Staging Secrets: Improve Your Home’s Layout with Advice from a Home Stager
04/26/2017 Kristin Demshki
Home stagers are typically hired when a house is prepared for sale, to create a warm, attractive house that buyers yearn to call home. However, stagers are also excellent at providing advice on “staging to dwell,” or everyday living in our homes.
Orlando Reyes is a certified professional stager in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area, and Florida state president for the national Real Estate Staging Association. We spoke with him to discover quick tips (most take under 10 minutes or less) to create a more beautiful home.
- Declutter, declutter, declutter. Most homes on the market won't have piles of papers or clutter on countertops. "Take a moment to reassess what is out, and ask 'do I need this?'" Reyes says. Target books, papers and magazines for storing elsewhere, and create a more spacious look.
- Home stagers look to neutral palettes to make a room look big, balanced and timeless. Colors such as cream, white or light grey is a solid bet, he says. Then add vibrant accessories, such as a black or green pillow for the couch. "You want it to be fun, not matchy-matchy," Reyes says.
- In the bathroom, find a long-term storage solution for Q-tips and hair brushes so they're not littering countertops. To increase light to a small or dark bathroom, add mirrors to walls. A nice new set of towels in white, solid brown or light grey crisps up the bathroom, Reyes says.
- An extremely tidy closet may be one of the more unbelievable features of a house for sale. But you can achieve the same well-organized look by editing your clothing twice a year, Reyes says. His approach: hang everything with the hook facing out, toward the closet center or exterior door. After using the item, rehang with the metal facing in toward the closet's wall. Unused items will be apparent after six months, due to hanger direction; toss those that just aren't being worn.
- Stick with one neutral color in the bedroom, perhaps all white, grey or cream, for example. To make your room hotel-like, tuck your comforter into the end of your mattress. Add pillows to the bed – starting with two – but another 3-5 on top, for a luxurious feel. Artwork is an attractive touch above the headboard, either as one large picture, or a set of three.
- Look to odd numbers. "It's a trick that makes a room look more luxurious, versus symmetrical. Odd numbers attract the eyes and mind," he says. On the dresser, or bedside table, arrange a small vase of flowers with two books.
- Make a tiny dining room's layout look larger with a glass-topped table. "The more solid the furniture, the smaller a place looks," Reyes says. A rug can "anchor" the room, even in open-plan houses. However, choose one according to the room's scale – in grander rooms, go big, and in smaller rooms, use a more petite rug that fits under the table. A generously-sized centerpiece draws the eye upwards toward the room's ceiling light.
- To create height (even in small rooms), take window treatments as high to the ceiling as possible. "Window treatments make the room look taller," Reyes says. No need to splurge on fancy panels, drapes are one way to use fun patterns in an otherwise-neutral room.
- At the entryway, set up a sofa table or console with a lamp and accessories in sets of three. Above the console, hang a mirror or a larger piece of artwork. "It creates a welcoming feel," he says, whether you're coming or going.
With this advice, enjoy your home's spacious, balanced and livable look – almost as if new-to-you.