DIY Staging

May 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

DIY has become a part of our common vernacular over the last decade or so. Do I even need to define it? On some level we all do it but we do it better with tips and ideas from someone who has done it before. I am all for doing it yourself. As a stager, I often advise people on how they can make their home more appealing to buyers by staging with their own stuff (or lack of stuff). So here are the top five things you can do to present your home in the best possible light.

One– Clean up. Of course this one is obvious but I mean really clean up. Clear all surfaces and use my 3-4 Rule. Keep 3 or 4 things on any surface. That’s 3-4 items on kitchen counters; 3-4 items on bathroom counters;3-4 items on each shelf, etc. Make sure you have deep cleaned your kitchen, bathroom, carpets, and everything else down to the baseboards.

Two– Stay straight. This means make your beds neat and tidy, fold your towels in thirds on the racks,  no dishes in the sink or on the counter,  keep shower toiletries in removable caddy. You should be as “show ready” as possible at all times.

Three– Lighten Up. Go back to the 3 to 4 Rule for furnishings too. Three or four pieces of furniture in most rooms are plenty. A bed, two night stands and a dresser or seating are usually plenty for the bedroom. A sectional, coffee table, and media center are often enough for a living room. This is also where the less is more philosophy comes in. (This can also be where staging and interior design depart. With staging you want to give the impression of the purpose of the rooms and make them inviting but not personalized.)

Four– Modernize. Using contemporary colors and style appeal to more buyers these days. That means more solid colors and less floral prints. More bronze, less brass. So take a look around, any thing over 10 years old should be scrutinized for it’s appeal. Well really everything should be scrutinized for it’s appeal. You can use couch covers, pillows, and rich throws to inexpensively bring in a modern touch. Spray paint brass fixtures, lamps, fireplace accents (be sure to use High Heat paint). You can get some great ideas from design shows on TV. DIYer’s love this step.

Five– Accessorize. For your art and decor, use the biggest, bold-yet simple, pieces you can get your hands on (and stick to the 3 or 4 Rule). Try three candles of different heights. I love Apothecary Jars in the kitchen filled with pasta, in the bath with soaps, or in the entry with chunky potpourri. With your soft accessories (pillows, curtains) choose something that contrasts with your walls or furniture. If walls are light go dark with the drapery shade and pillows or visa versa. And the same is true for towels or a shower curtain. Again, some of the HGTV shows may give you some ideas.

For more resources , talk with your Realtor. Realtors are a great resources for what buyers like and what specifically you may need to do to appeal the buyers. I also came across this blog site which has many more specific ideas and tips on staging. It is worth checking out.

So to you DIY stagers, good luck. Statistics show your hard work will pay off.  Staged homes typically sell more quickly for more money.


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