Let’s go over some key decorating points to keep in mind for home staging.
Buyers want lots of space in a home. They want rooms that feel open and airy. Go through the home and find all of the ways you can create a spacious, open feeling. We already talked about removing clutter and excess furniture so let’s talk about other things you can do.
Closets are important areas where you should create space. Closets are a huge deal, and nobody wants a closet that’s going to be a challenge due to its size. While you can’t do anything about the size of the closet, you can make them feel as spacious as possible. You can do this by having the sellers organize and thin out their wardrobe. Seasonal items that aren’t needed can be packed and stored in preparation for moving. Encourage sellers to find ways to make more closet space through organizing, storing, or possibly even donating stuff.
Cabinet space is also important and buyers may peek in to make sure they seem roomy. Make sure all storage areas look like they are sufficient by avoiding an overstuffed, unorganized look. Aside from the space issue, any kind of disarray is undesirable in staging. Buyers will want to check to make sure the home meets their needs right down to whether it has enough cabinet space or not.
When you have a very large living area with undefined spaces, it may make the room seem more functional if you separate the spaces by using different paint colors, such as an end wall painted in an accent color. You can accomplish the same separation with area rugs. Having two well-defined areas can actually make a large random-feeling room seem larger and more useful.
Make sure you keep the window treatments nice and light as much as possible, so that you can bring the outside in and add light and an airy, open feel.
Large mirrors can help create space, especially when they are positioned so that they pick up reflections of daylight coming in through a window.
I like using landscape photography as wall art because it’s not going to put people off, and it also adds a sense of space to the room.
As far as decorating style when it comes to home staging, stick with a tasteful and up to date style that isn’t too taste-specific. I often refer to Pottery Barn style as an ideal for appealing décor that appeals to a wide range of people. Classic, yet current. I’m definitely not saying that your items have to be from Pottery Barn. I’m a big fan of Wayfair, IKEA, CrateandBarrel.com clearance, Wisteria sale and clearance, and places like Ross for accessories.
Be sure to mix in accents in trendy prints or colors. You can liven up a blah sofa with fresh throw pillows. If mismatched furniture is an issue and you’re not able to swap for new pieces due to budget or time constraints, slipcovers might be an option.
When you arrange furniture in a room, be sure to keep things balanced. There is no set rule that will apply in every situation, but when there is an imbalance, you’ll be able to see it and correct it. Trust yourself when you think something isn’t quite right. When in doubt, less is usually more.
Lighten and brighten areas that are too dark by using light natural paint colors. You’ll create an open feel while maintaining warmth when you stick with shades like straw, cream, and linen.
Mix in natural textures by using baskets and tactile fabrics. Add shiny items like candlesticks or vases for contrast.
Finally, make sure each room has a distinct purpose when you stage. A bedroom used as a sewing room or office is OK (bedrooms used as bedrooms is the ideal way to stage) but when a room looks like a craft room/guest room/workout area, it starts to be less attractive. You want each room to make an impression.
A dining room that’s also a shipping area for a home business is going to be less appealing than a dining room that just looks like a beautiful dining room. Yes, it is possible to see past some of the current uses for spaces, but it really helps buyers see the home’s potential more clearly when we keep rooms clearly defined.
- Find a room in your house that you can stage. Practice with hands-on activities like rearranging items, placing throw pillows, or making the bed as attractively as possible. You don’t have to physically make every change that would be helpful, but go through the steps in your mind. Think about the paint color, the artwork, and the personal items that would need to be removed. Get some practice in styling by rearranging and editing objects on tables, night stands, or dressers.
- Go through some real estate listings online. Do a search for starter homes in your area and go over the photos of each room. Look at the rooms the way buyers will. Make a list of all of the changes you would make, including anything you think would be reasonable to do for staging such as painting or changing light fixtures. Be sure to make notes about the homes best features as well as features you want to de-emphasize.