How to Use Shades to Make Your Room Look Bigger

Decorating a small space is one of the most common challenges in human existence. We have all lived in a small space at one time or another. Even those with large houses often have a small room or two that could be cozy if it felt a little more spacious. Fortunately, the feeling of space is a psychological one that we can influence with the right balance of light and lines in the room. One of the best ways to make a room look and feel more spacious is with window treatments.

Contrary to popular belief, floor-to-ceiling drapes do not always have the space-enhancing effect you're looking for. If you're seeking a sleek and modern way to cover the windows in a small room and make the room look bigger, there are some great tricks you can do with shades. As window blind experts, we're delighted to share a few tricks of the trade on how to use shades to make your room feel larger.

Light Colored Shades Enhance the Space

The first thing to know is the basic balance of color and size. Dark colors make a room feel more enclosed. This can be elegant, but in a small room, it can also start to feel claustrophobic. Smaller rooms are best decorated in light shades - including the shades.

The best colors for space-enhancing shades range from soft mint to a gentle off-white. Brilliant bleached white may be too strong for a relaxing space. Homeowners and designers tend to favor the eggshell and cream range for shades, while pastels offer the chance to add a splash of color and personality to your shade's design in a small room.

Color-matching your shades to other light-colored furniture can also make the design pop, adding style and unity to your decor.

Skip the Boxy Valance

Valances, decorative boxes that hide the hardware, were popular for many years, especially in luxury decor styles.  Valances can be big or small, simple or elaborate, but today they are almost entirely outdated. With modern hardware offering sleek and attractive installation, you can ditch the boxy valance in today's sleek space-enhancing styles.

Valances create a bulky shape near the ceiling and above each window, which can often enhance the closed-in feeling instead of helping to lighten the atmosphere. By getting rid of the valance, you can significantly lower the bulk and the cost of your window treatments.

Perfectly Fit Your Shades Into the Window Frame for a Spacious Look

Many designers call this setting your window shades flush with the window. This means that the shades do not extend past the limits of the window frame. Shades designed flush to the window are elegant, tidy, and tend to enhance the sense of space in a room by not resembling drapes. Drapes are designed to fully wrap a window, often from several feet above to several feet below. Blinds that are exactly the right size for the window instead help a window to look tidy and put-together instead of the more elaborate window treatments.

We have found that the best way to hang a flush set of shades is to nestle the shades into the window frame itself. Most homes have an inward-facing windowsill that is used mainly for insulation and decor. Take advantage of the window frame by having your shades cut to perfectly fit inside. This creates a lovely and consistent block for sunshine without taking up any extra space in your already small room.

Sheer and Layered Shades Invite Natural Light

Sunshine is a great way to make a room feel more spacious and uplifting, even small rooms with minimal natural light.

Make your shades glow while still providing privacy with sheer and layered shades. Sheer shades are semi-transparent, meaning that determined sunlight will filter through and warm the house. A sheer blind or shade can be pulled for privacy while still maintaining that delightful flow of natural light throughout your house.

If you want greater control over light blocking, add a second layer to your shade design. An opaque shade makes it possible to do just that. You can pull the opaque builds for movies and evening time while enjoying the softly filtered sunlight from your sheer layer of blinds in the window.

Low Ceilings, Hang High

One well-known trick of the trade is to hang your shades higher with low ceilings. Using your same flush measurements from side to side, lengthen your shades and hang them a few inches to feet above the window frame, closer to the ceiling. This creates longer lines in the room and can make your ceilings feel further away.

Tall Windows, Leave a Gap at the Top

On a similar note, what if you have a small room with vaulted ceilings or oversized, very tall windows? Good question. Very tall windows look best when you leave a small gap at the top of the window below where your shades are installed. This is because you are breaking up the difference between large and small elements in a room, and because of natural light.

When you hang your shades a few inches below the top of a tall window, it allows a rectangle of natural light to shine through, but too high to get into anyone's (most people's) eyes. At the same time, that extra sliver of natural light can make it clear that your room design can spare a few inches of window because there is just so much. These together can make a small room with tall windows look and feel larger.

Take Control  with Automated Shades

Lastly, consider the joys and elegance of automated shades. When your shades are automated, you can hide or do away with control devices like the hanging stick of miniblinds or the typical long looping string. Automated shades make it possible to open, close, and position one or more layers of blinds in each window.  This makes it possible to define the best look for your small room easily throughout the day, whether that's windows open to the world, half-lowered to block the sunshine, or fully down to complete the effect.

Using Shades to Make a Small Room More Spacious

Shades are a great tool when it comes to decorating a small space and installing the right window treatments for the job. You can make any room look bigger with the right design of flush, elegant, and lightly colored drapes. To find the perfect design and size of shades for your small room, look no further than SpokaneBlinds.