Home Decor for a Claustrophobic

The main factor that contributes to that cramped feeling one gets in small spaces is clutter. Newspapers, magazines, or books thrown haphazardly in the living room add to that “locked-in” feel. Simply stacking magazines or placing them neatly on a table will add space to a room. The kitchen or dining room table is another culprit when it’s stacked with mail, keys, or other things that one tends to drop there because it’s quicker and easier than putting them away. The author had an aunt who lived in a very small house (so small that people called it a dollhouse) that was always neat and clean and never made one feel cramped. Aunt Leta’s motto was “everything has a place and everything is in its place.” Above all, she keeps the floors clean and tidy.

Light or neutral colored walls and floors add a sense of space to the room. Leave windows uncovered and decorated with shutters that can be opened during the day and closed at night for privacy and/or consider curtains that frame the windows rather than cover them. Too many pictures on the walls can close off a room. Too much furniture can reduce your space and make it feel cluttered. Furniture should not only be small in number, but should be light or neutral in color with perhaps one or two colorful accent tables. Light gray furniture comes to mind accented with hints of blue and orange pillows.

Let’s move on to the dreaded kitchen, a place that seems to be especially susceptible to that closed feeling. If one can afford it, a skylight is extremely helpful in providing light and ventilation. White cabinets and light neutral countertops with just a few strategically placed frequently used items can add a lot of space to the room.

Children’s rooms can be helped by offering convenient places to store unused toys and games. A desk and bookcase in an older child’s room will provide storage space for those items that often contribute to clutter, such as books, CDs,


If you’re looking for a new home, look for one with high or vaulted ceilings. It’s amazing how high ceilings can open up a small house. Large windows will open up the house and make it appear larger. Hardwood floors are less limiting than wall-to-wall carpeting. Imagine hardwood floors with some strategically placed rugs.

So one does not have to spend a lot of money to provide an open atmosphere. This entire article seems to be devoted primarily to the importance of good cleaning, doesn’t it? Sorry! But it is important. So let’s get rid of the clutter, declutter the dining room table, and put an inexpensive accent or talking point in the center. Then sit back in your favorite chair, look around the room and maybe out the window, and enjoy the space you’ve just created.

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