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Home Staging, is it worth it?

Proper staging makes a home feel spacious, tasteful, and inviting to the broadest range of buyers. Magic happens behind the scenes when a home is well styled!

Before & After: 

Simplify and brighten the living room with lighter paint and furniture, expose the handsome windows, and remove more personal items for a fresh contemporary look.

How does staging work?
A major goal of staging is to enhance the appeal of a home while maintaining its design integrity; that is, by editing & styling each room and dressing it up so that it appeals to the broadest market audience.

Before and After: Replacing the dining set, credenza, and oriental rug with simpler furniture and sisal rug freshens and brightens the space without personalizing it.

While some homes are staged when they’re vacant, others are partially staged, incorporating the seller’s furnishings with the stager’s in a coordinated way to create a look that best represents the property.
Stagers make each room feel less personal by editing out older furniture and minimizing clutter.

Before & After: Strongly personal objects and idiosyncratic furniture — like the grand pianos in two of the before photos above — make it harder for others to see how to make a room their own.

Before & After: Removing curtains and shades and simplifying the paint scheme makes the space feel more open and contemporary.

We add sophisticated bedding and accessories such as fresh towels, accent pillows and flowers to enliven rooms like this master suite with color and excitement. We style shelves with books and interesting objects; and we provide and hang artwork throughout the house.

Before and After: Pale gray paint with complementary hues in fabric and accent pillows, along with new furniture placement give this former dark living room a crisper, brighter look and better functionality.

Many homes need a few quick upgrades before staging. These upgrades may entail painting walls — frequently in lighter colors — installing new neutral carpeting, as well as improved lighting, which may simply mean adding uniform-colored bulbs. We often suggest that the seller resurface kitchen counters and replace their old appliances with new stainless ones.

Thoughtful furniture installation and placement give a buyer an understanding of how to use a space or how to best arrange their own furnishings.

Before and After: Removing wallpaper and the window shade, and painting the ceiling in a light hue made the bedroom seem taller and lighter.

Why stage your home?
Staging a home is an investment. A thorough and professional staging effort can be the leading reason a property sells quickly, and in many case for over the asking price. If a property is styled and furnished in good taste, with flair, it translates into competitive offers, increased demand and a higher sale price. A staged home will show better than its competitive properties; more often than not, the cost of staging comes back to a seller many times over in the final sale price. The benefits of marketing a home that has been thoroughly styled and prepared for the broader buying audience outweighs the initial expenses and yields a far greater return.

Staging should help potential buyers see how a property will fit their lifestyle. A staged home will show better than empty properties. It’s important to trust your real estate agent, who knows the value of not being penny wise and pound foolish, but to see beyond the cash outlay to the final sale.

A stylish interior is inviting and because everyone’s aesthetic is not the same, we use a neutral palette while adding highlights of color. Our job is to add the pizzazz!

Before & After: Removing the rug; replacing chairs and chandelier; and repainting to emphasize daylight gave this dining room a fresher style that also adds a sense of spaciousness.

Most importantly, staging and styling “animate” a home by adding a fresh, light feeling. Not all staging is created equal: while some prefer to show an interior as if in a magazine, my take is more basic: to suggest a simple, relaxed lifestyle that might make a prospective buyer feel “at home” in this property. Contrary to what one might assume, staging goes beyond furniture placement and filling a house with inventory. Basic furniture installation and placement give a buyer an understanding of how to use a space or how to best place their own furnishings.

Before & After: A bedroom that was just a place to sleep is now a place to dream!

For me, staging is about creating style that inspires a buyer’s excitement as they visualize themselves emotionally and physically “at home” in the house.

SOURCE: Article by Cary Nowell

Cary Nowell is a designer and home stager who works in a wide range of styles and house types — from small cottages and urban condos to large single-family properties — in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her esthetic is warmly contemporary and draws inspiration from time spent living in Paris. To see more of her interior design work, visit Cary All photos are courtesy Cary Nowell.