If you ask the typical househunter why she wants to move, you're likely to hear, "We need more room." Second on the wish list is usually a move-in-ready condition.

The best homestaging techniques capitalize on what buyers expect to see in their dream house -- a home that looks large and ready for them to move into. And one of the simplest ways to accomplish both goals is to strategically use the reflective power of mirrors when you plan your staging.

Mirrors are an easy and economical solution when a home needs to feel bigger, newer, and even cleaner. If you are living in a furnished home, you already have mirrors in some rooms. Let's make sure you place them to advantage and choose ones that help sell your home.

Emphasize spaciousness

Buyers can learn exactly what a room's mathematical dimensions are, but they also respond viscerally to a room's perceived size, and that's why mirrors can come to your home staging aid. A large wall mirror will instantly make a space appear twice as deep. Even smaller mirrors have the ability to "punch a hole" in a wall to make a room feel more open.Your mirrors don't always have to be wall-mounted versions.

Often the built-in bookcases are backed by mirror panels. I like to see glam mirrored furniture, or an etagere that has mirrors for shelves. And who doesn't crave a full-length mirror in a closet or dressing room, and of course, in a home gym?

Any mirror, whether large or small, modern or vintage, expensive or cheap, simple or elaborate, round or rectangular, will help your rooms look and feel roomier because of the way they fool the eye. Although not written with an eye to home staging, you'll still find inspiration and advice in this post from Homes and Gardens about decorating with mirrors.

Four full length mirrors hinged together 
make this stylish bedroom
even more distinctive as well as larger than
it actually is. Photo:Ballard Designs.

Modernize decor

A home's style is determined by its decor details. Things like bedding, lamps, artwork and paint colors reveal to home buyers what the present owners are like. A common tenet of home staging and real estate is, "People buy a lifestyle when they buy a home."

Does your own lifestyle look enviable? Does your decor make you look like the kind of person who has invested time, money and thought into your home? Or does your decor look so dated that people looking to buy will question the general upkeep of the property?

According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical homeowner has lived in his house for eight years. Trends in interior decor, just like fashion cycles, last 10 years. That means your choice of decorative objects will work in your favor at selling time when you have updated some elements of your decor while you lived there.

Buyers like to feel they are moving up the social ladder, moving to a home that is more updated. Even historic homes need to have modern appliances and luxuries.

Mirrors are inexpensive enough that you can economically add them to your home as staging props to modernize your home and define its style. Unlike other fixtures in your home -- things like countertops, lighting fixtures, sinks, and cabinets -- you'll be able to take mirrors with you when you move!

Besides being a mere space-filler the way any wall art is, a mirror will double the appeal of props like flowers and chandeliers. Photo: Lamps Plus.

Brighten your rooms

Mirrors bounce light back into the space. All mirrors, no matter what style or size, make the most of the both artificial and natural light existing in a room. Often a dreary kitchen can be transformed by adding a mirrored backsplash, or a windowless bathroom can be brightened by a wall-to-wall mirror over the vanity. A narrow foyer or hallway can feel sunnier when a mirror decorates one wall. And a charming alcove will become a selling point when it's emphasized with a mirror backing.

One of the best locations for a mirror is opposite a window or bank of windows. In fact, a well-placed mirror can act as a kind of faux window. One common and effective placement is over a fireplace, calling attention to a room's focal point. Good mirror positioning is wherever it will reflect something like a beautiful chandelier or outdoor view. Make sure your mirrors do not reflect something boring like the ceiling or an empty space.

A mirror can help define your home's decor
style and elevate it's perceived value 
 on the market. Photo: Mindy Gayner via Spruce. 

Today's Hollywood set designers know that a scene filmed with subdued lighting lets moviegoers know that bad or overly dramatic things can happen here. Likewise, a brightly lighted scene builds confidence and cheerfulness. In a staged home, a well-lighted room, aided by the reflective surfaces of mirrors lets buyers feel safe. A bright room even feels cleaner.
A brighter, cleaner home is more likely to read as a move-in-ready home, and that's what every buyer desires.

Get the look, get the book

Even in a hot seller's market, home staging is important. But it's not everything. You can add new DIY decorator pillows, paint your front door, and stage a cute bar cart, but remember that buyers will need to have a home inspector check a home's infrastructure to assure both the financing institution and the buyer that the property is worth its selling price. Any red flags like a roof that has missing, loose or curling shingles, HVAC ductwork that leaks or is clogged, electrical systems that are not to code, or signs of rotted exterior wood siding, will undermine the best home staging efforts.  

Savvy, professional home stagers know how valuable mirrors can be when they stage for their clients. You can harness this same power when you choose and hang the right mirrors in your home on the market. I'll give you more insider tips when you download my homestaging eBooks. You don't have to make mistakes, waste money, or worry about your staging when I can offer you my years of experience in real estate, home construction, DIY projects, and prepping homes to sell! Go here for your download.

Top Photo: Blackband Design