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With prices of condos around the urban core on the continual rise, more and more buyers are making do with living spaces well under 1000 square feet. But while small homes may be lacking in space, they don’t have to lack in design. On the contrary, there are straightforward staging rules that will amplify the perceived space of a small condo, preventing it from looking cramped or shoebox-like. Though these tricks are good to know when decorating your own home, they’re crucial to know when it comes time to sell. If buyers can’t get over the restricted dimensions, a home could lie vacant for months before receiving an offer to purchase, potentially causing you a tremendous amount of loss.
Though it may seem difficult to stage a small home, here are some ways to create a sense of spaciousness through your choice of decor and furnishings.
1. Choose light coloured everything.
With small spaces, it’s especially important to keep your colour palette clean, light and neutral. Light colours make a room look bigger and brighter, while dark colours do the reverse. Keep this tip in mind not only for your choice of wall paint but also for your furniture, drapes, and tiling.
2. Add Curves with furniture and decor
One of the biggest problems with small spaces is that they end up looking boxy. A solution is to choose furniture that will introduce curves into your rooms. Round dining tables, sofas , chairs, curved lamps or mirrors will cut into the angles and keep your decor from being geometrically monotonous. Another way of rounding things off is by turning wall and window corners into cozy nooks with reading chairs, bookcases or pillows.
The benefits of mirrors in small condos are twofold- firstly (and obviously), their reflections make the perceived space seem twice as big. Secondly, they catch shards of light and amplify them, causing your rooms to seem brighter and airier. The smaller your condo is, the bigger your mirror should be!
4. Dabble with metallics
Using shiny lamps, fixtures and furniture will have the same effect as mirrors do, causing the room to look bigger and brighter. To avoid tackiness try using mixed metals in your decor- for example, mixing silver with aged bronze or dull gold.
5. Get creative with your storage space
Mess is a big no-no in a small living space. Some ways you can amplify your storage space without eating up precious square footage include using floating shelves or floor to ceiling shelving, choosing sofas and bed-sets that include embedded storage spaces, coffee tables with shelving underneath, or ottomans with removable tops and empty spaces inside them. In the same vein you could also consider using multifunctional furniture like chests that double as coffee tables.
6. Fake space with your windows
There are several clever ways of using windows to make your room look bigger. Instead of installing your curtain rods right above the window frame, try raising them a couple of inches below the ceiling- this draws the eye upward and make your walls seem taller. The same goes for faking width- hang your rods a couple of inches past the sides of the window panes rather than right at their edges. Curtains can be put to work too- make your curtains match your wall to create the perception of an unbroken line, expanding how big the room looks. Finally, using vertical stripes on your curtains can work wonders in making a ceiling seem higher than it really is.
7. Scale down your furniture
Here’s another simple rule to go by: big, bulky furniture makes a room look cramped, while small furniture makes it look more spacious. It may be tempting to squash a grandiose mahogany table into a tiny living room, or a king sized bed into a tiny bedroom, but doing so will only make the space feel more claustrophobic. Don’t cramp your furniture together either, keep lots of space between the individual pieces.
8. Move the furniture away from the walls
Placing the furniture around the periphery of the room (rather than in the middle) opens up the space. But another ridiculously easy trick to use is moving the couches and shelves a few inches away from the wall This (almost magically) makes your living room seem way bigger. Not sure why it is, it just is.
9. A touch of green…
Plants work wonders in making a small space feel brighter, fresher and lighter. Small condos tend to not have ample floor space, so consider using a hanging plant or a wall-fixed plant.
10. Pick your fabrics carefully
We’d recommend going for fabrics that that have long stripes, small prints or plain, unified colours that will visually expand the room. Another tip is to choose tones that match your wall colour- this makes the furniture blend into the background and widen the space.