Welcome to another installment of Ask a Pro! Today Dream Team member and interior design expert Jennifer Adams shares her staging tips and tricks for making small bedrooms appear larger.
Q: My niece is selling her home. Buyer feedback is, the bedrooms are small. There are four bedrooms. Two are empty. The other 2 have minimal furniture. How can she make them look larger to make them look larger? Do you have any suggestions? The paint colors are neutral, should we put some furniture in the empty ones to warm them up? Perhaps make one an office or reading room? Any help & suggestions would be appreciated.
A: Many potential buyers have a hard time visualizing their own furniture in another house or how the house will suit their lifestyle. And, unfortunately, it’s even harder to get a sense of scale for furniture if the rooms are empty, just as much as if the rooms were full of clutter. The entire home staging industry is based on this!
You should most definitely put furniture in the bedrooms. If your niece can’t afford a professional home stager or a decorator to suggest some furniture arrangements, help her do it on her own. It doesn’t need to be expensive but it does need to look comfortable and inviting.
Furnish the largest bedroom as a master. Imagine a lovely guest room with everything you need, but no clutter. A queen size bed, neatly made up and with a nice headboard and no footboard will feel luxurious without taking up a lot of space. Make sure someone can access both sides of the bed. Save more space with mismatched nightstands, one can be tiny if you mount sconce lights to the wall.
One of the bedrooms could be furnished for a small child and another for a baby, complete with a cozy chair and light for reading to suggest a healthy family environment. Set up the last bedroom as a charming home office. Showing how someone can have to all the function of a three-bedroom house plus an office makes the four small rooms a positive, not a negative.
Another nice touch would be to offer a gift certificate for closet organizing systems for all the bedrooms! You could also include an estimate from a contractor of how two of the bedrooms could be combined to create a nicer master with larger closets to help buyers see the potential of a little creativity. Good luck!