Making the most out of small spaces to close that sale!

There are always obstacles when it comes to selling a home. Sometimes it’s located on a busy street or has no backyard. Maybe it’s in desperate need of repairs, maybe that half-bath really should be a full one, or maybe there are even rumors it is haunted! Regardless of what hurdles we face, it's always absolutely crucial to make the best use of what we do have in these situations. Making rooms appear larger and brighter can mean the difference between a home sitting on the market or having several serious prospects submitting offers. This is especially the case with kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms. Even when it might seem like we have space constraints, there are some easy and cost-effective tricks to brighten a room and make it appear larger than it actually is - and these aren't smoke in mirrors… they actually work!

1. High shelves close to the ceiling

Installing shelves on the wall close to the ceiling makes a room appear taller. Many of the tricks in this list focus on drawing the eyes where we want them. Placing objects close to the ceiling draws the eyes upward and can make a room seem much taller than it actually is. It helps a room look structured and well decorated as well, which is obviously a plus!

2. Mirrors

You might have heard of this one before, but it is a must for small living spaces. Mirrors will make rooms look much longer than they actually are. On top of the illusion of size, mirrors will also reflect light and make rooms appear brighter. If windows are available, be sure to keep the window shades open for natural light. Combined with the mirrors, this will help the room feel more open.

3. Use furniture with exposed legs and pull them away from the wall

Couches and chairs with exposed legs can make a living room appear to have more square-footage. Pulling the furniture a few inches from the wall will also make the illusion that there is space to spare. It sounds counterproductive, but open air and space around objects tricks the eye and reduces the feeling of claustrophobia.

4. Stripes

Vertical stripes on a wall can make a room appear larger. Stripes on the floor make a room appear longer or wider. Whatever your constraint is, adding stripes can be a quick and easy fix to make that room look grand!

5. Clear shower curtains or glass

Small bathrooms can be a big problem for some homebuyers, so making bathrooms look as big as possible is a must. If there is a shower curtain, get a new clear one. Being able to see through the shower will add several feet of space to a small bathroom. If you have the resources, install a glass shower door. This will help the bathroom feel and look more luxurious while making it appear spacious.

6. Lighting

A light fixture on the ceiling can make a room feel tight and draws the eye to one location. Instead, add several lamps around the room. This will draw the eye around the room and create an illusion of spaciousness.

7. BIG art

Large dramatic and abstract pieces of art can immediately make a living room look stunning. Even in the smallest of spaces, filling the wall with a large piece of art can add drama and luxury. There is a misconception that in small spaces we should use small decorations and small furniture - but this can actually cause a room to feel cluttered or cramped. Adding large pieces of furniture or art automatically makes a room feel big.

8. Separate areas with rugs or furniture

We once heard a story from a client about their previous living arrangement. They had an apartment that had nothing dividing the kitchen from the living space. It was all one connected space and they struggled to make the area “right.” So, they went out and got a striped rug the size they wanted the “living room” to be and put a large bookshelf between the living room and the kitchen. All of a sudden the seemingly tiny space turned into two different rooms! Guests would come visit and always say “wow this place is HUGE!” When really, it was all an illusion! This technique can be used to create a dining room or even a study out of one big space.

9. Paint or wallpaper on the ceiling

Always use light colors for this one and, if done right, will make a room appear much taller. A simple pattern can again draw the eyes up and around the room to help a small space look and feel much bigger.

10. Glass tables

In a confined dining room, kitchen, or living room, glass dining or coffee tables can be a great way to add space. Glass fools the eye because there is more of the room to see! For a more contemporary look, you could even try glass or clear plastic chairs. The more of the room that is visible, yet still has furniture, is a sure-bet for opening up a seemingly tiny space. Lack of furniture will not help, so if in doubt, go for clear instead!