Home Staging Tips for Any Occasion

Surely, you’ve seen the TV shows where homeowners enlist the help of professionals to get homes ready to sell. Whether you call it home staging, redesign, house fluffing or real estate enhancement, your home can probably benefit from it whether you’re in the market to sell or not.

If you feel your home needs a boost for an upcoming event, like a wedding reception, holiday party or out-of-town visitors; home staging is your best friend. Likewise, if you are just tired of the status quo, home staging will lift you and your abode out of the doldrums.

Get your home ready for a party, overnight guests or potential buyers.
Get your home ready for a party, overnight guests or potential buyers. | Source

Professional home stagers will tell you not to attempt this formidable task on your own. I say, you’re crazy to spend your hard-earned cash on something you can easily do yourself on the cheap. You just need a few basic suggestions and advice to help get your house in order.

De-Clutter

How many times do I have to say it? Get rid of clutter! No one wants to see it, unless, of course, you have inked a deal to be featured on an upcoming episode of Hoarders.

Seriously, this is one of the most uncomfortable tasks for most people to undertake. We get emotionally attached to our stuff, which makes for a difficult separation. Even if you are a highly organized person, you will accumulate things over time and it can become overwhelming.

Start by at least clearing the clutter on countertops, floors and furniture. When you muster courage to tackle drawers, closets, the attic or basement, use the one year rule: if you haven’t used it or worn it for a year – get rid of it. And if you forgot you even had it, well, that goes without saying.

Place unwanted items in boxes and stack them in the garage. Host a garage sale or donate the items to a charitable organization. If there are things you just can’t bear to part with, rent a storage unit and get that clutter out of the house. Believe me, you’ll feel better and your house will look much better!

Paint freshens up a room like nothing else!
Paint freshens up a room like nothing else! | Source

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

This may seem like an obvious home staging tip, but it also bears repeating. Paint your walls, doors, trim if they are worn, scuffed or dirty. This also applies if your wall and ceiling paint is outdated or dingy.

Stick with neutral paint colors. Consider tan, beige, gray or taupe – or even white – to give your home a clean, fresh appearance.


Spruce Up Old Furniture

If some of your furniture pieces have seen better days, consider purchasing replacement pieces from thrift stores, garage sales or flea markets. Quickly give them an updated look with the help of decorative pillows and slipcovers in coordinating colors.

Slipcovers and pillows will instantly update your old furniture pieces!
Slipcovers and pillows will instantly update your old furniture pieces! | Source

If you can spring for it, look for used furniture pieces with good bones and have them re upholstered. Make your old or hand-me-down wood furniture look new again with a new stain or fresh coat of primer and paint. This will give mismatched pieces a cohesive look.

Clean It Up!

When guests or potential buyers enter a dirty house, they are immediately repelled. Make everyone feel welcome and comfortable in your home by presenting it in a positive…and clean light.

After you unclutter, clean your house until it sparkles!
After you unclutter, clean your house until it sparkles! | Source

If you can afford it, have it professionally cleaned. You can specify the items that need the most attention, like the oven, windows, sliding door tracks, baseboards, ceiling fans, basement, etc. Make it shine from top to bottom. After having your house professionally cleaned, it will be easier to maintain.

You can have your carpets professionally cleaned. If not, rent or borrow the equipment.
You can have your carpets professionally cleaned. If not, rent or borrow the equipment. | Source

If you can budget for carpet, upholstery and drapery cleaning – do it! You’ll be amazed how much dirt and odors accumulate in fabrics and carpet. Look for direct mail coupons or web discounts to help defray the cost. If a professional steam cleaning is totally out of the question, consider renting a steam-cleaning machine from your local home improvement center.

Make sure you read the care labels on upholstered pieces and drapes before attempting a DIY steam clean. It may make more sense to spot clean your furniture and send curtains and drapes to the dry cleaner.

Don’t forget your comforters and bedding. Clean them as directed and vacuum you mattresses and box springs to reduce allergens such as dust, dust mites and dander.

Rearrange the Furniture

Remember when you were a child and you rearranged your bedroom furniture? Afterwards it was like sleeping in a completely different room! This tip still works and is a key home staging trick. Rearranging can even make your rooms look larger.

By simply rearranging the furniture, you can create a completely new space!
By simply rearranging the furniture, you can create a completely new space! | Source

Draw your room to scale on graph paper. Plot out your proposed furniture placement with cutouts drawn to scale. This way you won’t have to move your furniture around as much to test out different configurations.

Get creative and arrange furniture at interesting angles, pulling pieces away from the walls to create distinct entertaining and conversation groupings.

Create Inviting Curb Appeal

Creating a welcoming home exterior is tantamount to cleaning and rearranging the inside of your home. The exterior of your house is the first impression your guests and potential buyers have – and remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression!

An inviting exterior is welcoming to guests and potential buyers!
An inviting exterior is welcoming to guests and potential buyers! | Source

Make sure your lawn and landscaping is tidy and attractive. Clean leaves and debris out of planting beds, replace dead plants and fill in with a layer of inexpensive mulch. Get rid of toys and any clutter in the yard, sidewalks and driveway.

If your exterior siding and trim are showing signs of flaking and wear, spring for a new coat of paint. If the surfaces are looking a little drab, rent a power washer to brighten them up.

Try These Quick Staging Tips for Big Impact

Tip
Results
Add potted plants and flowers
Plants and fresh flowers make rooms come alive with color and life – plants are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to liven up a room.
Splurge on home fragrances
Home fragrances can totally change the atmosphere in your newly staged home. Choose from delicately scented candles, sprays, diffusers and plug-ins. It’s amazing what a subtle fragrance can do!
Change light bulbs
Switch out harsh light bulbs with soft light versions. In areas like the dining room and and family room, install inexpensive dimmers to adjust the light dependent the mood you want to convey.

Weigh in!

Which of These Home Staging Tips Will You Try?

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© 2012 lindacee

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Start a Conversation! 8 comments

internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

Great information. It is amazing the difference that cleaning and moving a few things around can make in improving the appearance of a house. When I was much younger and my parents were selling a house, I remember my mother would sometimes make fresh bread while the house was being shown. It sold quickly. Voted up!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thanks for stopping by, internpete! Yes, there's nothing more inviting and homey than the aroma of bread or cookies baking. There's some very strong psychology going on -- it does make you want to buy a house! I appreciate your comment and vote. Cheers


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Great ideas for speedy decorating! I agree sprucing up old couches with cute slipcovers can make a big difference. Plus, it's a lot cheaper than buying a brand new couch.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Om, slipcovers are the best for hiding cosmetic damage. A few years back I purchased ready-made slipcovers for a sofa and loveseat and tailored them to fit like custom. I purchased extra matching fabric and made covers for the seat and back cushions with Velcro closures. It was quite an undertaking, but they looked fantastic -- and saved a lot of $$!


shai77 profile image

shai77 4 years ago

You make it so easy to follow, it's so true-- what decluttering and a fresh coat of paint can do for a place. Not only is this a great article for staging, but for getting a neglected room looking good again until you can figure out what else you want to do with it. Excellent tips.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

shai, these tips do work perfectly for someone on the fence about their decorating plans. It's a great way to spruce up your space in the interim! I am pleased you liked my Hub!


Laila 3 years ago

While these are good basic staging tips they certainly don't cover everything our Stager did for us when we were selling. We were told to think about the buyers wants & the buying demographic. This involved far more than moving our furniture around. We had to think about what was current in the market now & what buyer's want now. Our décor had to change. We had an offer in 2 days! And this was in 2011 when folks weren't selling! I'm a convert now in touting the services of a pro Stager vs DIY.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Laila, I think you misunderstood the gist of this article. I mention these cost-saving tips not necessarily for selling--just to give your home a quick spruce-up. Not everyone has the money to enlist the help of a professional stager. Certainly, if you are in the market to sell and can afford it, you can hire someone to completely update your house. :)

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