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Boost Your Boudoir

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Steal these seven sneaky ways to super-size small bedrooms.

spacesanddesignSeptDreaming of a little more legroom in your bedroom? Small rooms don’t need to be claustrophobic — far from it. Before you get out the moving boxes, take a look at these tips from local interior designer Chet Pourciau.

“The two most important things to any design project are painting and lighting,” Pourciau says. “If you can get those two things right, your whole design project will go smoothly.” Below, he shares smart ideas to get a big impact from a small space.

Keep it Light
To make a small room seem larger, stick to lighter shades — as pigments containing a higher percentage of white will reflect more light. This is especially important in rooms with little natural light.

Pourciau often builds bedrooms around color, helping clients to choose soothing hues. “When you’re doing a bedroom, color plays such a crucial part in your mood,” he says. “You want to be sure you’re choosing colors that are restful.”

One Room, One Color
Using a single color throughout a room can also give the illusion of more space. Pourciau recalls a recent project where the client preferred a darker color in the bedroom, and the room had no windows. “It was probably one of the most fun, but most challenging, design projects I’ve taken on in a while,” he says.

He took a monochromatic approach, using the same color for the walls, trim and even the ceiling. However, he knocked the color’s “strength” down by about 50 percent for the room’s ceiling. “It creates a false perspective,” Pourciau explains. “The room is going to seem larger than if you had used white or off-white.”

Stripe Down
If monochrome isn’t your style, try alternating floor-to-ceiling stripes in two colors of paint. “Striped walls will force your eye into thinking the room is taller,” Pourciau explains.

Add an Accent
“An accent wall is another great way to play with color in a bedroom,” Pourciau says. “Paint the wall behind the head of your bed — that can sometimes count as your headboard.” In the same vein, he suggests minimizing oversized headboards and opting for a tufted and wall-mounted headboard instead.

Shine On
Along with selecting a lighter shade of paint, try using a pearlescent finish on the walls. Pourciau recommends graduating to glossy paint on the trim, and using high-gloss paint on the room’s ceiling. “Use different sheens of paint to make it more reflective,” he says.

Mirror, Mirror
Try mirrored furniture, like chairs and tables, for an easy way to visually increase space. If you’re not a fan of mirrors, reflective fabrics (like satin and metals) are other options.

Aim High
Hanging drapery or curtains? Mount them right where the wall meets the ceiling. “Floor-to-ceiling drapery is one of the most effective ways to make a space look like it has higher ceilings,” Pourciau says. “If you install your drapery close to the ceiling, it will trick your eye into looking up.”

Notes:
Don’t skip the paint-testing step! Take a foam paintbrush, and create small squares of your test color throughout the room. “Check the room at different times of the day to make sure that the color is something that you’re going to like throughout the day,” Pourciau advises.

Everybody Wins: Kids’ Room Design
When kids get to a certain age, they often know exactly how they’d like their space to look … and from there it’s usually a compromise.

Hot pink, lime green and banana yellow are some of the colors that might send your dreams of a pulled-together home into a downward design spiral — but Pourciau knows how to make it work. “If you’re doing a kid’s room, and your kid likes bright colors, use that color as an accent color and not a main color,” he says. “It’s better for homework and studying.”