staging your home

From the Outside, In: Useful Tips for Staging Your Home

A well-staged home exudes value to potential buyers and is a key element to its sale. Often times, preparing a home for sale proves to be a daunting costly task for sellers; but fortunately, it does not have to be. The following series of posts include cost-efficient tips and small design tricks to equip your home for a quick, high sale.

From the Outside, In

First impressions always begin with curb appeal, so the first place to set the stage is on the outside. Make sure all garbage and recycling cans are neatly tucked away. If elaborate landscaping is not in your budget, a healthy freshly mowed lawn with all leaves raked is a must.

Secondly, check out the exterior of the house. Does the paint need to be touched up? What about the front door? Before repainting, scrub the front door, any railings and steps. Hanging potted plants is a little touch to bring the buyers in as well.

Create Space

The goal of staging your home is to provide an ambiance where buyers can imagine themselves living. It’s all about square footage, circulation and storage space. Maximizing these elements is the key to transforming your space into sold space.

Become reacquainted with your home. Walk through each room and let your eye be your guide. Take note of what areas in the room you are first drawn to. Are there chips in the paint? Peeling wallpaper? Give these a little touch-up. If you are drawn to an empty space, fill it with something pleasing to focus on such as a basket, candles or a plant.

Square Footage:

Square footage is a main selling point in a house so it is important to showcase the square footage in the most effective manner, especially in smaller homes. Remove surplus clutter from each room in the house and place items strategically to reveal more of the flooring. A simple trick to making rooms appear larger is to paint the walls the same color as the draping or painting adjacent rooms with the same color to expand the space.


Augment your home’s space by calculating the circulation of each room and the house as a whole. Create an obvious traffic flow in each room by correctly placing furniture and creatively displaying art. Moving furniture away from the walls and placing sofas and chairs in conversational groups creates a constructed traffic flow. Note the amount of furniture in the room and remove excess pieces, as too much furniture can count as clutter. Art is a great feature in a room and if placed correctly, can stand out and show off the space. Stay away from straight lines when hanging art; instead, stagger the pieces, group them or display them in a pattern. Cutting corners adds space, so changing out square tables for round ones makes any room appear larger.

Storage Space:

A home with a wealth of storage space is a very desirable quality among buyers. Showcase your home’s storage capabilities by ridding all closets and cabinets of excess items and organizing the remaining items in an appealing manner.

Let there be Light:

Nature’s best gift to home staging is natural light. It brightens the mood of any room and creates the illusion of a larger space, so open up those windows! On a side note, windows should always be opened at least an hour before showing your home to air out any stuffiness. If there are particularly darker rooms in your home, painting the walls a lighter color and adding a lamp can brighten up even the darkest of rooms.

Before opening your home for viewing, increase the wattage of all lamps and fixtures by 100 watts and make sure to spread the lighting at least every 50 square feet. There are three types of lighting to include in the staging of your home:

1)      Ambient-general and overhead lighting

2)      Task-pendant, under cabinet and reading lighting

3)      Accent-table or wall lighting

A good mixture of these three types will add the right amount of light to your space.

Renovate Your Rooms:

Stage all rooms with congruent colors and according to their purpose. Paint the walls in all rooms in the house a neutral color. Neutral is not only limited to beige, but can be a combination of warm tans, honeys and soft blues and greens. These tones are also gender neutral making it easier to stage.

Is there a room(s) in your home that has lost its purpose and is mainly used for storage? Well, it’s time to give it a reason to be lived in again. After all clutter has been removed and walls painted, furnish the space to showcase its functionality. The goal is to allow the prospective buyers to imagine themselves there. If it’s an unused office, for example, add a desk lamp and spruce up the bookcase by painting the inside a soft sage green against white display pottery to make it pop. If there is extra floor space, add inexpensive rubber padding, an extra carpet piece and plush pillows to the corner of the room as a reading nook or meditation area.

If you are considering repainting some rooms, dark paint can add dimension and make a space feel intimate and cozy. You can add a dark accent wall in a bedroom or dining room; even paint an entire powder room with a dark color.

The Master Bedroom:

It is important to gender neutralize the master bedroom. Make it serene and inviting, creating a cohesive color scheme from the wall color and bedding to the accessories.

Accessorize with the Rule of Thirds:

Accessorizing your home is a great way to add appeal. Knick knacks look best when organized in odd numbers, particularly in threes and in a triangular shape. Keep scale in mind, varying height and width with the largest items in the back and the smallest in the front. Arrange accessories by color, shape, texture or any other unifying feature.

Setting the Mood:

When staging your house, you want to create an inviting atmosphere that makes it feel like a home. Perhaps add some soft ambient background music, and turn on some candles. Make sure all lighting is turned on and add some live flowers and plants that characterize the particular season to grace your home.

The Three Cs:

Most importantly and above all else, remember CCC. CLEAR the CLUTTER and CLEAN! Ensure that your home is spotless and devoid of any clutter. No one is looking to purchase a dirty home and clutter only crowds the space making it appear smaller.

Check back Monday for quick, easy and inexpensive tips to fixing up your home!