Beautiful, Functional and Smaller


More modest sized homes have been making a comeback. And no, we’re not talking about “tiny houses!” We’ll just let that trend go wherever it will.

Some of the “downsizing” trends can be attributed to the popularity of Marie Kondo’s NYT bestseller book: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Kondo advises readers to touch every item in their home and reflect on its joyful importance. If you love it, keep it. If you don’t, discard it.

The possession purge has caused many homeowners to discover they don’t need as much room as they previously thought. Less clutter means fewer rooms and fewer rooms means less maintenance. In short, more time for fun activities outside the home.

Nonetheless, while homeowners may have become less concerned with square footage, they’ve become more concerned with the feeling their homes evoke not only in themselves but also in their guests. The last thing they want are the rooms in their home to be perceived as claustrophobic, joyless and forgettable.

Today’s smaller rooms need to be breathable, uplifting and stylish. To create design harmony, it’s best to plan your room’s layout before you begin decorating. Errors can be costly to correct.

To assist you, we’ve shared some savvy “room-opening” design tips. If you’ve got more, we’d love to hear them in the comments section.


Light wall colors and fabrics expand openness and suggest movement. Use all white or different shades of one hue to decorate a room. Paint the trim lighter than the walls. Light colors reflect light. Dark colors absorb light.


Replace floor and tabletop lamps with wall mounted sconces. It will free up floor space and provide wider pathways to move from room to room.


Hang large, bold artwork on the walls. It might seem counterintuitive, but large artwork tends to bring everything around it up to size. 


Use multipurpose furniture for extra storage. For example, an expandable dining room table, a couch that doubles as a bed or an ottoman that serves as a storage bin.

Choose furniture that shows “leg.” Another opportunity for air and light to circulate throughout the room.

Large Mirrors 

Mount one large mirror or a group of small mirrors with similar frames. The reflection in the mirrors creates the sensation of a room beyond the room.


Scatter smaller area rugs around the room. Roomy margins and exposed wood create the illusion of largeness.

Window Dressings

Maximize natural, bright light by using sheer curtains or eliminating curtains and blinds altogether in areas that do not need privacy.

Vertical Space 

Draw the eye upwards by painting the ceiling a bright color, adding floor to ceiling bookshelves or attaching shelving at higher than normal points. Ceilings will appear a little higher. 


smaller-homeIn smaller homes and spaces, every square inch counts. Strategic condensing will maintain the roomy feel you’ve worked so hard to create. Consider adopting the mantra: declutter, declutter, declutter. The less you have scattered around, the larger your rooms will seem.

If you’d like a “little” assistance making all your rooms more dynamic, 3W design can provide creative ideas for any budget. Please contact our design team at (603) 226-3399.

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