I am not rich, this is a common ailment I know, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have hopes for our homes. As a young mother I wanted to make this my home a real oasis for my family. I do not consider myself any great creative mind. When I started DIYing it was with apprehension. But now I love DIY! It’s empowering. If you can read, you can learn and do. Climbing ladders, painting walls, drilling holes, that all comes next.

Lesson One: Optimizing What You Have

Do not begrudge the things that you DO have. 22196395_lI knew this house had potential since the beginning, but I didn’t know where that potential was. Since I couldn’t afford to hire a designer I knew I would have to do it myself. And that was where I started. The very first thing I learned was, accentuate the positives. A good example of this, was my windows.

In my home the windows happen to be small, my original curtains cut out most of the natural light, and made the rooms dark. I like privacy, but I wanted my rooms to feel open, inviting. So I turned to the online world of DIY and learned some great things.

Make Short Windows Look Taller: Big windows are a premiere feature of luxurious homes. If you don’t have big windows, fake them. Hang a curtain rod at ceiling level and buy long drapes that reach down to the floor. With the curtains all the way up to the ceiling the eye is tricked into thinking the windows are that tall.

Make Skinny Windows Look Wider: If you have narrow little windows, make them look wider by covering as little as you can. Get a curtain rod that is much wider than the window is. Place the curtains out on the rod and have them barely overlap the edges of the window. This will make it seem like the window extends as wide as the curtain, when you’re allowing people to see most of the actual window.

Another issue is low ceilings. Now, don’t hate those low ceilings, they make a home easier to heat in winter and cool in summer. But they can make you feel cramped if you don’t know how to design right. A couple simple tricks for optimizing your low ceilings are these:

  • Modern Living 135032785Use low furniture: Buy couches that are squat against the floor. Buy low coffee tables. Think low and horizontal on furniture.
  • Flush lighting: if you have the power to put in new lighting, choose recessed lighting, making the lights feel farther away.
  • Use vertical stripes. If you’re brave enough to paint them they’ll make the room seem taller.
  • Use curtains that go all the way to the ceiling and are patterned or have a detail at the top.
  • Or you can carefully choose a couple tall pieces that rise from floor to ceiling.

Optimize your space by using what you have the RIGHT way.

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