It’s hard to convince potential tenants that bigger isn’t always better. The average tenant wants more space for the price, even if it means a little extra upkeep on their part. If you have a rental with very small rooms, it can drive tenants away. You might have a difficult time filling vacancies and retaining tenants.
It’s probably not worth the expense and hassle of building an addition on a property you’re just planning on renting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attract tenants. There are ways of making a room look bigger and more appealing if you’re willing to put the time and energy necessary into staging the property.
Show your tenants that even small rooms can be turned into a functional space. Furniture, decorations, lighting, and more play a key role in your ability to sell your home quickly and at the right price. You just have to put your best creative foot forward.
It’s All about the Furniture
Poorly chosen and placed furniture will make a tiny space look cramped and unusable. It’s best to choose furniture that’s smaller so that it better matches the room. “Furniture for the small space is all about proportions,” says Justine Hand of Remodelista, pointing out that if a piece has to be pushed against the wall to fit into the space, it’s too large. “…A sleek sofa or chair will give you as much sitting room as its overstuffed cousin but will take up much less of your room.”
Placement matters also. “To create a sense of roominess, always leave a little air in between the sides of your furniture and the walls.” Of course, the bed doesn’t apply here, but most other furniture does.
Justine also recommends choosing furniture that’s lower to the ground. It will make the room feel more open because there’s more space at eye level. She recommends shopping for 19th-century and mid-century modern pieces that are infamous for having low profiles. Always use furniture with exposed legs, which gives the pieces an airy feel.
Choose the Right Colors
No landlord wants to create more work for themselves, but a simple coat of paint may make all the difference in increasing the visual size of a room. Bright whites are most common because they reflect natural light and trick the mind into thinking the room is bigger.
Adding a little contrast in colors also creates the illusion of a larger space, even in areas with minimal square footage. For example, you might paint the upper cabinets in your kitchen white and the lower cabinets a dark, jewel color. The contrast draws the eyes upward to the extra head space rather than down to the limited walking room.
Other painting tricks can make your walls look wider and taller than they actually are. “Try painting your wall trim and moldings in a lighter color than your walls,” suggests Micle Mihai-Cristian, the founder of the publication Freshome. “By doing so, the walls will appear farther back, making your living room seem bigger.
It also helps to use a monochromatic theme. Choosing furniture that’s the same color as your walls and accent rugs gives the illusion of a more open, roomier space.
Avoid Cluttered Decorations
Having a few large decorations is better than many, small ones. “Lots of small knick-knacks tend to feel like clutter and make a room look smaller,” warns home blogger Lauren of Bless’ErHouse. “…you don’t need decor accents on every single surface of your home. Let a room ‘breathe.’”
Large items should be styled according to the triangle rule, using symmetry to keep the design harmonious. This creates the simple effect of highlighting the best features of a room. It makes it feel warm and cozy rather than claustrophobic.
If you’re wondering if something is too large, use the cantaloupe rule. Many designers compare the size of an item being placed in a small room to a cantaloupe. If it’s smaller than the melon, it’s too small for the room.
Let Light Reign
Artificial light can’t compare with natural. Interior light bulbs are typically designed to make a room feel cozy, but when you’re in a small space, cozy can actually feel cramped. Using natural light to your advantage is your best strategy.
Leah Bourne of StyleCaster recommends leaving your windows uncovered. This allows unfiltered light that will create depth in any space. In rooms where privacy is needed, use light-filtering rather than room-darkening drapes.
You can’t rely on the sun’s light all the time, so pay attention to the artificial lighting as well. Bourne suggests: “Instead of overhead fixtures, which draw the eye to one spot, add several lighting elements in a small room.”
Take Wide-Angle Photographs
Before potential tenants visit your rental property, they’ll likely see the listing online. For your listing, use photos taken with a wide-angle lens can to the property look bigger and more appealing. Consider having a professional photographer take the photos to get them just right.
It’s true that potential tenants will know exactly how big the room is when they visit, but before they do, you’ll have made an excellent first impression, which is half the battle.
Draw the Eye Up
As was discussed, paint is a great way to draw the eye up and away from the space crowded with furniture. Start with your window treatments. Hang curtains high and wide. They should brush the floor and go nearly to the ceiling, naturally drawing the eye to that point.
You might also hang shelves near the ceiling to store books or tasteful décor items. Built-in bookshelves also draw the eyes upward and provide much-needed storage space in small rooms.
The artwork and décor hung on the wall also increase the illusion of height. One of the most effective wall hangings is a large mirror, which reflects light and tricks the eye into thinking there’s more to a room.
You might also use expansive, abstract art pieces. These large, bold pieces will not only broaden your horizons but also broaden your view of a room.
After you’ve successfully initiated these tips, the right tenant will see the space for its full potential. You’ll attract eager tenants and encourage them to stay long-term, all because you practiced basic rules of property staging.
Contact Green Residential for Your Property Management Needs
If you’re struggling to attract and retain tenants, Green Residential has the resources and expertise to help. We have decades of experience with rental properties in the Houston area. We know what tenants like, and we can help you get your rental property to these standards.
We also have excellent connections. If you need help staging your small property, we can find someone well-equipped for the job. This, among many other services, makes us the best property management team in southeast Texas. Call today to learn more!