Staged for success
Home stagers have moved front and center in the home selling business. They provide a valuable service: They bring key knowledge of what today’s home buyers are looking for, what’s on trend and how to present your home in a way that will appeal to the majority of perspective buyers. Here’s how stager and design consultant Michele Dotey thinks, how she plans and the lessons we can learn that will carry us forward into new homes.
The plan is always the same — to transform the home to be sold into a five-star hotel suite. Accentuate the positive, allow each room to shine and create an easy flow throughout the home. Keep in mind that the buyers are imagining how they will live in this space ... they want to see themselves there, not you. Provide the space necessary to set up a different lifestyle by clearing surfaces and tidying shelves. Remove furniture that gets in the way. People will remember that they had to turn sideways to get down the hall or twist and turn en route to the kitchen from the living room. A purge is a necessary first step, but we all need to do this with some frequency whether we are moving or not. “We have too many things,” says Dotey. “Clothing, sports equip- ment, books, CDs, kitchenware and memorabilia get easily out of control. The result is overloaded bins tucked under the bed or in the closet, never to serve any useful purpose.” With less to deal with, your necessary possessions have room to breathe, and so do you.
Entertaining at home may be a priority, so show how this can be accomplished with ease, even in the smallest space. Create a social arrangement that allows six people to sit comfortably together. Set the dining table with elegant linen and china. A white lace table- cloth sets a luxurious tone anywhere.
While it is not necessary to bring in new furniture, switching up a lamp or lighting fixture can quickly update your room. A few accessories and cushions in the latest colors and patterns are also an easy fix.
Do a room check. The kitchen must be clean with clear counters. Dotey sets up an inviting coffee station on a tray, with cups, coffee or tea pot and a small dish of biscotti — a welcome sight for homeowner and guests. The bathroom should look and feel like a spa, clean and spacious (clear away any personal hygiene products). You should feel spoiled here. Build the mood with fluffy white towels and a simple white weave shower curtain. Place a single white orchid on the counter. Bedrooms can be a disaster; rushed lives often mean we leave this personal room messy. Dotey follows her game plan shown here. Clear paths, storage behind the mirrored doors, a soothing neutral palette of white and wood, and a white fur seat on the chair have turned this unused space into an appealing getaway.
What about that wall color? Paint is the most affordable renovation tool there is. The universal go-to color for builders and buyers is a warm white. A neutral setting makes personal options easy to consider for the perspective buyer.
House to Home