Staging Tips for Beginners

Sutton Quantum

Staging Tips for Beginners

You thought you a good sense of style and that your home was tastefully and elegantly furnished… and then you started looking at open houses. Preparing to put your home on the market is challenging enough, making it look like a model home may be the last thing on your mind. Here are some tips to make your home appear as beautiful to everyone else as it is to you.


Less is More

You know how they say to remove at least one accessory before leaving the house? The same idea applies to staging. You want to provide enough “negative” space to allow viewers to picture and imagine their own furniture and lives within the space. This doesn’t have to amount to scrubbing your home of any traces of your style or personality - rather, aim to create a look that is at once timeless and sophisticated while remaining warm and inviting.

To accomplish this, make sure that closets and cabinets aren’t jam-packed and that there is empty space available in each. Remove any personal photos, schedules, artwork - and make sure to check bathrooms for toothpaste, hairbrushes, and old towels.

Consider renting a storage space to keep seasonal clothes from closets and unnecessary or dated furniture, or hold a yard sale to get rid of belongings you won’t be bringing with you anyway. Display only new-looking items, and keep in mind that one standout item does more for a room than a hodge-podge of items.

Remove some furniture to open up the rooms - some realtors advise taking out up to half of the furniture in any given room when staging to maximize space. A great tip for making a room appear larger is to use mirros generously as they create the illusion of more space.

The Devil is in the Details

Before anything else, take a walk through your home and look at it the way a potential buyer would. Make note of anything that needs to be repaired, replaced or deep-cleaned. A fresh coat of paint does wonders for a home, inside and out, and power-washing concrete and other hardscapes will make the surface appear bigger.

Make sure windows and mirrors are spotless, and replace worn or stained carpeting and cracked floor tiles. Make sure that the carpet and upholstery is not only stain-free, but odourless as well. Install higher wattage light bulbs to brighten rooms. Look at the caulking in bathrooms, and arrange fresh towels and soap.


Breathe New Life

After you’ve removed any trace of yourself and your family, you’ll want to make sure that your home is seen as conducive for sustaining life, especially after the winter we’ve had. Plant life and landscaping is an often overlooked but crucial aspect to staging - fresh plants liven up a room instantly. Make sure the interior is decorated with fresh flowers in vases - tulips are perfect for spring and don’t give off a strong scent that may overwhelm viewers. Use hanging planters and potted plants to give the exterior a boost.

When landscaping, make sure that your lawn is manicured and your garden tidy, and keep in mind the perspective of plants and vertical elements. If they diminish in size as they retreat from the house, this elongates the sightline and visually moves property boundaries to make the yard appear larger. Make use of yard furniture in a similar manner as interior furniture - outdoor tables and chairs turn the yard into an apparent and useful living space.