Stressless Style

Opening Your Home for Togetherness

[dropcap]One of life’s great joys is sharing a personal space – one you’ve made into your own comfortable, happy refuge – with the friends and family who mean the most to you. Enjoying quality time with the people whose company we thoroughly enjoy can bring myriad benefits, from strengthening social ties to increasing self-esteem and even improving physical health. Just being together literally makes life better.[/dropcap]

Some homes are designed intentionally for gatherings, particularly modern builds, but the increasingly popular open-floor plans that some say make togetherness more easily achievable remain a relatively recent concept. They may even be less than ideal for true togetherness, so resist the temptation to tear down walls. There are practical, easy steps you can take to make optimal use of your space for inspired entertaining.

Simplify Your Space

When dealing with the physical limitations of a smaller gathering space, cutting out clutter and opting for less furniture might seem obvious, but replacing multiple smaller items with fewer, larger ones might not be. A large round table or sectional sofa in a corner can increase the openness of a room, while a collection of assorted chairs, tables and smaller pieces only adds to the clutter.

Amplify Illumination and Consider Color

Maximizing natural light is a reliable way to open up a room. If you don’t have many windows or the ones you have are small, you can let more light in and create a more spacious feeling by hanging (and opening) taller, wider curtains on longer rods, posted up higher. Using wallpaper or painting with lighter, neutral colors – even on the ceiling – can make a smaller space feel larger. When considering color, bold can be beautiful, but it can also contribute to a cramped feeling.

Embrace the Unconventional

There are plenty of creative ways to assemble a comfortable room for your guests, and they don’t all involve a sofa, coffee table and love seat, so think outside the couch and try something new! Add an indoor hammock. Build a gaming loft. Turn a closet into a mini-office, and save the extra space it creates for entertaining. Put a cozy chair into each corner of the room with a giant area rug, throw a few large corduroy beanbag pillows in the middle and color-coordinate it all. Consider more mirrors, large glass artwork or clear acrylic furniture.

There’s more than one way to make your gathering space feel larger, more comfortable and perfectly inviting; try a few of them today, and start enjoying the many benefits of togetherness.