Being a decorator, I get asked to do a lot of different jobs from staging houses for sale to decorating homes for the holidays. Recently, I staged a beautiful, local Parade of Homes house in Waco, Texas. My husband loves when I stage for jobs outside of our home, because that means that I am less likely to move our own furniture around the home for the 15th time. Okay, 50th time!
However, staging homes to sell and your own home are a little bit different. The key to staging is to show off the features of the home, while making the home feel inviting for buyers. Often, I see homes for sale that are overcrowded, overdecorated and overly personalized. This is not the time to show off your decorating skills or your personal collections! Therefore, I have rounded up a few of my best home staging tips.
The master bedroom suite, kitchen and living room have the most selling power, so focus on these areas in the home. Therefore, these are the most important rooms to stage. Worry less about guest or kids’ bedrooms, offices, playrooms and small bathrooms.
If there is a room that is shared, stage it with one function in mind. For example, don’t allow the guest room to function as an office and a home gym, too. This will make the house feel crowded and tell buyers that there is not enough space to enjoy. Plus, it will be harder for buyers to imagine how they would use the space with so much happening in one room.
When staging a home, ensure that the house has received a deep cleaning. Dust, scrub and sanitize everything! It may be a good idea to hire a cleaning service to do a one time professional cleaning.
Then, declutter all the spaces including counters, closets and garages. You want the house to feel like everything has a place and that there is enough room for the next owner. If you have lived in the home for years and acquired a lot of stuff, you may even consider renting a storage unit to store personal items or extra furniture.
Keep the tops of kitchen and bathroom counters and furniture free from clutter. Use decorative risers, trays or stacks of books to group smaller items so that they appear visually as one item. Thus, making the space feel less busy. Baskets are great to gather objects in kids rooms, closets, and bathrooms.
Lastly, depersonalize the home by removing large collections, memorabilia, most family photos, posters from walls, excess stacks of magazines, themed or seasonal decor, etc…
Instead, use classic design elements for coffee table vignettes like plants, books, candles, or pottery. Then, create a simple tablescape by grouping dishes in a decorative tray on the kitchen island or dining room table. This will allow potential buyers to see the home as inviting and yet livable, too.
Create open spaces. Place the furniture so that it looks open and inviting when you first enter. For example, you should not see the backs of sofas or chairs upon entering a room. Doing so will make a room feel closed off. In addition, you should place the bed in the center of the wall opposite the main door when entering a bedroom.
Create easy to navigate spaces. It is important to not block traffic flow when home staging. Less furniture is better so that the room doesn’t feel over crowded. Remove furniture that is too bulky or even too small for the space.
Create intentional spaces. Float furniture in the middle of the room (off the walls) and use rugs to ground the space in order to create intentional areas in the home. Furniture, like sofas and chairs, should have the front legs placed on the rug. Often you can group smaller furniture into conversational areas.
You want the home to look, feel and smell fresh! Focus on removing bad odors rather than masking those smells by using cleaning products without harsh chemicals or artificial fragrance like those from Grove Collaborative. However, do not use strong seasonal or sweet smells. Think light, airy, clean scents like fresh linen, citrus or lavender when staging a home and allowing buyers into the home.
From the paint on the walls to the furnishings, keep it neutral when staging a home. This will allow buyers to better picture themselves and their belongings in the home. In addition, it will showcase more of the house itself and less of the items in the home.
It is important to make the house feel bright, open, and airy. Mirrors are a great way to reflect light back into the room, so place them across from large windows or light sources.
Neutral linens from bath towels to bedding are preferred. For example, make bedding feel luxurious by using crisp white, plump comforters. Then, add a pop of color, pattern or texture in small increments like a throw pillow on the bed or sofa.
A can of neutral paint can go a long way from updating the room to give it a fresh look to painting a few touch ups where the house has been well lived in.
I hope that you find these home staging tips helpful. Whether you are getting ready to sell your home, interested in starting a home staging business or a realtor looking to spruce up a few homes that you have listed, happy staging!