Interior design and home buying tend to go hand in hand. That’s no surprise since everyone wants their home to look and feel beautiful and functional. But, what about when you want to sell your home? Have you ever wondered about the role interior design plays in that process? Often, the success in selling a home relies much upon the look of it. This is where staging a home comes into play. Unfamiliar? Don’t worry. I’ll tell you all about what it is and how you can use it to your advantage when selling your home in today’s blog.

Staging a Home

So, what exactly is staging anyway? defines staging as, “the professional service of preparing homes for sale in such a way as to appeal to potential buyers and generate higher selling prices.” In layman’s terms, staging means beautifying a home in a way that will attract a wide audience. It’s using interior design in a thoughtful manner that goes beyond what you, the homeowner, want. The focus instead shifts to a broader perspective, thereby (hopefully) resulting in home-selling success.

The Role of Color

One of the first things to consider when you are staging is use of color. As an interior designer, I love looking at current and future design trends, and that includes color. However, when you’re attempting to sell your home, the trendiest color could potentially work against you if you aren’t careful. You might be wondering if there are specific colors you should avoid when you’re staging your home.The answer is yes!. Avoid anything that is too bold or could be considered polarizing. Maybe you love polkadots and found a super artistic way to incorporate them into the design on your walls while you were living there. Or, maybe your daughter’s favorite color is neon pink, and you decorated her room with the bright hue everywhere. Even if the motifs were done well and in a sophisticated way, they could still be distracting to buyers visiting your home.

The Case For Neutrals

On most days if you ask Breegan Jane about favorite wall colors you will likely hear some form of neutral as my answer. By now it’s no secret, I love whites, grays, blacks and the like for most large surfaces in a home. But neutrals are particularly useful when you are staging a home. This is because they go with everything and anything. If you choose white, you get the added benefit of a color that reflects light and can make a space look larger. Neutrals aren’t distracting. When you use them on your walls, prospective buyers are more easily able to envision what they would do with the space as opposed to focusing on what your choices have been prior. Ultimately, you present a blank canvas to those looking to purchase the home. That’s precisely the goal!

Furniture and Decor

Most of us spent a good deal of time decorating and designing our spaces, carefully selecting the perfect chairs, artwork, sofas and more. And while your living room might be meticulously decorated, there are a few things to keep in mind. Set your aim on a stylish and well-designed space that doesn’t take away from the wonderful features people may see when they enter. I swapped my purple sectional for a white streamlined couch. But perhaps you are unable to secure a new couch in time for showings. Or maybe you spent a lot of money on a gorgeous royal blue velvet sofa that works well in your space. There’s nothing wrong with pops of color. Just be sure you don’t overwhelm your space with bold hues everywhere.

The same advice goes for patterns or colors on pieces like rugs, art or other decor. The safest bet is to keep it simple. Incorporate art that matches the style of your home (modern, farmhouse, mid-century modern, etc). Rugs with simple patterns or bold pops of color work well against an otherwise neutral color palette in the home. All furniture should be in great condition, but this is especially important if the furniture features a vibrant color. Bold colors will inevitably draw the eye, so if you choose to keep your brightly-colored chair or funky-patterned rug, ensure these items are in good condition with no sagging cushions, rips or stains. 

Casting a Wide Net With Interior Design

While it would be wonderfully convenient to hire a staging team to come prepare your home for sale, that’s not something that’s realistic for most people. It’s also not the most realistic to tell people they need to swap everything in their homes for rented, barely used items that work together perfectly. So if you’re wondering where to begin, start by imagining frequently, highly-trafficked spaces like a hotel. Aside from the themed, boutique hotels, most of them stick to basic interior design. Neutral carpet or flooring, white bed linen and standard furniture are all characteristics we find in those spaces. Even if the furniture is in their signature branded colors, or if they incorporate patterns, there’s not a lot of clashing patterns and nothing is offensive.

It’s all designed in a way that considers the needs and tastes of a wide array of people. Commercial design excels at this, whether it’s a doctor’s waiting room or restaurant. It masters the art of designing a space that is perceived as pleasant by most. The same idea works in staging a home.

What Goes and What Stays?

So how do you know what to keep and what to toss when you’re ready to sell? A good rule of thumb is, if it is an item that is personal to you such as a photo or artwork you designed, it should go. Things with sentimental meaning are special while you live in the space, but these items should be removed when you’re doing open houses. 

This is also a great time to remove that junk we all have lying around the house. Exercise equipment, yoga mats, tools, board games and other items that obstruct the view of the space? Toss. We want buyers to see the space and dream about all the possibilities of what life could be like if they purchase the home. That’s much easier when the space is free of visual obstacles.

Have you seen my moving reels on Instagram? I’m currently in the middle of the staging and selling process now. It’s hard to let go of a space I poured my heart into. But it’s also an awesome reminder of the power of interior design. If you are getting ready to sell your house, reference these tips to impress buyers and move into the next phase of your beautiful life!

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