Monday, December 20, 2010

Furniture that Makes Rooms Look Larger

An even palette, unfussy details, see-through lamps, and leggy furniture 
keep this bedroom from looking small. 
Photo: Encore Home Staging, Jacksonville, Florida.

Home buyers want space for their money. Sure, they look at the numbers -- square footage, number of rooms, dimensions of rooms -- but they are also influenced by how large the rooms feel.

How do your rooms feel? Big or small? Here are four kinds of furniture that make spaces seem bigger.
  
Curved pieces visually expand a room because they force the eye to keep moving. When you are deciding what furniture to store and what to keep for staging, send the square stuff to the storage unit. 

I'm seeing lots of curved lines in this living room. All three tables exhibit curves and swirls, and the furniture has softened lines. Even the fan, the flowers and the lamp have round shapes. 
Photo: Coastal Living

Leggy pieces of  furniture keep the room feeling light and airy. They show more floor and that always makes the space seem larger. If you have furniture with covered legs, can you show them off? Lose the tablecloth. Shorten a slipcover. Remove the bed skirt. What a difference!

In this tight bedroom, a spider leg table in the corner lets more floor show and works so much better than a solid nightstand. Photo: Decorpad

Monotone colors make for a seamless look. When a room is furnished with some painted pieces, color coordinate them so no one piece stands out. They needn't be all the same color, but making them all the same value (on the scale from light to dark) will enlarge the room. If you have mismatched upholstered pieces, dressing them in matching slipcovers will have the same effect. 
 
The Pale colors in this bedroom revolve around yellow and cream with hints of green. There's also an emphasis on horizontal lines, serving to expand space.

The same room, done in more contrasting values of light and dark browns feels smaller. 
Both photos: the lennoxx

Low profile furniture lets a buyer take in more of the room at a glance. Don't make buyers' eyes take a roller coaster ride around the room. Not only does low profile furniture make a room look bigger, it makes it feel less formal and more comfortable.

A low profile buffet seems to increase space in this foyer. The wainscoting, and the choice of lamp style and bowl style accentuate the low lines. And the mirror opens up the space even more. 
Photo: Eric Roth Photography via House of Turquoise.

Transparent, translucent, and reflective furniture makes a room feel bigger than it is. There's no surprise here, because you can see right through the glass and Lucite, and reflective surfaces like mirrors and polished metals bounce light around a room to confuse the eye about where a room's perimeters really are.  

These classic Lucite chairs almost disappear, making for an more accommodating dining room.
Photo: Decorpad 

Mirrored furniture is the most glamorous space expander available. A fancy chest like this one will set you back $719, but Target sells mirrored side tables for $90  Photo: CasaSugar.com

I offer lots more tips on how to select and arrange furniture in two of my eBooks, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar and my book on Furniture Arranging. Think big, and create rooms that make buyers think your home is big.

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