14 Sep 2015

How To Stage Your Home

A few weeks ago I wrote about how we are short of space in our current house - mainly due to the fact that one of the bedrooms is our home office - and how we are currently at a crossroad in terms of what to do next property-wise. The options we are currently trying to decide on are to either extend or to move house.

While I’m more in the staying put and adapting camp, John favours the moving option. I’m not against moving per se, but the hassle and upheaval of a relocation does put me off a bit. However, if we do decide to move, I would definitely prefer to sell first and be chain free. I’ve never been in a chain scenario before, but I have witnessed several friends in that situation, and I can appreciate just how stressful it is, so I would try and avoid it.

When putting a property on the market, there are lots of things that vendors can do to ensure a quick house sale, one of the key things being some simple home improvements, or “home staging” to make a property more presentable.

Whenever I look at properties online or at estate agents, I’m always surprised just how few people put the effort into creating an attractive environment and good impression that will appeal to potential buyers. Especially since there are so many simple and cost-effective tricks to update and smarten up your house. I’ve compiled a few points that we will certainly be doing as and when we are ready to proceed:

Neutralise the décor
So many people make the mistake to assume that their choices in colours and décor are compatible with other peoples’ tastes. But the truth is that few people will share a love for purple walls or that bright red floral wallpaper that seemed like a good idea at the time, and they might not be able to see past a loud and bright colour scheme. It’s therefore worth putting in the hours and redecorating in a more neutral colour palette, even if in your eyes magnolia is the most boring shade on earth. Once you’ve moved, you can reinstate your purples and reds as much as you like. When we bought our house we did it up pretty much from top to bottom, and we went for a neutral colour scheme anyway. Partially, because we bought the house with a future resale in mind, and partially, because taste-wise, we like the clean, calm beiges and creams anyway. So we won’t need much more than a lick of fresh paint to revive the look.

De-personalise
I think when it comes to the presentation of a home, every house needs a little bit of personality, but as with everything, less is more. Once you’ve made the decision to put the house on the market, try to detach yourself from it and remove anything that is just a little bit too personal and adds nothing to the overall impression of each room, like tons of photographs, kids’ drawings, sports trophies, your collection of porcelain figurines etc. – you get the picture. Viewers want to imagine how a room can function for them and not get distracted by other people’s junk.

De-clutter
In the same vein, keeping rooms and surfaces clean and uncluttered is also essential. It will not only create the illusion of space, but will make rooms a lot more inviting. I’m not much of a hoarder anyway and regularly declutter, but the kids’ toys are something that I will have to take a look at and find clever and stylish storage solutions for which will tidy them away effectively.

Furniture
Think about the furniture in your rooms. Are some rooms too cramped with cupboards, side-boards and oversized sofas? Or are some maybe the opposite, sparse and uninviting? It’s worth thinking about the proportions of furniture in rooms, and if necessary, storing a heavy armchair in the garage or investing in a couple of extra pieces to maximise the effect of the space.

Accessorise
Sometimes, all a room needs to look smarter and more inviting is a few clever accessories to tie everything together and add those all-important finishing touches. For our living room, I’m thinking a couple of new cushions and throws in the same colour, complemented by a scented candle here or there (in the same shade, too, if possible), and some nice new blinds to set the mood. In the kitchen, I’d probably have some fresh flowers on the table and some colour coordinated place mats and hand towels etc. as further accents. And in the bathroom, I’ll probably replace the towels and rug with new ones – again, colour coordinated – and maybe a few new storage baskets to clear away make-up items and cosmetics. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.

Curb appeal
Finally, don’t forget the exterior of the property. After all, first impressions count, and you only have a few seconds, so make it count. After sprucing up the interior of your home, make sure to go over the outside, too, and clean up the driveway, plant fresh flowers and / or shrubs, and generally tidy up the front garden or outside space you have. If you don’t, not only will it look unappealing, but you might also create the impression that this is a huge task, which might put off potential buyers. Neither John nor I are big on gardening, so on occasion we have used the services or a local gardener who has tidied up everything for us, and we’ll certainly do that again to create the right look.

So, there you have it, my top tips for successful home staging. If you have any other quick and easy tips, I’d love to hear them, so drop me a line below.

*Collaborative Post. Picture source: Pinterest.

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