The average new construction home now measures over 2,600 square feet, larger than ever! In some markets like Charlotte, though, developers are racing to take advantage of remaining infill land. This makes for some interestingly laid-out properties, often with small, hard-to-stage spaces.

Whether you’re a townhome developer with tall and narrow space to stage or a planned community with a model home full of hard-to-fill niche spaces, here are some tips for staging the smallest spaces.

Check the Boxes

When buyers consider a home, they’re looking at where they’ll live their life. As a general rule, if you can’t show buyers where they’ll (a) eat meals, (b) watch TV/relax, and (c) get work done, selling is an uphill battle. Even with limited square footage, make sure you dedicate a space to each of these activities for your best chance of selling.

Use Height

There’s a misconception that small floor measurements mean small space. Many builders are going up, utilizing high ceilings and multiple floors for space. Take advantage of the vertical space by drawing the eye upwards; features like beams, decorative lighting, and curtains hung at ceiling height will make the entire space feel larger.

Choose Furniture Wisely

Staging a small space doesn’t mean skimping on furniture. Savvy buyers get even more suspicious of size constraints when there’s only seating for two in a living room! Instead, choose “light” furniture for your space – spindle legs instead of bulky couches, stools instead of upholstered chairs – to ensure you’re not inadvertently chopping the room into even smaller sections.

Double-Function Pieces

The best trick for staging (and living in!) a small space is to select double-duty pieces. A bar table that has leaves becomes an instant dining room for eight; a linen closet outfitted with a fold-down flap becomes a home office space that tucks away. Even an ottoman that’s sturdy enough to double as a coffee table saves you space! Think broad, not big.

Carefully Color

It’s not necessarily true that dark colors make a room look smaller, but it’s a good idea to choose a neutral color palette and blanket a room in it. When the rug, couch, curtains, and lampshades are all in the same tonal family it tricks the eye into seeing expansive space.

Make Spaces Purposeful

The worst thing you can do with an awkward, small space is to waste it. Give small spaces – even nooks and staircase niches! – a purpose. Use them for highly-organized storage or to display art…even to serve as a makeshift bar station or mudroom! When small spaces have a reason for being, they become a benefit, not a drawback. 

Small spaces don’t have to keep buyers at bay! Knowing how to make them shine in their best light is critical for highlighting your build’s features and detracting from its pitfalls. No home is perfect, but every home can be staged to sell!