The Big Design Impact of Small Spaces

By Sue Ridgeway

Every nook and cranny in a model home is important. Thoughtfully designed and merchandised spaces, regardless of how small they may be, can be the deciding factor for a potential buyer. From a strategically merchandised foyer to a luxuriously detailed powder room to an efficient wine storage space, these small spaces can make a big impact and make a potential buyer say, “Wow!”

How can your designs be crafted to make a big impact with potential buyers, regardless of space allotted?

Foyer design

First impressions are important. And in a new home, that’s exactly what the foyer is: a first impression of the home for a potential buyer. It’s important to set the tone of the home immediately. You want to excite the buyer upon entry. Capturing their attention is key. Lure them into wanting – no, needing – to see the rest of the house.

How do you do that?

  • Higher doors and ceilings
  • Dramatic lighting
  • Trim details
  • Vertical wall interest
  • Unexpected pointers
  • Flooring that leads the eye to what’s next

You want to give the prospective buyer a visual teaser of what’s “beyond.”

Paramount Homes, image courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

Powder room design

These small bathrooms cannot be overlooked. They are often the most used room in a home. The prospective buyer wants to know that any potential guests they have over will be impressed with this space. And in this instance, because the space is inherently small, you can go a little extra and make it an unexpected show piece.

How do you do that?

  • Texture and drama
  • Lighting, color, fun
  • Hide the toilet (as much as possible)
  • Fun art and interesting flooring can also help keep a powder room or smaller bathroom memorable
Parkwood Homes, image courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

Unexpected opportunities

A model home has a myriad of unexpected opportunities to make a big impact on a potential buyer. From hallways to attic corners to under the stairs, these small spaces, if well designed and merchandised, really are the jewels of a model home.

Traditions of America, image courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

Under the stair storage is a wonderful design element that will surprise and delight a potential buyer. And, depending on your buyer profile, wine may be exactly what your buyer wants to see.

Or perhaps your potential buyer is a reader and really wants and needs to see opportunities for privacy. Again, under the stairs can be the ideal place for some creative designing.

It can be easy to overlook the small spaces in a model, but truly, these are the most important. If used correctly, these spaces can be what sells a house: the space that really speaks to a buyer and makes them feel like they must live there. Small spaces can have a big impact on a builder’s investment in their model home.


Post courtesy of Sue Ridgeway, Director of Marketing at Lita Dirks & Co., an interior design and merchandising firm based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

Follow Lita Dirks & Co. on InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn for more interior design ideas and inspiration.

Feature image: WB Homes, image courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

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