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Make style work for you

Cheryl-Anne Millsap Cheryl-Annem@spokesman.com

The decorator in you wants to go to work. So, what if you don’t have a lot of room?

Living in a small space such as a loft, apartment or condominium shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Here are a few chic solutions for stylish small-space living:

Take it to the top. Hang draperies from the ceiling to give the illusion of height. Use lightweight fabrics like silk or linen. Or, forego the heavy draperies, which can overwhelm a small space, and use light-filtering sheers or bamboo shades for privacy.

Unify your space. Carry color throughout the space. When small adjoining rooms are painted strikingly different colors, it visually shrinks space.

Go with the flow. Whenever possible, choose a single treatment for floors, like wall-to-wall carpeting or hardwoods. Too many rugs or different flooring breaks the visual flow from room to room and makes a space appear smaller.

Wide open spaces. Use windows to break down walls. Bring the outdoors in, and give the illusion of more space by keeping window coverings light and open. If possible, position mirrors to reflect the outdoors.

Clear out the clutter. Avoid letting tabletops and counters become littered with too many small items. Clutter makes any room appear smaller. If it isn’t needed, get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it, store it out of sight. Don’t let newspapers, magazines and junk mail pile up.

Serene scene. Avoid fussy fabrics. Instead, opt for small-scale patterns and cool, serene colors.

Buy it to fit. Keep your needs in mind when you shop for large pieces of furniture like sofas and chairs. Don’t try to fit too much into the space. Bring measurements with you to avoid mistakes.

Put it to work. Make your space work for you by using built-ins and multipurpose items like a storage ottoman, sleeper sofa or armoire whenever possible.

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