Guest Post: Design Tips to Make Room for Two (or More!)

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5 ways to get your home ready for new arrivals

Multiples can fill up a house quickly, especially if you’re in a smaller space to begin with—but fortunately, there are a few inexpensive design tricks that can make your home feel much more open. Here are a few ways you can organize your home to make room for multiples.

1. Use unifying colors

Photo Credit: coco+kelley
Photo Credit: coco+kelley

One of the simplest ways to alter the sense of space in a room is to change the color scheme. Light, breezy colors like cream, pastel blue or green, and yellow will let more light in and make your home feel much more open. Dark, rich colors tend to soak up natural light and make rooms feel more cave-like. If your walls, art, and furniture have clashing colors, this can also make a room feel busy—so try to create a unified theme for your home, with two or three matching colors.

2. Get creative with closet space

When you bring multiples home, you might need to convert offices, playrooms, and guest rooms into bedrooms—but that doesn’t mean you have to give up the space entirely. Especially while kids are young, you’ll have some unused closet space that can become a home office nook or even a small play area.

For shallow closets, you can simply remove the doors, throw in a desk and good lighting, and you’ve got a place to get things done. With chalkboard paint and creative use of closet storage, the same closet can become a little play nook.

3. Make use of vertical space

Use vertical space
Photo Credit: theloushe

Vertical space is seriously underused in most homes, which can make the floor feel very maze-like and cluttered. This tip is especially helpful for parents of multiples, because your home’s vertical space is a great place to put things you want to keep away from kids, like houseplants, expensive decorative items, etc.

To make better use of vertical space, replace end tables with wall-mounted shelving, and floor lamps with sconces. If you have potted plants on your living room floor, hang them from the ceiling instead. The more you can clear your floor, the more open (and kid-proof) your home will be.

4. Pare down furniture and art

For your living room and common areas, the best way to reduce the “busy” feeling is to cut back on clutter. Instead of three small, mismatched furniture pieces in the living room, go for one big couch. Instead of a wall full of art in various styles and colors, opt for a single statement piece (or even better, a nice big mirror). Especially in your bathroom, keep one rug, one mirror, and one piece of tasteful art.

5. Create visual depth

Photo Credit: emily katherine may
Photo Credit: emily katherine may

The farther into a room you can see, the more open it feels, so make sure you can see as much of your walls and baseboards as possible. Choose thin, leggy nightstands and end tables, and remove bed and sofa skirts. Look for recessed bath cabinets with big, wide mirrors to reflect more light and fool the eye.

In your kitchen, use open shelving instead of cupboards—you can simply remove the cupboard doors, sand down the hinges, and repaint to open up the space. (If you choose open shelving in your kitchen, display your matching flatware up front; the more unified your kitchen is in color and style, the less cluttered it will feel.)

Mike Freiberg is a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a resource for stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, and everything in between. He’s a handyman, an amateur astronomer, and a tech junkie, who loves being home with his two kids. He lives in Austin.

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

One thought on “Guest Post: Design Tips to Make Room for Two (or More!)”

  1. One way we’ve used vertical space at our house is to give the kids lofted beds. They take up the real estate of a long narrow table and provide them with a desk (underneath) and bed (on top). Furthermore, we’ve added small portable plastic drawers that fit under the desks for additional storage.

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