Buyers want their home to seem cozy, but not small. Did you know that your design and layout choices could be making your rooms feel smaller than they really are? With these four staging tips, you can help open the rooms in your home to appeal to buyers and create seemingly larger spaces.
Well-lit spaces seem bigger
The brain perceives well-lit spaces as being more spacious and open, so the first step towards optimizing your home for sale is to achieve balanced lighting. Having only a single light source in a room is problematic as it’s more likely to cast shadows in the areas opposite the light. Instead you should use a variety of standing and table lamps to produce light at different heights and angles. Placing a mirror in front of a window is an age-old decorator trick to amplify incoming natural light and create an illusion of open space.
Decorate using smaller patterns and a light color palette
Accent pieces such as pillows, curtains, and area rugs are great for substituting new, lighter patterns and colors to help enlarge the space. Try using smaller, more intricate patterns as opposed to larger designs. Smaller patterns create an optical illusion that can make the surrounding space feel larger. You can also add in lighter colored accents to enlarge the space. Lighter colors reflect light better and make a room seem brighter and more spacious. If you have very dark walls, consider repainting in ivory, beige, grey, or another light, neutral color.
Lay out furniture with flow and function in mind
Understanding the flow patterns through the room can help you lay out furniture in a way that allows people to move freely without having to squeeze by objects or other people. High traffic areas should have multiple ways in and around the room to reduce congestion. You should also consider a buffer zone around doors, windows, and drawers so that they can open and close without cramping the space.
Choose the right furniture
If you’re unable to lay out the furniture in an open, accessible way, then chances are you either have too much furniture in the room or it is too large for the space. Identify any oversized items that can either be replaced or stored away. A rule of thumb is to arrange one large, central piece of furniture to function as the focal point. If you find that you have two or more items acting as the focal point, consider downsizing one of them. Less is more when it comes to small spaces. With that being said, make sure if you’re using an area rug that it’s big enough for the space. It seems counterintuitive, but an undersized rug can make the space feel smaller, not larger. Lastly, when it comes to the build of the furniture, you’re better off using furniture with tall legs, made of either metal or glass. Metal helps reflect light, while glass and tall furniture don’t’ obstruct your view, thus creating the illusion of extra space.
To appeal to the biggest pool of home buyers, these minor aesthetic adjustments can help your smaller rooms seem bigger without you having to knock down any walls. For more information on basic staging advice, be sure to check out 3 Ways to Stage Your Home for Success and learn how you can prepare your home for potential buyers.