more independent living situation that’s still only steps away the family.

Productivity in pocket offices
While the popularity of a large, formal home office may have faded over time, people still want hard-working spaces where they can do the work required to run a household. These small “pocket offices” are being located off of high-traffic areas like the kitchen and great room, where parents can still be in the middle of the action but have a separate, dedicated space for paying bills, signing papers and checking email.

Connection is key
When people started saying “There’s an app for that,” it was only a matter of time before that app frenzy worked its way into new homes. With everything from smart thermostats to smart garage door openers, home buyers want more control over their environments by using the one thing we hardly ever leave home without – the smartphone. Soon there won’t be any more worries over whether or not you left the door unlocked or the garage door open because a touch of a button on your smartphone screen will assure you that all is well. Look for complete home automation systems to take a big step forward in newly constructed homes.

Sneaky storage spaces
Square footage has to work harder in today’s home and every inch counts. Los Angeles home builders are sneaking those highly-coveted storage spaces into places that were once overlooked. Cabinets under staircases, drawers inside stair risers and storage space under window seats are all creative uses of space that would otherwise be wasted.

Look for Los Angeles home design trends like these to meet the demands of today’s bigger, busier, more well-connected family.

For more information on Los Angeles home design trends or to find homes for sale in Mount Washington, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Altadena, please  contact me.