Interior Design Tips for Staging Your Home for Sale

August 14, 2018

If you’ve ever made plans to sell a home, then you’ve probably considered “staging” that home as well. For those that don’t know, home staging is the process of preparing a home or residence for sale on the real estate market by creating an interior design aesthetic that appeals to potential buyers. Staging a home for sale might be a little different than your typical interior design project, but the design principles need to be just as refined and polished. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, home staging increased final property values by anywhere from 1 to 15 percent. That’s more than enough incentive to be as professional and attentive to detail as possible when staging your home.

Design Tips for staging your home for sale

Approaches to Home Staging

When staging a home, the goal is to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. A staged home shouldn’t be alienating, because home buyers are extremely picky with their money. First impressions go a long way, especially in the real estate market. Ideally, you want every potential buyer who sees your home to come away with a great first impression, not just the ones who have the same design preferences as you.

At the same time, it can still be a good idea to add personal touches here or there in your staging design. This can help create the welcoming effect of a “real,” “lived-in” home. As with all design projects, you have to find the right balance. Remember that the house and all its built-in features should be the center of everyone’s attention. Even if you choose to incorporate a little bit of your personality in the staging design, don’t distract from your home’s beauty! And try to stay away from art and other design pieces that elicit sharp or polarizing reactions. You don’t want everyone to come away from the open house tour thinking about how much they loved or hated the artwork on the wall. Keep it soft, neutral and simple, and complement your home’s awesome features wherever you can.

Home Staging Strategies

Remember that this process is about first impressions, so pay special attention to the entry points of your home. Placing some potted plants or flowers in pretty vases around your foyer or entry hall is a great idea for home stagers. This will give those potential buyers a warm welcome by creating a beautiful impression right when they come in the door. Also make sure to keep the flow traffic freed up between your entry points and the other rooms and spaces. You don’t want your home shoppers stumbling around various accessories and furniture while they try to make their way around the home.

Lighting is another area of focus. Replace the hallway light sconces if they look dated, and consider getting a new chandelier too. Attractive new light fixtures will impress your potential buyers. If the lighting looks a little too dim in some of your rooms, bring in some decorative lamps. And finally, open up those windows! Natural lighting is a designer’s best friend. Bringing in more natural light is the easiest (and cheapest) way to enhance the look and tone of your home.

Choose the right color palette for your accessories and design pieces. We always recommend using art pieces to spruce up a room’s design, but try to stay as neutral as possible. Go with abstract pieces over something impressionistic and statement-making, and try to keep a more neutral color profile. Strong, vivid colors will draw the eyes in, of course, but they also tend to keep all the attention to themselves. Remember that your whole house should be the star of your home staging design, not any specific color or design piece.

Case Study

Let’s take a quick look at some of Mathison’s work in helping stage a home for sale. These are from a beautiful lakefront home, before the staging took place.

Living room before home staging in lakefront home with black furniture and dark accents on accessories

The home’s rustic features and open concept floor plan immediately stand out. They’re beautiful enough on their own, but the interior design pieces aren’t doing enough to help highlight the home’s built-in beauty. In the foreground of the picture, the living area appears darkened in comparison to the kitchen behind it, due in part to the stark black color of the furniture and lamps.

Living room after staging design in a lakefront home

Here’s that same open kitchen and living area, after the staging. The lighter chalk color of the replacement furniture dramatically improves the tone of the room and creates an attractive contrast with the stained wood flooring and walls. That gentle color profile carries over into the accessories, including the new lamps and wall art behind the dining area.

Notice the large area rugs we brought in. Open concept spaces are all the rage in real estate these days, but they need to be presented right so they’re not so overwhelming at first glance. This is where the area rug can help tremendously, by creating a comfortable boundary between the separate spaces within that large area, in this case the living area and kitchen.

Mathison Interiors is Always Here to Help You

Mathison Interiors is not specifically a home staging firm, but our expertise is in meeting our client’s needs, whatever they might be. Over the years we have assisted clients in preparing their homes to sell. We explain the benefits of investing in quality furniture and accessories, as these items add value and highlight the beauty of their home. We even received a local media shout-out about our installation work on the lakefront property we described above. The team at Mathison Interiors is here to bring out the best in any residence, whether you want to redesign your forever-home or give your property listing one last touch-up before you part ways with it.