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Blogs Lynn's Blog Realtor Mag - Living Big in a Small Home (part 2)

Posted Feb 25, 2011 5:17 pm (10 years ago)

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- Assess Furniture Size -

The article below is from Realtor®Mag - Official Magazine of the National Association of Realtors®


Removing clutter is only one aspect of getting a smaller house ready to sell—or just living contentedly in it. Some big pieces of furniture, for example, won’t fit in modestly sized houses. 


"Take a look at the scale of your furniture, and don’t forget depth," Lathrop says. "Things can be a lot deeper than you realize, and all of a sudden, there’s no room to walk because that deep, comfy chair you love comes halfway out into the room."


Hoffman frequently asks sellers to remove furniture from rooms that feel overstuffed. "If you’ve got a huge china cabinet in a small dining room, it’s distracting," he says. "At least take the hutch off."


The color palette is very important in a smaller house, says Matthew McNicholas, an architect with MGLM Architects in Chicago. "Loud colors make a space feel smaller because they jump across the room at you," he says. "You want the walls and your furniture to recede." That doesn’t mean everything has to match. 


"Eliminate the high contrasts," he says. Lathrop says the same colors should move throughout the house. "Blend colors in more medium tones," she says.


McNicholas suggests installing a single type of flooring throughout the house. "Using the same color carpet or the same hardwood pulls your eye along from room to room, and maximizes your perception of space," he says.


Strategic lighting is another way to create the illusion of more space, the experts say. "Use corner uplighting and a room will feel much more open," Hoffman says. In fact, he adds, make sure the house is flooded with as much light as possible. That means trimming bushes or trees that block windows and tying back or removing heavy draperies that close in a room.


Another way to maximize space is to install as much covert storage as possible, such as pressing the furniture into double duty. Hoffman encourages clients with children to buy large wicker baskets that function as coffee tables and toy storage. 


When selling a smaller house, he tells clients to keep a couple of large laundry baskets handy. Then, if they have to leave in a hurry for a showing, they can pack the baskets and take the clutter with them to the car.


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