6 Staging Hacks for Small Houses
These days, a lot of buyers want a fairly open floor plan with lots of space. If you have an older home or a house with a lot of enclosed rooms, you may have to fight convention if you want to bring the offers in. These tips help you to show off the space you have and create a comfortable flow for your home, even if you don't have a house with a lot of space or an open floor plan.
Choose One Purpose
Home buyers often expect the home to fulfill a variety of purposes, such as eating, sleeping, entertaining, work and education. If you have many small rooms in the home, trying to cram too many activities into a single space is the last thing you want to do. For staging, the smaller the room, the simpler you must keep the activities. A spare bedroom could be converted into a playroom or entertainment room, instead of letting video game equipment and toys clutter kids’ bedrooms or the living room. An enclosed dining room should be devoted only to that purpose.
Eliminate Visual Clutter in Design
Busyness is the enemy of the small room. Even if all the basic clutter is cleared away and you are left with an open floor and mostly-empty shelving, the room may still look too busy. Fun houses at carnivals are designed with contrasting patterns to trick the eye and make it hard for people to navigate. You do not want any room in your home to create such confusion. Instead, select designs that encourage an open flow. Minimize the amount of furniture, especially items that must sit on the floor. Avoid colors and patterns that make you feel boxed in. If you choose an accent piece that has a lot going on, keep it to a small painting or a pillow on a couch.
Vary the Lighting
Dark spaces look smaller, so lighting is your friend in a smaller room. However, nobody wants to walk through a door and feel like they are under interrogation because of a single intensely bright bulb in their faces. Consider a wide variety of lighting options, including:
- Ceiling lights
- Wall sconces
- Floor lamps
- Task lighting
Opt for shades that are also light in color and materials, so that they do not dim the bulbs’ ability to brighten the space. Be sure to add lighting in the closet that is easy to turn on and off, so buyers can see how open the storage space feels.
Small rooms often mean small windows, which can also fight against you in a world of wide open spaces. Fortunately, you can make the windows look bigger and ensure that the room gets the most of the natural light. Start with your window coverings. Think about selecting a simple pull-down shade instead of heavy blinds that block out the light. Choose curtains in light colors that are not sheer, but not super thick. Purchase a wider curtain rod and push the curtains to the edges, so that the full width of the window is exposed.
Open Up the Floor
There are two ways you can create more floor space in a small room. The first is to actually provide that space by maximizing your use of the walls. Ditch the entertainment center and mount as much as possible to the wall instead. Limit the number of floor lamps and add a couple of wall sconces to brighten the space comfortably. The second method is to create the illusion of open flooring by choosing furniture that looks more open. In an older home’s small parlor or sitting room, pick out upholstered chairs and love seats that have open legs. Avoid large coffee tables in favor of small side tables that are easy to move from one spot to another. If you must have something bulky like a padded ottoman, choose a model that offers some interior storage to help keep the space tidy.
Make Rooms Cohesive
With several unique rooms in a home, it can be really tempting to separate the themes for each room. This is contrary to current trends in home buying, in which buyers typically express a preference for a unified design. Buyers want the home to look like everything fits together, which explains the trend in open floor plans. You can achieve this goal by selecting a couple of design themes and using just one of them for adjacent rooms. If you have the same colors and wood styles in your separate living room and dining room, they will appear to belong together more than if you feature a surprising contrast of colors.
Making your home feel like it flows naturally is the goal of staging small rooms. If you use each of these tips, you can maximize space and lighting, and open up each room to a buyer’s delight.