Los Angeles Home Staging Info

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Twelve Expert Tips to Make A Small Home Appear Larger

I am frequently asked, by the real estate agents I work with, how to make their listing, which is on the small size, look larger to appeal to more buyers. As a professional house stager in Pasadena and Los Angeles, one of my primary jobs is to make smaller homes feel larger, or at least, feel as large as they really are.

Small livingroom made to look larger with correct furniture    

Here's a list of my tips for making a small home feel larger. You can use these tips whether you are staging a home to sell or if you are planning to stay, but just need some help dealing with smaller rooms. These tips will work with either vacant (if you're bringing in furniture) or occupied homes (dealing with the client's existing furniture):

  1. Pare down the furniture in a smaller room to the essentials. Do they really need a chair in your bedroom, or will the room appear larger with just the bed, the nightstands and maybe a dresser?
  2. Clutter makes a room feel smaller. Lots of smaller items, like a Hummel collection or bowling trophies displayed on every horizontal surface, eat up visual space. Only display 3-5 items at a time. Store, sell or prepack the rest. You're selling a home, not a collection of treasures.
  3. Use fewer pieces of furniture. Its better to have one larger dresser than 2 smaller ones.
  4. Use appropriately sized furniture. Having a large sofa in a small family room will highlight how small the room is.
  5. Pull furniture away from the wall. Create a cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace, with room to move around the back of the furniture.
  6. Cooler colors recede, so painting a room a pale blue, green or gray will make it feel larger.
  7. Show more hardwood. The larger the expanse of hardwood, the larger the room will look. See how the room looks without an area rug. If the hardwood floors are hidden by wall to wall carpet, remove the carpet. The home will feel instantly larger.
  8. Try using one larger area rug instead of several smaller rugs. Or if the room looks OK without it, don't use any area rugs.
  9. Use fewer patterns on upholstery and bedding. For instance, use a solid color blanket or bedspread on a bed in a small bedroom to make the room feel larger. Lighter colored bedding will make the room feel larger.
  10. Strategically placed mirrors make a room feel larger.
  11. A well lit room feels larger. Make sure every overhead light and table lamp is lit before open houses and showings.
  12. Minimize window treatments. The simpler the better. Shutters, blinds or simple drapes (no flounces, ruffles, strong patterns or complicated valences) take up less "visual space".

These home staging tips work if you are staging to sell or just want to make the home you are living in feel larger.

If you need some help figuring out how to make your home or listing feel larger, consider hiring us for a home staging consultation. You'll get some easy-to-implement expert home staging and interior design tips.  Its the best "bang for your buck" and it's a great investment in preparing your home or listing for sale, or making your home more livable if you are planning to stay.

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Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price.

She works with home sellers, listing agent, builders, flippers and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles and North Orange County.

Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations,  and interior design. We also stage model homes, REOs, foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers. Builders hire us to stage their models or to help move inventory when sales slow down.

For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email.

Click here to see our Los Angeles home staging portfolio

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Click here for more information about home staging in Los Angeles and how we can help sell your home faster and for the best price

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Comment balloon 21 commentsMichelle Minch • October 03 2011 02:36PM

Comments

Great suggestions, Michelle. Its a good thing home stagers like you exist, because I am horrible at interior design!

Posted by Todd & Devona Garrigus, Broker / REALTORS® (Garrigus Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

I think every home shows better if staged properly.  Great suggestions Michelle!

Posted by Debbie Lynn, Realtor, North San Diego 858.775.9771 (Prudential California Realty) almost 7 years ago

Good afternoon Michelle. Very good information well written. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 7 years ago

Thank you, Devona(?)

I'm glad you are a believer in home staging, Debbie. Thank you!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 7 years ago

Sheila: Thanks!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 7 years ago

Michelle - once again, you've shared great tips EVERYONE can use!  Not just stagers - but agents and home owners!  Keep 'em coming!

Posted by Sharon Lord, New Home Advisor (Maracay Homes) almost 7 years ago

Thank you, Sharon!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 7 years ago

Great information for dealing with those smaller sq ft homes.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker almost 7 years ago

Thanks, Richard.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 7 years ago

Love these tips Michelle! It's not fooling anyone to create these "bigger" spaces but you're creating & adding value by showing prospective buyers how they can use the space too.  They not only get the professional eye of a stager with you but an award winning designer as well. 

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) almost 7 years ago

Hi Michelle,

You are so good at what you do, I continue to learn from your writings.

As an agent who has viewed thousands of homes over the decades the #1 issue I see is too much clutter, period and I think most people understand that very well. However what you said about "Use appropriately sized furniture" is also so true I see that a lot when the size of the furniture doesn't match the size of the room. It's a huge mistake when it comes to home selling. 

 

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) almost 7 years ago

Michelle, excellent tips. I love #3. People love buying sets. The most common is sofa~love seat~chair. It looks good in the showroom but really make rooms smaller.

Posted by Anna Dovger, Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX (Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607) almost 7 years ago

Hi Michelle!  It's all about the "real estate" - both the lot size and the square footage on the inside!  Light and editing are a Stager's best friends.

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 7 years ago

Very helpful list Michelle. I have subscribed to your blog and bookmarked this post. I will be going back to read some of your other posts.

Posted by David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation, Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential (Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC ) almost 7 years ago

Karen: Thank you so much, Chica!

Thank you, Lydna! It is far better to have too little furniture than too much furniture when selling a home, but best of all is working with a professional home stager that will make your rooms look "just right".

Anna: People don't want to lose out on that "special good deal" if they buy all 3 pieces, even if they don't need all 3 pieces.

Hi Julia: I agree "light and editing" are a stager's best friends.

Thank you, David. I hope you enjoy what I've written.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 7 years ago

A great post Michelle.  Very useful tips to pass along to our homeowners.

Posted by Wendy Tomm, CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors (Beyond the Walls) almost 7 years ago

Great info Michelle, and I hope you don't mind that I have re-blogged your post.  Also love your business name and logo - very clever.

Posted by Sandi Gerrard almost 7 years ago

Michelle: Excellent handful of suggestions we can give to our sellers. The big one for me, is lose the clutter, photos on the fridge, etc. Buyers want to build their own memories, not buy yours.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) almost 7 years ago

Thanks, Wendy!

Sandi: Reblog away and thank YOU!

Hella: Homeowners have to remember that buyers want to buy a home for their family, not the sellers.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 7 years ago

Great tips.  I will be re-blogging this one too!

Posted by Jo Potvin, Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market (Design To Market LLC) almost 7 years ago

Thank you, Jo!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 7 years ago

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