Transform Your Home With These Staging Tips

Transform Your Home With Staging

The Home Office

You don't always have to call in the professionals to stage your home. The owners of this home staged their home office perfectly for maximum wow factor.  So, what did they do right?

Starting with the computer desk, you may notice there are no cords and outlet strips hanging around. There is no waste paper can or shredder in sight! This type of de-cluttering ensures that the buyer's eye is not distracted by the ball of cords mixed with dog fur under the desk. (You know that's what yours looks like right now! Don't lie.)  

The desk is also not bulky and because there are no drawers and you can see underneath it which gives the illusion of more space.  Check out the bookcase in the background. Books are stacked neatly with just a few decorative items to balance out the blank spaces and set the stage for a spacious, inviting atmosphere.  Not seen in this photo are French doors to the back patio.  The owner staged the room with the French doors open, maximizing natural light and inviting buyers to explore the wisteria covered pergola and backyard. Bravo!
Transform Your Home With Staging

The Kitchen

The kitchen is an important room in the home. It's also the most used (and therefore the messiest). I think it goes without saying that it should be thoroughly cleaned and ensure there are no fingerprints on the stainless steel. This kitchen was perfectly staged! Let us break it down for you.

All items were removed from counter spaces and stored away.  This includes knives, coffee pots, dish soap, paper towels... EVERYTHING must go!  The refrigerator should be bare. This means no magnets or kid's school work and artwork attached to the fridge. Take it all down and store it out of sight.

After you remove everything, pick one or two items to remain.  In this photo, you can see the owner chose to keep a bold red teapot on the stove. This creates a homey atmosphere without clutter.  In addition, one item was left to draw the buyer's attention to the breakfast bar. Clean, de-cluttered, and the buyer can focus on appliances, space, natural light, and tile choice.
Transform Your Home With Staging

The Living Room

Living rooms signify family gatherings, entertaining friends, or relaxing in the evening after work. The most successful staging utilizes this by removing the television.  This allows the furniture to be arranged to create an intimate feeling by pulling seating away from the wall if the floorplan allows.

When there is a fireplace in the living room, it's usually the focal point.  Don't cover it up with pokers, plants, baskets and the like.  Remove everything from the hearth area.  On the mantle, choose repetitive decorations such as the three small identical potted plants on this mantle.  Use 2-3 identical decorations. Carry the symmetry over to the end tables: two identical tables with lamps.  Nothing is stored underneath any of the tables so as to create open space, not distract with clutter. Let the buyer imagine how they might "fill" that space. 

If your home has window coverings, then make sure the drapes are pulled open. Let in the natural light! Adding an area rug will add warmth but still allow buyers to see the beautiful hardwood flooring.  Lastly, remove all family photos from the walls.  If you include artwork, then pick one or two key pieces.
Transform Your Home With Staging

Indoors Meets Outdoors

A great way to highlight your home is with the outdoor space.  You can create an outdoor oasis that buyers will fall in love with!  Why? Because it will make the outdoors feel like an extension of the home's interior living space.

This spacious backyard in Rock Hill was decked out with unconventional furniture like this beautiful heavy wood dining room table.  The silver chair backs adorned with royal blue seat cushions bring out the silver and blue hues in the place settings. Bringing indoor furniture outdoors give the impression of greater livable space.

Along with this inviting dinner party set-up, there is a fire pit located on the patio.  Adirondack chairs surround the fire pit, with marshmallow roasters poised and ready.

If the backyard space has a covered area, consider adding small stringed party lights or outdoor lighting. Create a space that shows how it can be utilized while setting the tone. Buyers can imagine themselves having fun while entertaining their friends, families, and coworkers. When a buyer can imagine themselves living in your home and imagine the memories they will create in that space, you have won them over and will likely receive an offer.
Transform Your Home With Staging

Twilight Outdoor Spaces

Another great way to highlight outdoor space is to showcase unusual ways to enjoy it. This modern home and backyard in Brookbend features traditional outdoor furniture but elevates the look and feel through lighting and twilight photography.  Think lush sofas, sleek coffee tables, and potted plants near a roaring fire pit and candlelit lanterns.

This beautiful space has a patio heater and large grill, showing the buyer how space can be utilized throughout the seasons.

When staging your outdoor spaces, it’s a good idea to bring in pieces one might incorporate when entertaining. Party trays with fruit and glasses are a great way to allude to your backyard as being the perfect space to host a party. You’ll want to present your home-buyers with options for gatherings and more room to socialize. Everyone loves an outdoor summer soiree, after all! Dressing your outdoor patio to evoke party-planning dreams may just be the “cherry-on-top” design moment your home-buyer is looking for.
Transform Your Home With Staging

The Bedroom

Bedrooms are usually a place of privacy and sanctuary so it can sometimes be hard to let potential buyers into that area of your home.  When you stay at a hotel, you don't see the last guest's unmentionables in the hamper or dirty towels in the en-suite bathroom. Stage your bedrooms like you are running a bed and breakfast! At least make your bed... 

Scrutinize your closets.  Most likely you have all seasons of clothes crammed into the closet, shoes thrown in a corner, and t-shirts not-so-neatly stacked. You may be thinking this doesn't matter, but buyers will look at your belongings and come away with the impression that your home is dirty, messy, and cramped.  This is easy to fix! Remove all clothing, shoes, and accessories that you are not wearing this season and box it up and store it out of sight. If you have open shelving with folded garments, learn how to fold them like you see in a department store.  You can even sort them by color and style (who does that, anyway?) Keep shoes stored in shoeboxes or a shoe rack.

In the bedroom area, remove all personal effects, photos, and any risque artwork. If the room is large enough, create a sitting area near a window and stage with a throw blanket and a book.

Make sure the bed is made and that the mattress isn't showing.  If your comforter is too short or ill-fitting, then fold it down to the bottom or midway so that the fabric drapes appropriately.  Remove any waste cans, humidifiers, fans, jewelry (if it's openly displayed), doggie/baby gates, pet beds, etc.

The room in this Webster Groves home was perfectly staged with only one dresser, one night stand, a well-made bed, and a small club chair near the corner window. One piece of artwork over the bed and identical lamps make it cozy but open, spacious, and light-filled.

Transform Your Home With Staging

The Dining Room

Decluttering, depersonalizing and staging the dining room before putting your home on the market will make it easier for home buyers to see themselves living and dining in your home.

Buyers will be looking for a dining room that will accommodate their furniture, lifestyle and all their relatives for big family get togethers.

If your dining room furniture is extremely beat up or too taste specific, (heavily ornate, overly modern, etc.) you might consider renting furniture while your home is on the real estate market.

Once you have decluttered, cleaned and perhaps painted your dining room, you are ready to move furniture in.

If you plan on using an area rug under your table, bring it in first and center it under the chandelier if you have one. If the dining room is large and oblong, the table may need to go on one end of the room. Balance out the room by placing something of equal "weight" on the opposite side of the room.

When staging the dining room, edit out more than four dining chairs, unless your dining room is huge. Push the chairs in to create maximum traffic flow around the table. Too many dining chairs will make a room look over-crowded.  If your table doesn't fit or just doesn't look right, try a round dining table instead. A round dining table is often the answer in a difficult or small dining space.

Move in a buffet table, china hutch, or other large piece of furniture, ONLY if you have the room. Too much furniture in a small dining room will diminish the space.

If you are having an open house viewing, set the table according to the meal that would be served at that time of day. For instance, a luncheon setting would be more casual than an evening meal.

Transform Your Home With Staging

Built-in Bookshelves

Bookshelves, whether built-in or free-standing, can make or break a room.  If you cram every book you have read since you were a kindergartner, the room ends up feeling cluttered and cramped.  

Start with removing everything from the bookshelves then pick a color scheme you want displayed. Usually 3-4 different subtle colors are best so the space doesn't look too busy. A good example would be metallic, black & white, and a pop of color such as turquoise or mustard yellow. 

Next collect all the decorative items in your house you are not using.  More times than not you have a handful of great pieces that will be perfect to highlight in this way.

When it comes to the books, display the ones that have a pretty spine or a nice colored spine.  Take the book sleeves off and try to not have the same colored spine right on top of the same color.  Mix them up to give interest.  Lay them on top of each other on one shelf then on another shelf stack them side by side. Insert your decorative pieces at random points on the shelves to create a balanced look.
Transform Your Home With Staging

The Lower Level

Lower level, or basements, can sometimes be tricky. If the windows are small and not a lot of natural light is available, the room can look cave-like. To counteract this, pare down the furnishings and try to use items that are less bulky.  Make sure window coverings are pulled open and use extra interior lighting such as lamps. If the fireplace is functional then consider lighting the fire for ambience.

Make sure to de-clutter the area and hide any children's toys, pet items like dog beds and toys, and stow away books and magazines.  Create an open, traffic free, cozy sitting area.

In this rec room you can see the yellow pillows give a pop of color against a neutral backdrop and is balanced by the yellow birdcage near the fireplace.  Remember, repetition, neutral with pops of color, and nonpersonal artwork.
Transform Your Home With Staging

The Rec Room

Recreation rooms are typically in the lower level/basement but a new trend is emerging with the rec room on the upper level with the bedrooms. Often there is more natural light because there are more windows.

Make sure to de-clutter the area and hide any children's toys, pet items like dog beds and toys, and stow away books and magazines.  Create an open, traffic free, cozy sitting area.

If the room is large enough, create a gaming area. Set up a table with a board game.  If you have built-in book shelves or free-standing shelving, stage the shelves with books, board games, and decorative items. 

Define a separate area by creating a sitting area where buyers can imagine themselves watching TV, or socializing with friends and family.  Stage a coffee table with a serving tray that holds a bottle of wine and glassware.

An area rug and additional small lamps will pull the room together.  Make sure all blinds and drapes are open and pulled up so let in the maximum amount of natural light!
Transform Your Home With Staging

The Window Seat

One of the selling features of this home is a custom window seat in the family room that the homeowners designed and built themselves. This is a very unique selling feature that other homes in this area do not typically have.

When we saw the room and the window seat for the first time we immediately envisioned a family playing a board game on the floor, maybe one or two curled up in the window seat reading or observing the others game and of course, a nice cozy fire.    

With that in mind the owners staged this beautiful selling feature to capture buyers the moment they stepped into the family room.  Who wouldn't want to spend time dreaming and relaxing in this special place?

Transform Your Home With Staging

The Powder Room

Grimy bathroom walls are a major red flag to buyers. Here is an easy way to get rid of surface mold: Mix a spray bottle with one part water and one part bleach. Just spray it on the wall, and watch the mold disappear. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and your grimy bathroom will go from red-flag to red-hot.

A grimy glass shower door can really wash out your sale. Instead of replacing it, clean it with a mixture of one part muriatic acid and about 10 parts water. Scrub with steel wool. After wiping it down, reinstall the door, and you'll have a shower that'll help you clean up at the open house.

Pedestal sinks are a big hit with buyers. They show off square footage in small bathrooms beautifully. First, your old vanity has to go. Next, just hook up your new sink, and your bathroom will have dramatic appeal that brings in big bucks. Plus, buyers will see how much floor space your bathroom has.