Decorating Ideas for a Condo

Decorating a condo does not have to be much different than decorating a house. You should decorate in the colors and styles you prefer. Still, there are some things to think about that are unique to decorating a condo. For example, the footprint of a condo is usually smaller than a house, and similar to every other condo in the building. Also, storage space is usually at a premium. Create the feel of a larger space and add storage to your condo using the following tips.

Fool the Eye
The biggest difference between a condo and a house is that a condo usually has less square footage. Therefore, when you decorate a condo, think about how to make the space seem bigger. Most condos have one "great room" rather than a separate living room and family room. This room is often rather small, even though the name of the room indicates otherwise. To make the room seem bigger, try installing some mirrors on the walls. If you can install a mirror opposite a window, the mirror will reflect the window and bring more light into the room, making it feel larger and brighter. A mirror over a fireplace also has the same effect. In any small room, not just the great room, limit window treatments to very light, sheer curtains or even nothing at all. Instead, hang a blind that can be pulled up, and install molding around the window to frame it. Painting the walls in a light, neutral color and the ceiling one shade lighter also will open up any small room.

Furniture
Choose furniture wisely when you are shopping for your condo. Look for furniture on a smaller scale, so the pieces don't overwhelm smaller rooms. Clear glass on a tabletop or coffee table makes a room feel larger. In addition, shop for furniture that can do double duty. A futon can double as a guest bed. Drawers underneath a coffee table add extra storage, which is usually lacking in a condo. Some ottomans also lift up to feature storage. Hiding your television in an armoire can make the room look more formal and turn it into a dining room when you don't want to watch television. In fact, instead of trying to squeeze a dining room table into a great room, invest in a large coffee table, some luxurious floor cushions and then eat on the floor, Asian style. Or, invest in a great-looking set of TV trays.

Make it Unique
Finally, use some unusual decorating techniques to make your condo stand out from the others in your building. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use ceiling molding, wainscoting and chair rails on the walls. Install wainscoting a third of the way up the wall, top it off with a chair rail and then paint the area above it. Then, install molding around the edges where the walls meet the ceiling. Alternately, choose one wall and wallpaper it with a light-colored but sophisticated print. If you know a carpenter or are handy with wood, build yourself some built-in bookshelves around a fireplace or doorway, then paint them to match the wall.

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