Tricks and tips for staging a small room

One of the more challenging rooms to showcase is a small space. There are ways to make small spaces appear larger. It is important to highlight the functionality of the room while showcasing the space available. The furniture used is just as important as the colours to showcase the room to its full benefit.

The scale of the furniture is key.  Small spaces are the most important place to implement the “less is more” rule. Having large furniture in a small space will only make the space feel that much smaller. However, you also do not want to use less than what is appropriate to show the space. Having the space too empty can leave the buyer with the impression that regular furniture does not fit in the space, so it is very important to use the correct scale and amount of furniture. The correct scale of furniture for the room/space dimensions shows that the space can be comfortably used with more than adequate space to still move around.

This becomes even more important with multi-function or open concept spaces. If a room must accommodate a dinner table and sitting area — it is critical to ensure the correct scale of furniture is used and set up in the room to maximize the spaciousness and functionality.


Colour plays a huge role in how a room is perceived. Dark colours on floors and walls bring the space closer in, while light colours push walls and floors out, giving the illusion of more space. Using light colours will give the perception of more space in a smaller room. This is also important for accent colours and décor. Keeping things light and airy, bright and cheerful, will focus attention on the emotion the colours elicit.

Colours that elicit happy emotions tend to make buyers want to remain in the space. Keep the décor minimal and tasteful so as not to clutter up a small space.


Lighting can also have an impact in a small space. If there are corners or areas that are not well lit, adding a lamp to the space will open it up and make it feel more spacious. If there are a lot of windows — bring the outside in! Keep windows coverings open and the outside visible. The natural light will make a small space feel lighter and brighter and more inviting. Visible greenspace from outside creates a sense of peace. If window coverings are closed — the eye stops at the wall and window coverings, making it feel small.

Whenever possible, place furniture against a wall facing out rather than in the middle of the space facing the wall. When a large piece of furniture is in the middle of a space, it will cut the space in half and make it feel smaller. If large furniture is against a wall it has the opposite effect, making the room feel larger. Always try to leave a walkway of 3 feet in width that is not blocked by furniture placement.

Traffic flow

Be aware of the traffic flow patterns in a room and keep those areas clear of furniture. That is the path the buyers and their Realtor will most likely take through the space. Keep it clear and walk it yourself to ensure the room looks great from anywhere along the walkway through the room.

Keep in mind your standard dimension requirements. A sofa/loveseat is typically 3’ deep with a minimum space between your sofa and coffee table of 18”, and then most coffee tables are around 2’ wide. Once you add 3 feet for a walkway we are at 9’6” so there is not a lot of space for much more than a wall-mounted TV.

When renovating, it is important to keep these dimensions in mind so you have adequate room for everything you want in the space. I cannot count the number of times we are called in after someone has renovated an area to help place furniture in a space that is simply too small for the furniture and function of the room.

Finally, use a few high impact items to really give a space that wow factor. It can be a fabulous area rug that ties all your colour and décor pieces together. You may also want to consider a fabulous statement with a bold piece of artwork. Again, the scale is important. If it is too large, it will throw off the finished look of the room. Having just the right high impact piece with the right color accents and décor will give any small space a significant Wow Factor that’s sure to impress any buyer. A little planning and using the right colour combinations with the right pieces can make any small space shine! 

Angie Kendel is the President at Maximum Impact Plus and Lead Designer at KAT Reno. You can reach us at or email or book an apt to visit our showroom at 1924 Main Street in Winnipeg.  204-668-7500