I don't stage houses often (like Linda does), but occasionally a client will ask me to help them with a home they are selling and I will do what I can. Staging a home to sell is not all that different then how I approach decorating a home except that it usually requires a lot of editing (removing, de-cluttering, and re-arranging) and instead of appealing to the client's taste, I try to anticipate what the average buyer will be attracted to. The goal is to help a prospective buyer see the house at its best and also help them see themselves living there. Last week I started the first phase of a small home that is going to be put on the market soon.
In the process of de-cluttering and pre-arranging
On our first visit we talked about the client's (and my) vision; a calm, uncluttered space with a coastal feel. We discussed what needed to be removed or replaced, and I spent a little time moving a few pieces around, measuring and taking a mental inventory of what we needed to add. Because the bookshelves were such a huge focal point in the living room, and also the most daunting task, I tackled it first. I started by removing what I knew we didn't need (about 80% of the books and 50% of the accessories so they could be packed up or donated) and did a little pre-arranging to help me assess what we would need to add.
Freshly painted ... awaiting new carpet
Then my client and I went shopping. We went to Ikea, HomeGoods, Target and a few consignment shops nearby. We brought home a truck load (literally) of small furniture, artwork, mirrors, bedding and small accessories. The client had brought some items from her own home (this is her mother's house she is selling) and had it all put in a storage closet for me to pull from as needed. We also selected new carpet and had a painter come and put a fresh coat of white paint on everything.
The new chair from HomeGoods looks right at home with the newly styled bookshelves
After the carpet was installed, I went over and began the first phase of the staging / styling. I started with the bookshelves. Previously it was
crammed filled with a lot of books, a small TV and a lot of other objects. It needed to be pared down and lightened up. I used a combination of things that were on the shelves already and added a few new items from the client's home.
This home is in a retirement community so we wanted to have the home not only look pleasing to the prospective buyer but help them envision themselves living in the home. Our choices were made accordingly, from the carpet selection to the accessories we used to style the home. For example, even though the kitchen is small my client explained that the buyer will most likely want to have an eating area in the kitchen.
We replaced a larger kitchen table for one that would seat a party of two without making the space too crowded. The white table from Ikea and the open weave chairs help the area feel visually clean and less cramped then it was before.
This was a quick start and I will need to spend another day finishing the bedrooms, styling the bathrooms and hanging artwork. And then it will go on the market and hopefully our hard work will pay off and the house will sell quickly and for a good price.