Rick BissonFeedback from showings on a home for sale indicated that a few of the rooms felt small. Don’t let these comments derail the home-selling process. Just because a room is small doesn’t mean it has to feel small.

With a light color scheme, interesting lighting, and strategic space-planning, small spaces can seemingly expand and improve a buyer’s perceptions.

In general, light colors make a room look and feel bigger and brighter. To maximize the effect of natural light, paint the walls with neutral and bright colors. White rooms look the largest and white goes with everything.

Soft tones of off-white, blue, green, gray or taupe reflect more natural light than darker colors and create a more open and inviting feeling. Subtle shades of yellow help expand and warm a smaller space.

Paint wall trim and moldings in a lighter color than the walls. By doing so, the walls will appear farther back, creating a sense that the room is bigger.

Capitalizing on natural, and artificial light is key to opening up a space. Allowing natural light inside the room opens up the interior and makes it look larger. Windows connect the room with the expanse of the outdoors.

Enhance this connection by incorporating the natural outdoor colors into the interior space. Sparkly clean windows further unite a more transparent transition between an inside space and the outdoors. To allow even more light in, pull window coverings back completely or use sheer window coverings.

The right light fixtures are another key element in opening up a small space. Recessed spot lighting and track lighting installed in the ceiling can be adjusted to shine light exactly where it’s needed, helping expand the feeling of the room.

Wall sconces designed to point light up towards the ceiling spread light around. The indirect light of a tall floor lamp can fill a room with light by bouncing light off the ceiling and back down on the room.

Properly placed mirrors can make a room look larger. Mirrors reflect both natural and artificial light, making a room brighter during the day and night. Use a focal point and angle your mirrors toward it to give the illusion of depth.

Placing a mirror near a window to capture the reflection of the outdoors is especially effective. A mirror reflecting a larger, adjoining room ties the two spaces together.

Scale your furniture to fit the size of the room and don’t block pathways. By moving furniture out and away from walkways, the flow of the room is uninterrupted and open.

Keep plenty of room between furniture. This may require eliminating unnecessary furniture and, by all means, remove any clutter. Keep the room simple by creating a focal point and arranging the furniture so attention is drawn to that area.

Sofas and chairs with open arms and exposed legs allow light to filter in and around the furniture, making the room appear airier. Glass tables help to maintain the appearance of an open space.

And keep the floor as clear as possible. The right size area rug can add dimension and direction to a room. Make sure the rug size and design don’t overpower the room.

Window drapes and treatments should be the same color as the walls to help avoid contrast to the space.

The tips and suggestions listed above are a primer to help transform the appearance of a small, tight space. For more tips on making a small room feel bigger, visit home design webites like Houzz.com, Housebeautiful.com or HGTV.com.

You can also consult with your local Realtor and your interior designer. Their experience in staging a home to sell will maximize your home’s value to buyers.

This column is produced by Rick Bisson and his family, who own Bisson Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty of Midcoast and Sugarloaf.

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