Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Adventures in DIY Home Staging

Let me start this post off with my opinion on home staging.

When you stage your home to sell, you'll often get more money and a quicker sale. It "shows your home in its best light." I know this. That being said, staging a vacant house is a complete waste of time and money. You're telling me i have to spend my resources to set up my house/key rooms to show you where you should put your couch? You really can't figure this out with a little creativity and flexibility? "Showing a lived-in house helps buyers picture themselves living there." Well, i guess nothing says "home" like a room crowded with bunch of other people's crap. I'll tell you one thing - when i'm house hunting, get your shit out of the way so that i can see what i'm buying.

But like i said, more money and a quicker sale...so i guess i'm staging my house for you stupid dummies who can't comprehend what your bed will look like in the bedroom. And i'm doing it myself because apparently the professionals around here are charging ~$3k!? In the words of Jacqueline Kennedy, i will let someone take a crap on my chest before i pay them $3k to put a round rug in my kitchen.


The main bullet points i gathered from the Google while researching staging are:
  • Cut the clutter
  • Gender-neutral
  • Depersonalize
  • In a vacant house, only key rooms are necessary
  • Clean
I only staged three rooms, with a "light staging" in the guest bathroom to show people how to use that towel rack. (Can you underestimate people's ability to roll a towel? Not sure.) Anyway. The kitchen was staged to show an eat-in "breakfast area" with a clear-top round table set i requested from my realtor (comes out of her commission):

The living room was staged with a purple loveseat we bought. Maybe not so smart to stage a house with such a bold color on a main piece since our goal is Objective instead of Subjective, but everything else in the house was neutral, so a little color wouldn't hurt, PLUS i wanted a purple loveseat for our own home, dammit. We moved our dining table into the back part of the living room as a separate, "formal" dining area, as so many of our neighbors with our same floorplan have.

As with the picture shelves in the back that we're not going to attempt to remove, i had to stage that area so people knew how to use such thin shelves. Although I'm sure they'll have their own translation for them, and they'll be wrong. So totally wrong. I cut up pictures from a wine-themed calendar and put them over pictures of my kids. I might actually do this for all of my pictures everywhere, anyway.

I did make a quick trip to Ikea to pick up some white sheers (read: borderline mosquito netting) long enough to reach my super-high curtain rods to replace my blue curtains. They were $5 a pair. So that only cost me $10, and i also picked up the duck-down pillows for $7/each, and that rug neutral gray rug for $20. The coffee table (perhaps a little large for staging purposes, but thought it was still a better fit taste-wise than our smaller bright yellow one) was actually yard saled a few weeks ago for $10 and i can't wait to refinish it...so that's a project you can expect to see on here soon-ish.

The TV was left in its original place on the opposite wall, minus the two media towers and plus a floor lamp we're borrowing from my father-in-law. The art above the TV is centered in real life. I promise.

Lastly, i staged the master bedroom. We moved our guest bed and headboard/room divider upstairs and used two glass side tables that were formerly on our deck and utilized only to hold copious amounts of alcohol on firepit nights. Now they hold our own bedside lamps. Downgrade, for sure, but at least they get to come inside. I put down a comforter, then covered it with a white blanket so make it look lighter but still plush. Everything ended up being too white for my taste, not unlike the country music scene. So i added some color on the bed, which is actually my daughter's curtain panel.

Since the opposite wall is a large open space, and sometimes people have trouble figuring out what to do with more space besides invade it and kill its inhabitants, i used our (Chris') Half Dome picture as a centerpiece since it's neutral enough i guess, and kept our shelves there. Unfortunately, none of this conveys so we will eventually return to claim this wonderful picture and i will be forced to look at it for the rest of my life, til death do us part. Clearly, i'm not a fan.

And this. This is the guest bathroom towel rack i was telling you about. Probably not necessary, but i figured that if i had to show you that a bed goes in the bedroom, then i should show you that this odd-looking contraption is indeed a towel holder. Or a wine holder if you like to party.

There you have it. My very own DIY home staging that came in for WAY under $3k, thank you very much. The rest of the rooms were left empty, and i may do a post soon of the sad transition from Life to No Life of all the rooms, because i feel that'll be a great cyber goodbye to our first home. I digress. So, if you're attempting to stage your own home, remember: the bigger and more useful a room looks, the better it is for everyone.

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