If used correctly, side stepping the retro gold-veined type, mirrors will not only appear to double your space but will amplify the light and can bring the outside into your home. This photo is from the examiner.com website and features the work of retired designer John Wheatman - - my design mentor. The mirror is framed in steel and hangs beatifully against the espresso wall.
The same can apply outside. Double the size of your patio by installing a set of mirrors on your fence or patio wall, then drape a bit of foliage over the sides to hide the edges and add a bunch of potted plants.
The easiest way to get an objective view of your space is to take a digital photo and view it on your computer's screen. You'll probably be surprised at what you see. When we live in a home day in and day out we lose the fresh perspective that an interior designer might have. Take a photo and suddenly you see lamp, computer, and phone cords dangling in full view. The vase you "thought" was the perfect size and shape for display on your living room's shelves now appears trite & inappropriate for the space.
6. Small area rugs.
Don't be afraid to use a large lush area rug in your space. Too often, home owners float one lonely 5 x 7 rug in the center of large room and then add a coffee table on top. Instead, use your rug to ground the space and let your entire seating arrangement sit atop it with several inches to spare - - or add a rug that is placed from 12 - 18" away from the wall. Often, a rug can be used as inspiration for a room, so selecting one first can establish your color scheme and design direction.