Home staging is big business in the U.S. Professional home stagers appear to work miracles. They can enter a space, rearrange a few things, get rid of a few things, maybe add a piece or two and voila, your home looks a thousand times better. You’ll probably ask yourself why you didn’t have it set up that way before.
The good news is that you can take some of the same design tricks to your new home.
Home Staging Tricks for Sellers
- Use matching wood hangers. It probably never occurred to you to buy matching wood hangers for your closet. You probably thought it wouldn’t make that big of a difference. But your agent insisted so you went to Costco and then spent an afternoon rehanging your clothes and you might have even shut off the closet light without stepping back to take a look. But the next time you went to pick out an outfit, we’ll bet your clothes looked better. They probably looked more organized and it was easier to find the sweater, shirt or pair of pants you wanted to wear. If you take these hangers with you, you might not always like your clothes, but you’ll at least like your closet.
- Give every room a purpose. If there’s not a clear purpose for every room of your new house, resist the urge to use one as storage. Instead, give it a purpose that will add value to your life. You could create a game room for the kids or a crafts room for you. What about a bar off the kitchen or a meditation room in a quiet area of the house? If you want to love your new home long after the newness wears off, set up each room in a way that gives you joy.
- Give every room a focal point. Once the room has a purpose, you should arrange the furniture in a way that makes space feel bigger and the traffic flow easier. To do that, you need furniture that fits in the room and you need to arrange that furniture around a focal point. In the family room that’s usually a television or fireplace; in the bedroom, it’s usually the bed. In larger rooms, you should arrange floating furniture in conversation groups. Make sure to center the seating with a coffee table, side tables, and lighting. This gives the room an obvious destination and flow.
Don’t be afraid to move the furniture in your new house around every so often. Stagers will often take a chair from the living room and put it in the bedroom to create a comfortable place to read or move art that isn’t really working on one wall to another. Moving stuff around can help your space feel fresh without buying anything new.
- Keep clutter at bay. You’ve probably decluttered every room in your current house, getting rid of anything you hadn’t used in a year. And then you probably bought a bunch of nifty storage containers like baskets for shelves and trunks at the foot of the bed so the stuff you’re keeping stays out of sight. The trick is to keep that kind of routine going once you move. When you’re putting away your belongings in your new home, make sure everything has a place. Put plastic organizers in your kitchen and bathroom drawers and create storage in plain sight with coffee and side tables and trunks. And then once a year, give away anything you haven’t used since your last decluttering.
- Get the lighting right. Getting light bulbs that are the correct wattage can make the room feel brighter and bigger. Designers recommend 100 watts for every 50 square feet of space.
You should aim for three types of lighting in each room. You want overhead or ambient lighting that’s focus is to provide general light to the room; you want task lighting like pendants or lighting under cabinetry, and you want accent lighting like a table lamp. Varying the type of lighting in a room can help you get multiple different moods in a single space.
- Vary wall hangings. The typical way people hang art is in a high line around the room. But the art tends to disappear this way. If you have interesting art, make it a focal point in the room by grouping pieces together to tell a story.
If you thought your home stager made your space look magazine-ready, take their home staging tips and tricks to your new home. It’ll keep things feeling fresh and help you love your home long after the excitement and newness wears off.