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Furnishings to Increase the Sense of Space and Style in the Baltimore Row House

There’s nothing that says Baltimore like the humble row house. Also known as the townhouse, there are actually many different styles of the row house, as described by one enthusiastic Baltimore resident in his blog, The Baltimore Chop.  With detailed accounts of over a dozen styles of this unassuming home, it’s a worthwhile read for any Baltimore fan.

Settling into one of these homes comes with the challenge of furnishing a space which is often no more than twelve to fourteen feet wide, and as few as one or two rooms deep.  The task of furnishing small narrow spaces is not one unique to Baltimore, of course.  There are many cities with people trying make the most of their cramped quarters. Let’s take a look at some ideas to decorate and comfortably furnish the Baltimore row house.   

When starting out two ideas are important to keep in mind.  One is “less is more”, meaning the less you put into a small space, the more you will enjoy the space you have.  Also remember that multi-purpose furniture can go a long way to outfit a small area.  For example, when shopping for a kitchen table a sturdy tabletop is useful for both preparing meals, as well as being the place to enjoy them later.  Comfortable chairs that are normally found in the kitchen can be moved when you need more seating in the living room.  In homes with a small entryway, or just a hallway, a small dresser or chest of drawers helps to provide an organized place for bags, shoes, or whatever may clutter the area.  For the ultimate in flexibility, ottomans in a living room provide options for seating, serving, with the addition of a suitable tray, and often allow for storage.  And it’s always nice to have a place to put your feet up.

When choosing living room chairs and or couches, small arms and minimal to moderate cushioning help to avoid the sense of an overcrowded room. Seating options with one arm, or even armless chairs, such as chaise lounges or sectional pieces, also reduce the risk of a cramped feel.  Exposed legs on couches, coffee tables and exposed arms and legs on chairs also give a more roomy feel by allowing the eye to see through the area, taking up less visual space. 

Other pieces that are airy and open, or provide more light, also give the impression of more space.  Backless bookshelves, and glass or partially glass topped tables, are good examples. Replace tables with lamps for tall, skinny floor lamps that have a small footprint or even wall mounted lamps to add bright light throughout the room. Nesting tables that can be stacked take up less space, while providing two or three end tables when needed. A tall narrow bookshelf will also add additional storage while using wall rather than floor space.  Alternately, built in bookshelves help reduce the crowded feeling that too much furniture can create.

When picking out the pieces to create the stylish yet comfortable environment for your home, keep these tips in mind when working with a small space.

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