I've been in more than my share of Victorian homes out here in the West, and some of them are dark, dreary, and depressing. Ultimately, it may not come down to square footage to determine whether your home looks and feels spacious and inviting. If you're looking at remodeling, consider small, affective options that can open your rooms considerably without having to painfully open your wallet.
You can help your home look bigger by creating separate spaces in large rooms, hanging plants or dressing screens-adding to a layered effect that suggests to the eye that there is more beyond the immediately visible. Mirrors can easily double the eye's sense of depth while boosting the available light in the room. A great way to open up a room is to organize your furniture in groups (opening up walking space) and choosing cabinets, couches, and other furnishings that match the color of your wall. Look:
Lighting Transforms Space
Using natural light with wide windows and skylights opens up a room. Fresh Home.com recommends the use of full-height panes, and sheer window treatments that can be pulled back to let in the sunshine. If you're using plants, try not to hang them where they block the view out the window.
Track lighting, typically used to open up a kitchen by illuminating shadowy areas, can work just as well to highlight areas, bringing the eye toward open spaces.
Open Up Rooms with Paint
Paint your walls with neutral colors if you have ample natural lighting to fill the room, or choose bright (but light-toned) hues to paint walls where indoor lighting can splash on the walls. Shoot for broad walls with window accents and avoid filling up the wall space with too many small paintings, bookcases, or photographs that give a claustrophobic, cluttered feeling to the room.
Applying faux paint to walls can extend just the right length or texture to a flat surface, provided you've done your homework. For instance, faux painting in children's rooms can help landscapes or cloudy skies to feel open and infinite. In the kitchen, faux paint can add texture that, lightly added, creates the sense of walls that open out into deeper spaces. In the living room, a faux paint treatment can suggest separations between sections, with textures near the front of the room opening out to clear, light paint and windows at the far end.
Just a few suggestions to trick the eye without having to knock out a wall-and blow out your savings account.