Ready, Stage, Sell?

Living Room Before

Living room before.

Recently I’ve noticed an increased interest in Home Staging. While there are no real guarantees with staging, a staged home is easier to show and leaves a more positive impression with buyers. So as a seller, how much effort and cost should you put into staging? My answer is simple, consider the condition of the house first and foremost. You can decorate all you want, but if the paint is peeling, appliances are old, bathrooms and kitchens are dated, decluttering and rearranging furniture won’t change much. Your first step in this case would be cleaning, updating and repairing. If that’s not the case, then take a look at the big retailers of home design, Rooms to Go, Pottery Barn, IKEA, West Elm, Ethan Allen and so on. View their catalogs or design showrooms and use them as a guide. To save money work with your existing furniture as much as possible, depersonalize and declutter. Think foundation pieces with minimal and neutral accessories and arrange furniture to highlight the features in each room. For example, if you have a beautiful fireplace, cozy up some seating around it. Beautiful view from a window? Make sure the glass is spotless and find a way to place furniture to enjoy the view. Likewise, if furniture placement is awkward or off centered, try floating the pieces away from the wall or window, to draw the interest away from the negative. Think of your rooms as a marketing brochure, highlight all their features and benefits. If you still can’t wrap your head around the idea of staging, talk to your Realtor and remember anything you do now will help when you’re actually ready to move out.

Living room after.

Living room after.

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A Contemporary Stage

Before: An unusual staircase space.

Earlier this year, I staged a contemporary house. The owners were very motivated, receptive to ideas and had already done a lot of work. I mention this because it made my job much easier. The before picture you see is an unusual space at the foot of the basement stairs. Without spending too much money, we needed to find a way to simplify the spot without drawing too much attention. Take a look at the after picture and let me know what you think.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/magicalmakeoverinteriors/sets/72157626784065739/    With a larger budget we probably would have eliminated the spot all together, but time and money were key and the house sold in just about a month.

What Exactly Is Redesign?

Condo Living Room Before

Interior redesign is the creative placement of existing furniture and accessories to better enhance the appeal and flow of a room. In most cases people who are interested in redesign either like their existing furniture or they don’t want to spend money on new furniture. They may plan to stay in their home or they may be planning to sell. In either case a lot can be accomplished with what they already own.

This living room has older upholstered pieces with dated but neutral fabric. This shot was taken looking into the room from it’s main entrance. Although the large cabinet is the focal point, it seems like there is too much going on.

Condo Living Room After

The after shot is less busy, a little more balanced and much more attractive to look at. Your eye moves directly to the focal point which is balanced on either side with the other furniture. The room is warm and welcoming and has a much better flow. It took about three hours for this to be accomplished and nothing was purchased.

So what exactly is redesign? It’s furniture and accessory rearrangement sprinkled with a touch of magic.

Getting Ready for your Open House

If you’re planning to sell your house, once you have it listed you have to be prepared to open your doors to prospective buyers. In some cases you’ll have very little notice, which means keeping your house in top shape all the time. Even in the best circumstances this can be difficult.  If you have prepped your home with a professional stager you should be organized but the prospective buyers are on their way and you need to be ready. Running around the house picking things up, dusting, opening windows, putting away dishes, cleaning counter tops and so on can get a little crazy! Try using this checklist and dividing up the tasks with anyone else at home. A room by room guide will help insure you don’t miss anything important and your home will look it’s best.