Expand Space with Repetition

Small Space Solution

Did you know that repeating a design element several times over can actually make your small home bigger? No, it won't give you that extra closet or another window, but the visual effects can be expansive:

With an element repeating over and over again, our eyes and brains sort of say "Yada, yada, yada, I got it." They fill in the blanks and we're suddenly tricked into believing the repetition continues even when it doesn't. Maybe the expansive capabilities of repetition are why we are so often drawn to:

Book Collections: Rows and rows of books make us feel like we're in an expansive library, even when it's only one (or two) shelves. Image 1 is of Jason Neufeld's Good Books Shelf.

Open Shelving: In image 2 from Desire to Inspire, hanging cups march on, and on, and on

Hanging Art in Groups: Similar effect as the books: showing off wall hangings in a repetitive group creates a feeling of abundance. The example in image 3 is from Apartment Therapy's Home Hack, How To Hang Art in a Group That Can Grow.

Striped Rugs: Black and white striped rugs are getting a lot of attention lately. Is it because they make our small homes grow? This example is from Cottage Living, via Decor Pad.

Stripes, in General: The striped ceiling in this nursery has stuck in my head ever since seeing it on Ohdeedoh. Stripes on a ceiling have the same expansive quality as exposed beams.

Do you use repetition to expand your small home? How so? Please share in the comments below.

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Style, Decorating, Interior Design

Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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