15 Secrets of Home Staging
Highlight your home’s strengths, downplay its weaknesses & appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers with these home-staging tips:
1. Get rid of clutter & remove un-needed furnishings. It’ll make the house look bigger.
2. Group the furniture & float it away from the walls. Reposition sofas & chairs into cozy conversational groups. Make sure to create obvious & good traffic flow into & through the rooms. This will make the rooms seem larger.
3. Just because you bought that armchair for the living room doesn’t mean it won’t look great anchoring a sitting area in your bedroom. Try perching a little-used dining-room table in front of a pretty window, top it with buffet lamps & other accessories, & press it into service as a beautiful writing desk or library table.
4. If you have a room that serves only to gather junk, repurpose it into something that will add to the value of your home. The simple addition of a comfortable armchair, a small table & a lamp in a stairwell nook will transform it into a cozy reading spot. Drape fabric on the walls of your basement, lay inexpensive rubber padding or a carpet remnant on the floor & toss in a few cushy pillows. Voila – a new meditation room or yoga studio.
5. One of the things that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. As it turns out, many of our homes are improperly lighted. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet. Don’t depend on just one or two fixtures per room, either. Make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).
6. To make a room appear to be bigger than it is, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. If you have a small kitchen & dining room, a seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space. Make a sunporch look bigger and more inviting by painting it green to reflect the color of nature. Another design trick: If you want to create the illusion of more space, paint the walls the same color as your drapery. It will give you a seamless and sophisticated look.
7. Painting a living room a fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space. Even if you were weaned on off-white walls, take a chance and test a quart of paint in a warm, neutral hue. These days, the definition of neutral extends way beyond beige, from warm tans & honeys to soft blue-greens. As for bold wall colors, they have a way of reducing offers, so go with neutrals in large spaces.
8. Don’t be afraid to use dark paint in a powder room, dining room or bedroom. A deep tone on the walls can make the space more intimate, dramatic & cozy. You don’t have to go whole hog – you can paint just an accent wall to draw attention to a dramatic fireplace or a lovely set of windows. If you have built-in bookcases or niches, experiment with painting the insides a color that will make them pop — say, a soft sage green to set off the white pottery displayed within.
9. If your home is like most, the art is hung in a high line encircling each room. Big mistake. Placing your pictures, paintings and prints in such stereotypical spots can render them almost invisible. Art displayed creatively makes it stand out & shows off your space. So break up that line & vary the patterning & grouping.
10. Mixing the right accessories can make a room more inviting. When it comes to eye-pleasing accessorizing, odd numbers are preferable, especially three. Rather than lining up a trio of accessories in a row, imagine a triangle and place one object at each point. Scale is important, too, so in your group of three be sure to vary height & width, with the largest item at the back & the smallest in front. For maximum effect, group accessories by color, shape, texture or some other unifying element, stagers suggest.
11. Staged homes are almost always graced with fresh flowers & pricey orchid arrangements, but you can get a similar effect simply by raiding your yard. Budding magnolia clippings or unfurling fern fronds herald the arrival of spring, summer blooms add splashes of cheerful color, blazing fall foliage warms up your decor on chilly autumn days & holly branches heavy with berries look smashing in winter.
12. Create a relaxing bedroom setting with luxurious linens & soft colors that will make a potential home buyer want to hang out. Bedroom staging trick: If you don’t have the money to buy a new bed, just get the frame, buy an inexpensive air mattress & dress it up with neutral-patterned bedding. Remember to declutter. By cleaning out your closets, you’re showing off your storage space, which sells houses – it always ranks high on buyers’ priority list.
13. If you can’t afford new cabinets, just get new doors & drawer fronts. Then paint everything to match & add new hardware. Instead of replacing the entire dishwasher, you may be able to get a new front panel. Check with the manufacturer to see if replacements are available for your model. If not, laminate paper, which goes on like contact paper, can be used to re-cover the existing panel.
14. Unfinished projects can scare off potential buyers, so finish them. Missing floorboards & large cracks in the sidewalk on the way to your door tend to be a red flag, for example, & they cost you less to fix than buyers might deduct from the asking price.
15. Having tile professionally painted can make a bathroom look brand new. Accessorizing can make buyers feel like they’re in a spa. Put out items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets & candles. It’s a great way to create a polished look, & it doesn’t cost much to do.