When it’s time to put your condo back on the real estate market, any extra space, or lack of it, can make a big difference when attracting buyers. With Toronto condo’s challenging square footage and the tough competition in the condo market, it is best to get ahead of the competition by showcasing your condo unit at its best.
Get organized to create that extra space your buyers are looking for. Follow these staging tips to achieve the feeling of openness and space in your condo while showcasing function and style.
1. Ditch Unnecessary pieces
Remove extra and unnecessary furniture in the rooms to create more space. Stick with your basic pieces to gain more square footage. I’m talking about computer desks inside a bedroom and the living rooms, dining servers, and console tables, or bookshelves in your main living areas, for example. Remember, your buyers are paying for the space, not your furnishings. Give them the extra space they are looking. My rule is, if it doesn’t need to be there, then it doesn’t have to be there.
2. Opt for Clear furniture
Your wood espresso dining table with a matching coffee and end tables (that sometimes comes with a matching media console too) can be too much and may look really heavy in a small space. See-through furniture, such as a glass dining table, coffee table or clear acrylic desk disappears into the room and tricks the eye into having more space. Clear furniture like these are perfect for small space, it can easily help a small room feel more open while still proving a useful surface and a unique design element.
3. Be mindful of traffic flow
With most condos open layout concept, proper furniture placement is key to achieve the feeling of ease and sense of space. If you have to squeeze yourself in to go around your dining table, then you’ve already failed. In an open concept living, zoning is important to highlight the function of every space. You can achieve a seamless zoning through the use of colors, using rugs on the floor, by lighting or simply by proper furniture arrangement.
4. Choose your wall color wisely
Light wall color can open up the space and can bring in lots of natural light inside to illuminate both the space and your buyer’s mood. This is a smart approach when selling and can easily be achieved by using the same light color on the walls all throughout the whole unit including the bathrooms. Light greys (Benjamin Moore Moonshine, Grey Owl, Classic Grey), light beige (Benjamin Moore’s French Canvass, Pale Oak, Dove Wing), or greige (Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist, Revere Pewter, Collingwood). These colors are light and bright, pleasing and calm, clean and crisp and have just enough personality.
5. Scale down
Consider the size of your furniture pieces in proportion to the size of your space. Showcase your condo with furniture pieces that fit comfortably. While I agree that your big bulky sofa and recliners are super comfortable when watching your game, but while selling right now, it is all about making your living room more spacious and appealing to all, and what you have is doing the opposite. Replace big bulky pieces with condo size streamlined furniture that fits better. It usually has lower backs (it will make the ceiling look higher), shorter and with narrower seats. This does the job while freeing up so much needed space.
6. Rethink accessories and get rid of clutter
Clutter eats equity. Edit, edit, edit. Clear counters and floor space by storing and packing away non-daily items. Get your accessories down to the minimum (or less than the minimum). If it is something for keeps, start boxing them now, pack them away, and just use or display it in your next home. Too many accessories can make your small condo look even smaller. De-clutter and organize; there is no perfect time to do this than now.
7. Lighten up
Nothing is worse than a small and dark room. Take off bulky dramatic window coverings and let the natural light come in! Natural light layered with other light sources such as table lamps, floor lamps, pendant lighting and other light sources can instantly open up a space! Together, it creates a positive feel and a feeling of warmth in any room. If privacy is an issue use light sheers instead of heavy drapes.
8. Your plants
Plants by the window sill and overgrown plants can be overwhelming for a small space and can block natural light as well, leaving the rooms dark and feeling cramped. Get rid of those plants for now, hanging plants or any plants that have grown way too big for the space — believe me, you will immediately see the room change into a bigger, lighter, and a brighter room.
9. Plain Upholstery
Choose plain, solid neutral-color upholstery instead of pieces with bright colors or busy patterns. This will help a small space feel more open and less chaotic. Plain upholstery also preserves the clean lines of furniture pieces, making a room feel neat and orderly. This especially works for big pieces like your sofas, chairs, and beds.
10. Don’t forget your balcony
Your balcony is part of the total square footage of your condo unit; make it shine and use it to your advantage! Toronto condo buyers almost always love a balcony (even if we don’t really use it). Create a small seating area which can be used for outdoor dining and entertaining. Make any size outdoor space an extension of your indoor space.
Toronto-based, award-winning Interior Stylist, Red Barrinuevo is an Interior Decorator and Principal Designer of Redesign4more Inc., servicing clients in Toronto and the GTA. The firm’s known for enhancing and creating stylish yet functional spaces through their creative home staging, interior styling, and design services. To know more about Red and Redesign4more, visit www.redesign4more.com.