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.
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.
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!
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 This also applies if your wall and ceiling paint is outdated or dingy.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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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© 2012 lindacee
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