Make Small Spaces Bigger: 5 Ways to Show Off Space
Buyers want spacious homes. Here's how you can show off every square inch.
July 1, 2010
However, home owners often crowd spaces with oversized furniture, bulky accessories, and piles of clutter that wind up making a room look much smaller than what it really is, says staging pro Jennie Norris, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals.
So how can you show off that space in your listings? Besides the obvious of removing clutter, try these simple ideas from Norris.
1. Scale down the furniture: By having too many large pieces of furniture in a small room, a space can feel more cramped, Norris says. Select smaller-scale furniture over large, chunky options. A good choice: furniture with wooden legs or unskirted chairs, so that you can see through the furniture to the floor underneath to open up a room.
2. Beware of overly busy patterns: Too many bold patterns in a room with fabrics and accent pieces can make a room feel smaller, Norris says. Big prints, bold plaids, and large floral patterns can be too busy for a small space. Stick to solids and use texture in fabrics to add interest.
3. Lighten Up: Dark colors absorb the light making small rooms look even smaller. “The general color rule for small spaces is lighter is better,” Norris says. Lighter colors on walls — such as creams, light blues, light greens, tan, and soft yellows — help expand the room. Plus, softer, cooler tones are soothing and relaxing, she adds.
4. Add height: Bring in anything that is tall to show off the height of the space. Whether it’s a piece of furniture such as a bookcase or an object like a tall tree, the height of the object will draw the eye upwards. Also in a house where you want to show off the height, hang the curtains above the normal window top level, Norris says. To widen the window, tie the curtains back with a rope tieback to show off the windows.
5. Use the reflection: Hang mirrors on walls to help add visual space. “When the room is reflected in the mirror, it can make us feel like there is more space as we see ‘another room’ in the mirror,” Norris says. “Mirrors can also reflect light and views, which will help lighten up the room and make it feel open and airy.”