Expert Home Staging Tips To Make A Small House Feel Big

18 Expert Home Staging Tips To Make A Small House Feel Bigger

Do you know these 18 tips to make a small house feel bigger? I am frequently asked, by homeowners and real estate agents I work with, how to make their home or listing look bigger to appeal to more buyers. As an expert home stager in Pasadena and Los Angeles, one of my primary jobs is to make smaller homes feel more spacious.


Here’s a list of 18 tips for making a small home feel bigger. 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 for vacant home staging (if you’re bringing in furniture) or occupied home stagomg (dealing with the client’s existing furniture):

  1. Pare down the furniture to the essentials. Do you really need a chair in the bedroom? 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 pre-pack 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 too big sofa in a small den will call attention to how small the room really is.
  5. Pull furniture away from the wall. That little bit of breathing room will give a sense of greater space.  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 an interior room a pale blue, green or gray will make it feel larger.
  7. Houses appear larger on the outside when painted a lighter color.
  8. Keep walkways and sight-lines clear. Don’t place furniture so that you are walking into the back of the sofa, or other large piece of furniture, when you walk into the room.
  9. Bedrooms feel larger if there is ample space to walk on either side of the bed. Not enough space? Get a smaller bed while you home is on the market. Downsize from a king to a queen or from a queen to a double, if necessary.
  10. Place the bed on the wall furthest from the door, if possible. The room will feel instantly larger.
  11. Show more hardwood. The larger the expanse of hardwood floor, the larger the room will appear. Do you really need that area rug? If the hardwood floors are hidden by wall to wall carpet, remove the carpet. The home will feel much more spacious.
  12. 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.
  13. Patterned upholstery and drapes make a room feel smaller. Use fewer patterns on upholstery and bedding. Use a solid color blanket or bedspread on a bed in a small bedroom to make the room feel larger.
  14. Strategically placed mirrors make a room feel larger. Reflect a window or outdoor view, if possible. You can visually expand a space by putting a large mirror over a sofa.
  15. A well lit room feels larger. Get rid of those dark corners. Make sure every overhead light and table lamp is lit before open houses and showings.
  16. 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”.
  17. Make all your cabinets and closets half-empty. You will appear to have more closet and cabinet space. There is no such thing as a closet that is too empty when selling your home.
  18. Clean houses feel larger. Make sure every surface including your floors are shiny clean. Clean your windows and screens so they let in maximum light and sparkle.

Living room home staging by Moving Mountains Design

These home staging tips to make your home feel larger will work if you are staging to sell or staging to live.

If you need help figuring out how to make your home or listing feel larger, hire 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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12 Steps To Real Estate Success in 2018

12 Steps to achieve real estate success in 2018

Real Estate Success A Hole In OneI am often told that I am lucky to be the owner of a successful Los Angeles home staging company. Luck is the magic sauce that makes it all come together, but there are many things I do every day to make sure my company is well regarded and stays ahead of the competition.

Following these 12 steps will make you a real estate success in 2018, whether you are a real estate agent, mortgage broker, appraiser or home stager.

Unlike the title of the hit Broadway play “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, you really do have to make an effort in order to be a real estate success. Here’s my 12 tips for success in the Real Estate business:

  1. The early bird really does get the worm: I find I am more likely to get the staging contract if I am one of the first home stagers to return the client’s call. You get to make an impression on the client first, and that’s often the deepest connection. I imagine it works the same way with real estate agents.
  2. Under-promise and over-deliver: I never reveal every bit of what I’m going to do, or what I’m going to provide before staging a home. I always make sure I go the extra mile and deliver more than I promised.
  3. Don’t take on projects that are “over your head”: You’re dealing with your client’s most valuable asset – their home. If you take on too big of a project or too large of a listing, and you fail, you will ruin your reputation, and may create a dire situation for your client. Stretching yourself to take on a little more than what you are used to is good, but this whole concept of “Fake it till you make it” is deceitful and deceptive.
  4. Open and frequent communication is key: Make sure everyone involved in or with your business understands what you will be providing, how much it costs, and what is expected of them. Repeat, if necessary, until you are certain everyone is on the same page.
  5. Surround yourself with the best: We are measured by the company we keep. Expel people who are dishonest, have dodgy ethics or simply make you feel uncomfortable, from your inner circle. Don’t partner with other agents, home stagers, mortgage brokers, contractors, etc. that behave questionably, lest you be painted with the same brush. Don’t take on clients that seem dishonest, unethical or “weird”. They won’t be worth the lost sleep and headaches.
  6. Trust your “gut”: If you’re not sure if something is OK, or a client asks you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, or you wonder what might happen if you “get caught” – DON’T DO IT! We have “gut” instincts for a reason. It’s nature’s way of protecting us.
  7. Build trust with your clients and your community, and do everything necessary to maintain that trust. Lose a job, turn down a client, quit, if you have to, but maintain your personal integrity.
  8. Keep up on new technology and continuing education: You can take classes in a classroom, go to a seminar, take classes on-line, hire an expert to help you or subscribe to various blogs and groups, but don’t ever close the door to learning as much as possible about tools, technology or methods for doing your job better and more efficiently. I spend at least one hour per day reading blogs from various disciplines (technology, law, finance, art and, yes, real estate) to “keep my tools sharp”.
  9. Always be prepared: We can’t be prepared for every eventuality, but there are many we can and should be prepared for. I think ahead  (if I could underline that twice I would!) and try to figure out all the things that might go wrong or surprise me, and then I try to be prepared.
  10. The greater your effort the greater your chances of success: I have a plan and goals and I work my plan every day (well, almost). I work hard, try to work consistently and make sure my efforts are heading me in the right direction.
  11. Believe that you earn success: I believe that I deserve success, I work hard for it and I earn it. Even when I am not so successful, I believe that I deserve to be successful. If you don’t believe you deserve success – not just want it, but really deserve it – you will always manage to sabotage your success.
  12. Be kind, be respectful, be helpful and behave professionally: You may not always get every job or listing by being kind, respectful and helpful, but you will earn the respect of your peers and clients and your reputation will grow accordingly. Behave professionally, because you never know who’s sees what your doing, reads what you’re posting to Facebook or where your next client will come from.

Follow these 12 easy steps to become the real estate success you know you deserve to be!

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Monrovia Home Staging Can Help You Sell Your Home For More Money

Even in a hot market, professional home staging can help you sell your Monrovia home for more money, less time on the market and with multiple offers! Monrovia home staging works!

In my last blog post, I talked about staging a house that got 29 offers and sold for $140,000 over the list price. While selling for that much over the list price (17%) and with that many offers is not always attainable, many of the houses we stage are still going $50,000-$60,000+ over asking. We staged this California Bungalow for Nicola Sperata in Monrovia. Great marketing by Nicola and on-point staging by Moving Mountains Design garnered this seller $62,000 over the list price.

Monrovia home staging can help you sell your home for more money!

Monrovia Home Staging sell house for more money

If you’d like more information about how home staging with Moving Mountains Design may help you sell for much more than your listing price, please contact Michelle at 626-385-8852 (call or text). We can also give you a free estimate (vacant homes) if you fill out this estimate request.

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Home Staging Can Help You Sell For More Money In A Hot Market

Home staging can help you sell for more money, even in a hot market? Absolutely!

Even though the real estate market in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Arcadia is super hot, and homes are selling faster than ever, professional home staging can help you sell for more money. Case in point: We staged a Craftsman Cottage in N. Pasadena. It was listed for $829,000. It sold for $969,000, and increase of $140,000 over list. They got 29 (TWENTY NINE!!) offers. They accepted an offer 12 days after listing. This was not business as usual for this neighborhood. It’s rare for a house to get 29 offers and go 17% over asking. While they had a great agent and marketing wizard in Colette Dornblum, home staging played a big part in the success of this sale.

Home sold for $140,000 over list

If you’d like to see how home staging can help you sell your home or listing for more money, give me a call at 626-385-8852. Estimates for vacant home are free and fast and can be done over the phone.

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+Michelle Minch