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Spring has finally arrived and this change of seasons entices us to look at our living spaces in fresh, new ways. Even small rooms can be transformed to look and feel larger than life. Here are 10 clever design tricks and trends to create a lovely illusion of space without breaking your budget.

Pale palettes 

Calming, monochromatic paint palettes help to push back the walls and bounce light around the room. “A great way to trick the eye is to use neutral tones -- whites, beiges, grays and pale blues will make the space feel light and airy. Painting the trim and the walls the same shade will also make a room feel more open,” said Sarah Fitch, owner of Décor Adore Boutique in Hartland.

Bursts of colors 

Incorporating texture and vibrant splashes of color in accessories like accent pillows and throw blankets, works of art and area rugs can bring energy into rooms with more subtle color schemes. “Adding pops of color and contrasting texture adds interest and creates the feeling of different areas even within a small space,” explained Fitch.

Adjacent spaces  

Consider the hues of the other rooms visible from the space you wish to feel more open. A creative way to tie in smaller spaces such as foyers, hallways and breakfast nooks with larger common areas is to choose color schemes that work harmoniously together or are different shades of the same color.

Lighten up 

Open up the room by taking advantage of natural light from windows. Remove heavy curtains and window treatments or replace with shutters or blinds. Try using windows treatments that closely match the same color palette used on the walls. “Also, using accent lighting rather than overhead lights can add different focal points into the room,” said Fitch.

Lofty goals 

Floor-to-ceiling book shelves draw the eye up. “Painting the ceiling a darker color than the walls also gives the feeling of more depth,” said Casey Carney, designer at Kowalske Kitchen & Bath in Delafield.

Oversized mirror  

Designers often use oversized or architectural-style mirrors in small spaces to create the illusion of an extra window or door. “Mirrors trick the eye and can really make spaces feel larger than they actually are,” added Carney.

Multifunctional pieces 

When space is limited, choose furnishing that can serve more than one purpose. An upholstered storage ottoman can be used as a coffee table, extra seating and a place to squirrel away treasures. A small desk can provide double-duty as an end table and of course, the always needed cover for clutter.

Air it out 

Raised furnishings like floating nightstands and leggy mid-century modern tables and chairs create the illusion of more space. “Avoid heavy furniture or pieces that have skirting or aprons along the bottom. Incorporate glass to make the room seem more airy and light,” said Carney. “Another idea is move furniture away from the walls. Place a small table behind the couch or angle the bed in the corner.”

Ditch the clutter 

Less can be best when wrestling with space in a small room. “Keep things clean and neat and minimalistic. Keep knickknacks simple and orderly. The goal is have the eye travel around the room in an organized way to make the space seem larger than it really is,” advised Fitch.

Outdoor living 

Extend your living space by opening blinds, windows and doors when possible. Coordinate outdoor living spaces to compliment interior design elements used in your home to create a seamless transition to everything your outdoor space has to offer.

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