Mobile homes have several features that can make home decorating feel like a challenge. Learn to overcome some of these features to help turn your mobile home into the space you've always wanted it to be.
Design Considerations in Mobile Homes
Not all mobile homes are created equally, but most share several different features that help to give them a homogenous look. Breaking out of this look and putting your own stamp on a space means acknowledging and working with several features in the home.
The height of a mobile home's ceiling varies from about 6-feet 6-inches in foyers and hallways to approximately 7-feet in the living areas and bathrooms. While these heights adequate for standing, they can curtail your use of larger, taller pieces of furniture, and they can also make the rooms seem smaller.
To help overcome this challenge, there are several decorating tricks that can help make your walls seem taller and your ceilings higher, such as:
- Extending the color of your walls about one to two feet into the ceiling to create the optical illusion that the ceiling is longer than it is
- Using cool-tones on the walls and ceilings; cool colors recede from the eye, which can make the rooms and ceiling look larger than they really are
- Opt for longer, lower pieces of furniture, rather than taller pieces - this will draw the eye around the perimeter of the room, rather than drawing it up toward the ceiling.
- Install a low chair rail or wainscoting panels around the perimeter of the room. Lowering the chair rail and wainscot height slightly will make the walls appear taller above.
Not every mobile home has the same dimensions, but many have rooms that are longer than they are wide. This is often combined with very narrow hallways, which can make the home appear cramped. Help bring the rooms into balance with a few tricks that will visually widen the spaces.
- Paint an accent wall on one of the short ends of the room in a warm color while using cool colors on the other three. The warm color will contract visually, making the room appear more balanced.
- Install tile, laminate or hardwood flooring at a diagonal in all the narrow areas of the home. Diagonal lines draw the eye out to the corners of the room, which will visually widen and enlarge the space.
- Match the size of your furniture to the size of the wall it's on. For example, put a long table or couch on the longer walls - even if it will fit the shorter one. Put an arch chair or end table on the shorter wall to help make the wall appear larger.
- Arrange the furniture into clusters to better make use of the space.
Generic Kitchens and Bathrooms
Many mobile homes have nearly the same layout in the kitchen and bathroom. In part this is due to function; there is limited space so a design that is deemed the best use of space is used. This can lead to spaces that don't feel like your own, however.
There are plenty of ways to put personal stamps on these spaces that don't involve complete or even partial renovations. Make any of these switches or cosmetic updates to change the way these spaces look.
- Remove the cabinet doors from the upper kitchen cabinets and paint the walls behind the exposed shelving with a repeating pattern like lattice or herringbone. This not only brings interest to the space, it makes the kitchen seem bigger and allows you to show off your dishes.
- Paint your laminate countertop with faux-stone paint and seal it with several layers of very glossy polyurethane. This will give your kitchen the color, shine and style of real stone without the weight or expense.
- Install a subway tile backsplash around the perimeter of the kitchen, extending the tiles just past the cabinets to help delineate the size and shape of the kitchen. Subway tiles are excellent in small spaces because you can fit six full courses between the counter and cabinets and they draw the eye along the perimeter making the kitchen appear larger than it is.
- Add a few decorative tiles or a decorative border to the backsplash, keeping the majority of it simple so as not to overwhelm the space.
- Remove the vanity from your bathroom and install a wall-hung sink instead. The sink will make the bathroom appear larger. To store your toiletries, hang a cabinet over the toilet, or put a roll-away cart beneath the sink.
- Remove the existing medicine cabinet or mirror with the attached lights and replace it with a wood-framed cabinet or mirror in a color to match the woodwork of the home for a custom, built-in look. Install sconces on either side for task lighting that enhances the décor.
- If there is a window in the bathroom, remove the current sill and replace it with something decorative like a piece of marble, hardwood or tile. Make it extra deep and fill it with accessories or plants.
Off-Centered or Too Small Windows
If the windows in your home aren't quite centered in a room, or they're smaller than you'd like, consider covering the entire wall with curtains from floor to ceiling. This dramatic look will not only make your ceiling look taller, it will also disguise the windows, while still keeping them functional; just tie the curtains back whenever you desire.
Make Your Home Your Own
No matter what size or shape your mobile home is currently in, it's always possible to put your own stamp on the overall style of the space. Use these tips to help make the rooms feel larger and more luxurious and help make your home your own.