Blog post courtesy of Peta Stewart Conveyancing
When you see a listing for a house that says cosy, it’s an instant give away that it’s small and cramped. Real Estate agents might try to convince you that cosy is a positive term, meaning, a neat little nest to snuggle up in; however, anyone who has been to an open or two will quickly learn otherwise.
One space, in particular, you want to open up is the living area. This is a room in the house where your potential buyers will be thinking about spending a lot of their time, especially when it comes to relaxing and putting their feet up, sitting with guests or spending time with loved ones.
We’ve put together some great design tips that allow you to stage your living room to wow your potential buyers. This is also a great way to really get some distinction and focus from room to room if you have an open plan design, and don’t despair, these tricks work on even the tiniest of living rooms.
1. Embrace light colours
When it comes to a fresh lick of paint there is a range of colours in the lighter spectrum to choose from, in the whites there is crisp, cool, off whites, even cloudy whites and a range of soft gentle greys. If you don’t want to stick to the traditional white pallet and feel your room needs a hit of colour then go dark blue or rich deep green. For something completely different try silver. If you do choose a colour other than white, keep a white trim and white ceiling, even against a soft grey wall, to help expand the space.
2. Highlight your windows
Windows mean space and light, so use the windows you have to open up the room. That might mean ditching any heavy drapes you have and going for minimal see-through curtains. Make sure the curtains flow from the ceiling right down to the floor. Consider installing interior plantation shutters which cut out the need for curtains altogether and create a focal frame around the window. Laser cut shutters make a charming feature of your small space. Leave these white and let your window do the talking.
3. Map your space
Measure everything in your room, from the floor space to the sofa, coffee table to the TV unit. Once you have an accurate measure of your room, you can better plan and allocate furniture positions. Create a map to scale, (i.e. 1:100 where 1cm=1meter), and move your paper pieces of furniture around to see what works before you try it on in real life size. If your furniture is too big for your space, get rid of it. Put it into storage or do a temporary swap with a friend until the open for inspections are over. You can also arrange a short lease for furniture that fits and compliments the room. If you do need to rent, borrow or buy new furniture, make sure you take the measurements with you to get the right shape and size items for your space.
4. Start with a rug
Start with a rug to set up the room, you want to see the floor (or carpet) on all four sides of the rug. The point of this is not to add decoration but to tie all your furniture to one focal point and create the illusion of more floor area. Go for a faded, vintage pattern or stick to neutral tones.
5. Know what’s important
With so many items that need to go into your living room space, it can get confusing to where to focus your attention. Not knowing how to position items in your room can lead to a feeling of cramp and clutter. There is a hierarchy of furniture importance, starting with your sofa as your number one most important item. Having a sofa that is too large will hurt the overall feeling of space, as well as make it difficult to move around.
The importance of a sofa doesn’t mean that it’s overly big, it means that it’s positioned in a way that is key to drawing the eye and inviting socialisation and relaxation.
Once you have the right sofa positioned in your living room you can then bring in additional small pieces to tie it all together, a coffee table, an additional single chair, some plants. Consider mounting your TV on the wall rather than having a bulky entertainment unit.
The best option is to have space between the furniture and the walls and plenty of space around walkways and doorways.
6. Big art
While your sofa is the most important thing in the room, your TV is the least important, usually, it’s the biggest thing on display.
Take the focus off that blank, black screen with some big art. The best distraction in a small space is one single large piece of art (or a series of three panels that make up one artwork).
The exception to this is a gallery wall, where you stagger a complementary mix of framed artworks around your TV. By focusing artwork on the area of one wall, rather than having art on every wall in the room, you draw attention to the open space.
7. Small details
Hidden storage like drawers within coffee tables and entertainment units, woven baskets, storage ottomans give you space to put knick-knacks. When laying out decorative items cluster them in groups of three-five. You might like to place them on a decorative tray for even more compact neatness. Decorative lamps can also create well-balanced light in the room and make a nice feature piece.
With a little thought and planning, you can transform your cosy living room into an inspiring space for living. To avoid getting the “cosy” label on your property listing, follow these great tips to make your living room look larger.