The longer you live in a home, the more possessions you acquire, say nothing of how your family itself may have grown through the years.  Whether you live in a small place, to begin with, or a larger one that somehow seems “more full” than it did once upon a time, there are ways to open up those cramped rooms. These options do not require actually having to expand the walls, and many can be accomplished without spending a fortune in the process.

Dark flooring, walls, and paneling can give a room a cozy appearance that feels great on a chilly winter’s evening but creates a claustrophobic atmosphere the rest of the time.  Consider taking advantage of our Accent Wall package by adding a decorative accent wall using reclaimed wood, similar to the one shown in the image below, or painting one wall in a cooling shade of blue or green, or simply changing out curtains, fabrics, and a piece or two of furnishing for ones with lighter tones.

Reclaimed Wood Accent Wall
Reclaimed Wood Accent Wall

Mirrors are an excellent way to create a comfortable illusion of added space, particularly if your room’s configuration allows for mirrors that can face each other from opposite walls.  In tiny kitchens, reflective surfaces such as stainless steel appliances serve the same purpose.

Too many decorative elements “shrink” a room, as well.  As an experiment, remove a third of the knick-knacks that occupy shelf and table space to see how much of a difference their absence makes, and whether you can—or you want to—live with the difference.  Inspect your furnishings, as well.  Is there a chair that remains unoccupied most of the time, or an end table or lamp that don’t really need to be there?  Or you can always trade these out for taller, narrowing furnishings which tend to give the illusion of added volume.

If the budget allows, there are other options.  Could small paneled windows be traded out for a larger single pane which will bring more light into the space?  How about installing a bay window to add square footage to a room?  Could shelving be narrowed or recessed without taking space away from adjoining areas?  Can you “go more vertical,” installing double-height cabinetry, which allows for more display areas without sacrificing already-limited space?

These are some of the more straightforward options for “expanding” a room.  Your local Handyman Matters office can assist you with any of these types of alterations. Or, if you have bigger ideas in mind for enlarging your living space (like, combining two smaller rooms into a larger one) they are happy—and qualified—to help you with those options, as well.

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Declutter your Office and Living Room with these Cord Management Tricks!

home office cord management
Even as technology advances, very few things are truly cordless – at least not yet.  Having loose cords can contribute to safety, tripping hazards, and well – decorating hazards.  There’s nothing quite like creating a home office or living room to reflect your tastes and then have it ruined by the tangled mess of cords and cables.  At Handyman Matters, we think homes should be smart in more than one way.

In home offices you have the desktop computers, laptop charge cables, printers, backup drives, USB microphones, Wi-Fi hubs and internet routers all with at least one cable trailing from the back, needing an outlet.  On top of that, fewer and fewer desks offer the ability to hide cables.  Living rooms are just as bad with your sound systems, game consoles, mounted flat screen TVsDeclutter your home office and living room today with these cord management tricks…

Know your outlets

Outlets can move! One extension cord run along the side of the floor can direct any source of electricity to a different side of your home.

Power strips

Make it easy to plug things in!  Add a power strip near the center of your gadget needs.  Keep an eye on how many high powered electronics you plug in at a time, and make sure your strip is flat on the ground or mounted solidly on an easier access point.


Larger furniture pieces such as desks, bookcases, and entertainment centers should be taken full advantage of when it comes to cord management.  Running extension or longer cords up the back of the furniture is a great way to hide cables. Use a staple gun (or duct tape in a similar color as the piece of furniture) to secure the cables every half-foot or so along the back up to their corresponding destinations.  Make sure to have the staple straddle the cord and not puncture it as that can potentially ruin the wiring inside the cable.  You can even mount a power strip on the back of a larger piece of furniture, or even on a shelf for an easy to reach hub.

Floor and wall maintenance

  • Over-floor cord protectors  – When you have to run a cord across a room, use one of these to protect the wire, and the people walking around your home.
  • Wall mount cord covers – Extra helpful for mounted flat screen TVs, these covers can run up or along a wall, match the color of your wall, and disguise your cables.
  • Cable ties – A cheap and easy way to prevent tangles and keep all the cables in one area.

For more organizational ideas, or help installing your cord management systems, call 866-FIX-MY-HOME or schedule your appointment online!