Small Spaces Sell with the Right Touches

by Megan Glenn

Are you thinking of selling your house or condo, but you’re worried space seems too tight?  Stop fretting!  The rise of the tiny house movement means even the smallest of dwellings have become not only marketable, but fashionable.  And armed with the knowledge of some basic techniques for creating the illusion of space, there’s no reason you can’t provide open, airy designs that will have potential buyers wowed.

Furniture that Fits

You may think that the best thing to do to make a small space look big is to empty it, but designer Kristie Barnett says an empty room gives buyers no sense of scale, and that she’s seen sales fall through simply because the client assumed furniture would not fit.

The trick, instead, is to get rid of overstuffed furniture and to choose one large piece that will be the central focus of the room. Judge every other item against this piece and ask if it serves a functional or design purpose.  If the answer doesn’t come easy, get rid of it.

Opt for smaller, streamlined pieces, such as switching out that sectional sofa for a loveseat.  Furniture that sits lower to the floor creates an illusion of space — think midcentury modern — and it is often more effective to group furniture on one side of a room or to create space between wall and furniture.  When items are pushed against walls around the room it creates a cramped feel. 

Experts also suggest placing taller items away from doorways so as not to visually close off the space upon entering.  We tend to track a room from left to right just as we read, and incorporating horizontal elements that encourage us to track that way smoothly makes the room feel larger.  Items that make our eyes bounce around the room tend to make the space feel smaller.

Keep It Light and Open

The first rule to increasing a sense of space is to de-clutter rooms.  Clear surface tops and take down family pictures, store away extra pillows, and get rid of freestanding pieces that clutter the floor.  You may need to consider gathering possessions and unnecessary furniture to keep in storage until your house is sold.

A second vital aspect of space is accenting natural light.  Windows should be as open as possible to allow maximum light in.  Instead of curtains, you might use blinds.  If you must use curtains, hang the rod high and wide so that they can be opened to reveal the entire window. 

A third trick to maximizing light is to incorporate mirrors into your design.  A mirror placed across from a window not only reflects light back into the room, but enhances the illusion of larger, airier space.  The effect can be increased by choosing furnishings that have chrome, polished metal, or mirrored trim.  And when it comes to furnishings, show some leg.  Air and light beneath your pieces only increases the sense of openness.

Finally, when it comes to actual lighting, get rid of the single overhead fixture which tends to dim the perimeter of the room and make it feel even smaller.  Opt instead for strategically placed lamps that cast light into all areas of the room.

Decorate with Space in Mind

If you want to create an illusion of openness, paint walls in lighter, brighter colors.  Most designers suggest shades of white, but you can choose a bolder color for one wall as accent.  If you choose to do so, adding a few matching decorative touches such as pillows or artwork enhance the sense of unity and space.

Fabrics and materials can also contribute to our visual assessment of a room.  Avoid heavy fabrics and dark bulky wood pieces.  Linens, voiles, and tulles are better choices for keeping your space feeling open and light 

Another suggestion is to carefully consider artwork and other decorative pieces.  Minimize art, opting for one larger focal piece that is more neutral in theme.  Remember that you’re showcasing the space, not your belongings.  And for decorative pieces, a good rule of thumb is that anything smaller than a cantaloupe makes surfaces seem cluttered.   

One last consideration is what to do with floors.  Some designers recommend that you don’t include rugs at all.  If you do decide to incorporate them, choose smaller rugs and orient them to define functional spaces within the room.

Make It Multifunctional

One way to make your rooms feel larger is to suggest their multi-functionality as you decorate.  Stage a small den as a space that can double both as home office and as dining area.  Choosing stackable furnishings and foldaway leaves can keep the space open while still suggesting multiple uses.  A small bedroom with a murphy bed can act both as sleeping space and as an office, reading space, or work area.

Outdoor Space as Another Room

Don’t forget to take advantage of any outdoor areas on your property.  A balcony or patio can be decorated to suggest a reading area, an eating space, or even a relaxing place to get work done.  Even if the space is small, you can choose streamlined, folding furniture to suggest a dual space for grilling and entertaining or for settling down to serious business.

Design Trends: Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are becoming a trend among many homeowners today.  While compared to most other counter-top materials, Quartz is the appearance of the finished engineered stone is rich, and even luxurious. Quartz is non-porous as well, giving it the strength to resist staining.  Quartz also has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is quite a bit more forgiving so it won’t chip or crack as easily. It also works well with most styles! Take a look at a few examples below for more inspiration!

All images via our Pinterest

Quartz CountertopsVictoria Quartz countertop. Marble vs. Quartz - A Thoughtful Place25+ Inspiational Kitchen Design Ideas For 2018 #kitchens #kitchendesign #kitchendesignideasWhite Quartzite Countertop Ideas. Kitchen with thick White Quartzite Countertop and farmhouse sink. #WhiteQuartzite #Countertop AGK Design Studio. Gray Shaker Kitchen Cabinets with Brass Inset Hardware, Contemporary, Kitchen

 

 

 

 

Design Trends: Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets

Update your kitchen with a pop of color or hint of contrast with two-toned kitchen cabinets. Adding this trend can give your kitchen the face-lift you’re trying to find! Whether it be adding a statement color or simply lightening up some wood, this trendy addition highlights key features and introduces color diversity to your kitchen. Take a look below for some fresh inspiration.

All images via our Pinterest

 

Two-toned kitchen cabinets are officially all the rage, like in this kitchen with the lighter upper cabinets and darker lower ones. Click through for more info on two-toned cabinets.

Two tone kitchen cabinets!

For some people, using blue color for kitchen may sound strange. But, with the right way, you can even breathe life into your kitchen with blue accents!  #kitchen #blue #color #cabinet24 Lovely Blue Kitchen Area Cabinet Ideas  #kitchencabinets#kitchendesign#kitchenplayset#kitchenislandideas#kitchentrashcan

Design Trends: Copper Accents

Copper is having a moment right now when it comes to home decor and there is no sign of this trend losing popularity! Despite its rough exterior, copper accents add elegance and edge to your space.

This metal can be used  in light fixtures, furniture, accessories (trays, vases, pillows, pots),  and kitchen accessories. Pair this metallic with wood, marble, white, or mint and you are well on your way to nailing this trend!

All images via our Pinterest

Black and white home decor with a twit- shiny copper pendant lighting fixtureCopper Accents Add Homespun Glamour to This Charming KitchenStylish monochrome living room inspiration with greenery and wood accents. We love the copper coffee tables. #modernliving #contemporarylivingroomLiving Room in Pastel Tones - Lady's Houses"The Sven sofa is so luxurious and it was simple to shop for. Article has modern style high-quality furniture that is shipped directly to you. They have lower prices than you would find at other furniture retailers because they don’t have showrooms or salespeople and the online process is easy." Photo by Eleven Magnolia Lane.#repin    SHELLEY SASS DESIGNS Interior Design in San  Diego 858-255-9050 shelley@shelleysassdesigns.com Let's collaborate and design  your beautiful space today! #interiordesign #remodeling #edesign #homestaging  #interiorstyle #interiorideas #interiors #interiorinspiration #interiorstylist  #interiorinspirationKitchen Arrangement Ideas | Kitchen Furnishing Ideas | New Home Kitchen Design Ideas 20190802

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Trends: Built-In Home Bars

The built-in home bar is one design trend that is back in a big way! Updated for 2019, this trend borrows heavily from other popular interior design trends. Many built-in home bars feature white or grey cabinetry, mixed metals, glass-fronted cabinets, or a reflective backsplash. If you’ve been thinking of adding your own home bar, check out these ideas for some modern inspiration!

All images via our Pinterest

Rustic Ultimate Bar - LargeBar!                                                                                                                                                                                 MoreFirenze Mezzo Wine and Sprits Credenza with 28 Bottle Touchscreen Wine Refrigerator This distinctive wine and spirits bar with refrigerator will enhance any interior with its handsome good looks and versatile style. Features:  Rich espresso finish Wine refrigerator holds 28 standard size bottles Digital touchscreen temperature control Dimensions:  37 H X 53 1/2 W X 24 7/8 D Inches145Rustic Ultimate Bar - Large | Pottery Barn

 

 

Design Trends: Brass Accents

Brass accents are becoming more and more prevalent as we progress through 2019. Brass is a surprisingly warm and subtle alternative to the expected steel accents. It is much more understated and luxurious than it used to be and that is why we are seeing it in more homes! The thing about brass is that when done in a tasteful manner, it never goes out of style. While people may not be as interested in covering their rooms in wall-to-wall brass, it is well-suited to accent pieces, fixtures, lights and other smaller decor items. Check out a few photos for design inspiration!

All images via our Pinterest

I love the blue cabinets; the nook at the end seems multi-functional. The pendants are awesome - and I love all the brass accentsA large kitchen window design idea utilizing a large arched window above the cabinetry instead of over a kitchen sink.  While tall ceilings are needed to pull this off, this idea gives you full use of the wall for cabinetry if storage is a priority.   Source:  Ben Pentreath.Marble Bathroom Refresh + Parachute’s Bath LineA happy place to wash up after a long day.  This house went to contract after just two days on the market and I’ll be sad that I can’t visit anymore but hoping there will be another project someday yuliatanis ! 😊 macchiaphoto .. .. .. #Bathroom tiles #bathroomdesign #bathroomenvy #bathroomremodel #bathroomreno #bathroomrenovation #bathroomsofinstagram #cabinetrydesign #currentdesignsituation #customcabinets #customcabinets #dreambath #dreambathroom #homedesign #homesohard #homewithrue #housebea

The prettiest gold chandelier: Read More on SMP: http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2016/05/10/master-the-perfect-touch-of-gold-like-this-design-pro/

simplygrove:  Love this kitchen remodel from @kellen.minor seen on the #simplystyleyourspace feed. The cabinet color is gorgeous! Speaking of kitchen design, I’ve got some kitchen trends on @porcelanosa_grupo blog, which are all easy  and make big statements! {link in profile} http://ift.tt/1ZgPK2j

Brass accents & Grey cabinets | Modern Cape Cod kitchen at Bundy in Brentwood by Boswell Construction #buildboswell

Bathroom details

 

 

The Pinteresting Five: Statement Wallpaper

Make a statement with wallpaper! Go big and do a whole room or stay small and do just the ceiling or an accent wall. There are thousands of patterns to choose from geometric to stripes to florals to prints that look like tile.

All images via our Pinterest

Watercolor Colorful Tropical Mix Removable Wallpaper-Peel and | EtsyWatercolor Mint Leaves Wallpaper Wall Mural, Hanging Leaf Branch Wall Decal, Fresh Spring Elegant Wall Sticker Wall MuralsStunning Tessellation wallpaper design by Harlequin in marine blue and copper.Southeast Asian Rainforest Plant Wall Murals Wall Decor Green | EtsyKathy Kuo Home on Instagram: “Wallpaper Galore 😍 No better way to make a statement than with a stunning wallpaper like this! Who agrees 🙋🏼‍♀️ | Design: @palmandprep…”Here are 10 statement wall ideas set to make you swoon, from wall murals, statement wallpaper, to creating your own plant wall.ATELIER RUE VERTE , le blog: Collectif Project Inside / Une fresque murale pour une touche d'exotisme /