Many of interior design suggestions in Remodelista’s Expert Advice: Hang a Mirror Facing a Window, and 8 Other Tips for Creating the Illusion of Space are wonderfully effective ways to “expand” a small space. But we were really surprised by the photos of a lovely smallish bedroom housing a giant dark armoire, with the caption:

Resist the urge to go miniature. 

Don’t be afraid to place regular-sized furniture in small spaces. When you put tiny furniture in a small space, the room will actually feel smaller. I encourage you to play with scale. You can still use the negative space wisely to help the eye move throughout the room.

We agree in theory and like the counsel to play with scale. But the black wardrobe is far from regular-sized. To us, it’s monolithic in an art installation sort of way, adding a looming, oppressive feeling to the clean lines and airiness of the room that stops our eye from moving around the room. Though it might be viewed as interesting, for us, it is the opposite of its intended effect: a black hole, sucking all the energy and light from that quadrant of the room. It makes the room feel cramped and lopsided.

Bethany Nauert and Lauren Moore

Here’s a tiny closetless bedroom with a hefty armoire painted white in our friend Tom Fallon’s Shelter Island cottage. We remember when it was its original brown wood self in that little room; it seriously dominated. The white makes it recede while adding necessary storage.

Jason Penney

The same thing happened with the giant armoire in Tom’s living room…

Photograph by Jason Penney

An instant solution to that black armoire at top? The deep rich black makes us think of chalkboards… which makes us imagine how much more interesting the armoire might be with some chalk writing or drawings…(a poem perhaps?)

Holly Marder

Please let us know your two cents.

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