This home is a good example.  I developed the living area around an existing fireplace with a dark paneled room.  Using paint and drywall the space felt larger and brighter. A dining area was located in front of a sliding door.  The kitchen, bath and laundry were located based on ease of plumbing and a bedroom carved out of remaining space with closets added.  Continuity of color was used throughout to make a small space seem larger and colors were personalized for the occupant.