Blog, Virtual Staging

20 Expert Staging Tips to Make a Small House Look Bigger

20 Expert Staging Tips to Make a Small House Look Bigger

August 16, 2021 by Emily Huddleston

There’s one thing that will always be appealing to prospective buyers – and that is space. This need for space can feel like a major hurdle for those selling a home that’s on the smaller side. But there is good news! While you can’t add to your property’s square footage, you can change the perception of it.  Even the tiniest of homes can be made to appear larger – all it takes is proper staging.

That’s why we’re sharing our favorite home staging techniques to make a small house look bigger and more functional. We reached out to real estate and staging professionals across North America, from Riverside, CA to Kingston, ON. Keep reading for their best tips and tricks that work in small spaces every time.

small kitchen

1. Utilize vertical wall space. A great example would be using a vertical file holder in the entryway or office space to help organize incoming mail, school papers, or office documents. An intentional and yet organized space, especially for small homes, makes a huge impact on the overall feel of the home. – FIB Home Staging & Interior Design

2. Choose furniture and greenery that fits the space. If buyers have to turn sideways or squeeze by furniture they will remember the room feeling too small. It may be better to have two chairs and a small table, instead of having a sofa. Adding greenery or a vase with flowers can brighten up a small space too. You’d be surprised what adding a small inexpensive artificial plant can do. – Design to Sell Staging

3. Avoid dark furniture and dark colors in general. Keep it light and the space will feel expansive. – Studio Shaolin

4. Consider corners. I avoid cluttering the corners and always leave the corners of the room empty. Also, make sure you open your blinds and let natural light in. – Front Porch Properties SC

5. Add an interesting item to each room. This could be a colorful piece of art or a unique piece of furniture. – Asheville Home Staging

6. Place a low bed near a window. Try this simple trick in a small bedroom and more space will appear. Hang a mirror on the opposite wall to reflect the outdoors and create an even larger illusion of space. – Voila Staging & Design

7. Use white or light-colored bedding. This is an inexpensive and easy way to make small spaces feel larger. The same goes for window treatments. White or light curtain panels for privacy, white sheers for semi-privacy, and whenever possible, bare windows. Let the light in and spaces will always feel larger. – Debut Property Home Staging

8. Remove clutter. This is one of the easiest ways to give your home a “ready to buy” feel. Start by removing anything that is wasting space: old magazines or random objects that don’t have a purpose. Even your favorite family photographs should be kept to a minimum. Most houses look cluttered because of the furniture, therefore, it is advisable to get rid of the furniture to give rooms a larger appearance. – Swee An Ng

9. Play with patterns. Adding patterns to a small room creates a whimsical visual distraction making the space feel bigger. There are some great adhesive wallpapers out on the market now. Try doing just the bed wall with a fun pattern or an accent wall in a breakfast nook or dressing room. This will not only make it feel more inviting but also add a visual interest that will distract the room from its size. – En Vue Staging

10. Adding shelving into a small bathroom. This will create storage and easy function, without sacrificing style. Also, raising your bathroom curtain rod up to the ceiling will make the bathroom appear larger to buyers. You want to keep your bathroom light and airy but don’t be afraid to add pops of color. –  Unforgettable Staging

11. Incorporate tempered glass, acrylic, or lucite furnishings. It allows buyers to see more of what the room has to offer and creates a sense of ample open space. Plus it’s quite aesthetically pleasing to the eye which is a big bonus. – Nicole Beale – Owner, Honeycomb Homes AZ

12. Keep scale in mind. One of the goals in staging a home is to make the rooms look as large and inviting as possible. Using furniture that is too big for a room can make it appear cramped, small, and uncomfortable. If the furniture is too small in scale, it can make the room look like it’s furnished with doll furniture. The scale of the furniture must be in proportion to the room. – StandOUT Home Staging

13. Size and color matter. Monochromatic color schemes versus a variety of colors and patterns create a seamless, more spacious look for online photography. Trick the eye by using a small grouping of table accessories with height instead of numerous small items that can look cluttered. Include large modern wall art that demands visual attention. It is the perfect eye candy for creating the illusion of space. – Lifestyle Staging by AM

14. Create moments across each staged space that will resonate feelings. These moments will leave future homeowners with the ability to envision enjoying the special features and character of the property. We create these moments through vignette setups in designated areas.  It may entail staging a sitting area by a window with a coffee cup, an open entertaining room with martini glasses on the ottoman, a reading corner with an open book and reading glasses, a cutting board full of cooking ingredients on the counter, or a breakfast tray on a bed. By creating these special moments, you leave buyers wanting more. – Upstate Roots Design

15. Adding visual depth to the room. You can do this by 1) floating the sofa and accent furniture away from the wall, 2) by providing ample floor and table lamps throughout, 3) adding vertical shelving for smart use of space, and 4) by mixing patterns and textures in your soft fabrics for added dimension. Be sure to avoid small accessories and décor and instead opt for fewer but taller accessories to make the room look and feel grander than what might otherwise meet the eye. – Cozy Corners

16. Try a signature wall of color or a large mural. This can elevate and give a small room a grander perspective. Coordinating these elements, with a large piece of furniture, rather than many smaller items, will ground your room and give a more expansive feel. Decorative items, such as black and white photography (especially a nautical theme) lend a special drama to a small room, while visually expanding its dimensions.  – Lotus 3D Staging

17. If you have a room that is less than updated, make it a feature. Pink and black bathroom, no problem!  Show your buyers why this is an added character, not something that has to be updated. – NOVAS Best Home Staging

18. When it comes to furniture, less is more. A few carefully curated pieces in each room to show the functionality and to provide a pop of color will go far. In communal spaces avoid placing furniture exclusively along walls and instead float it out a bit and create gathering places anchored by area rugs. – LUXE Home Staging

19. Use smaller scale furniture that can have multiple uses. An example would be a dining table that can also function as a desk. Another furniture item that can do double duty is nightstands that work as a dresser and additional storage.  – The Staging & Design Consultant

20. Add a bar height table behind the sofa. One of the quickest ways to gain square footage in the buyer’s mind is to make the kitchen appear bigger. A trick we often use is to put a bar height table coupled with three or four bar stools behind the sofa facing the TV. This eliminates the need for a big table in the kitchen, opens up the space, and offers a great way to watch the big game or a great movie. – Delight In Designs

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