STAGING SMALL SPACES. PART 3--FURNITURE ARRANGEMENT
I think the operative sentence for decorating small spaces would be "less is more". The second bedroom of this 950 square foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo that I have been blogging about definitely did not follow this rule. This post is not about how to arrange furniture. It is simply a look at how the present furniture arrangement works against this small space. Consider these when your home is up for sale.
Allow Adequate Space Between Furniture. If all the furniture pieces are sandwiched against each other and/or the walls, the space will appear small and cramped. Look at this photo and you will see that each piece along the window wall abuts the side wall and each other. This wall reminds me of a size 12 woman squeezed into a pair of size 8 jeans. (Is that possible?) This is a simple indication that there is either too much furniture in the area or the furniture is too large. The easiest solution is to remove or move something. Because this room is so small, removal is the best option.
Positioning Casegoods. This next one could well get you flunked out of design school--placing the front of one casegood facing the side of another one. You can see in the photo below how awkward this arrangement actually is. Casegoods should wrap a corner or abut, but never cross over each other. All this does is make the room feel smaller and communicate the lack of space.
Make the View Accessible. If at all possible, avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of windows--especially if the window has a view. In this room there is an expansive view of the mountains (hard to see through the bamboo blinds--which probably couldn't be raised because the furniture is in the way!). Since this is a great selling feature of this unit, prospective buyers should be able to walk right up to that window and say, "Wow, great view". Blocking access to this feature will not help to get this condo sold quickly. In almost all cases keeping the furniture away from the windows helps the room appear larger because you see out the window past the walls of the room.
Clear The Floorspace. Ask yourself if every piece of furniture in the room is essential to selling your home. You may have a cocktail table--or in this case two rattan baskets acting as one--but are they essential? No, they actually take up valuable walking space. Staging is not about showcasing the furnishings, it's about highlighting the space.
The "After". In my "after" rendering only the essential furniture remains. The walkway to the window has been cleared so sellers can enjoy the view. The two large casegoods have been removed and replaced with one appropriate to the scale of the room. One rattan basket has been repositioned as a side table (the existing wall-mounted fixture makes this possible.) With this furniture arrangement buyers can also more easily imagine this room as a bedroom--mentally replacing the love seat with a bed, and the two side tables with night stands. The space feels much larger, open and inviting.
Buyers don't like spaces for subtle reasons they can't explain. It often comes down to elements like these--furniture arrangement, focal points, barriers. To give yourself the best chance to sell you home quickly and for the most money, consult with a professional home stager in your area. Our expertise is in "seeing" these details and resolving them. We create spaces buyers love and want to live in.
For further discussion on these issues, please see the other two posts in this series: Staging Small Spaces. Part 1--Focal Points and Staging Small Spaces. Part 2--Invisible Barriers.