Friday Fundamentals – How to Stage for Life

Staging for life is really all about honestly evaluating the things you already own and a space as it is and rearranging for better results.  There should be very little need to purchase much if anything to re-stage your space.

Sometimes, however, a small investment can make a huge impact.  Schneiderman’s can help with this process.  Our designers are happy to work with you even if your initial purchase is modest.   There are some ‘little’ pieces that can make a huge difference.

1. A high-impact accessory.  Most people leave accessories to the last and some never get around to thinking about a room’s accessories at all.  While you are evaluating your space, pay special attention to the accessories.  Perhaps your pictures are not scaled properly for your wall.  Or maybe family pictures would have more impact hung in a group than crowded onto the mantle.  Have you neglected the floor as a decorative space?  A modest investment in an area rug (yes, even on carpet!) or a large piece of wall art will make a gigantic difference in your space.

2. Occasional pieces.  The last time you got new seating, did you also think to update end tables?  Coffee table?  Must you have an entire set or are some extraneous?  If the coffee table is simply a place to gather ‘stuff’, perhaps the space would be better off with something smaller.  Or a large ottoman.  Or trunk to keep the ‘stuff’ in.  Or maybe nothing at all.  Even if you do not want to replace these, they are perfect candidates for simple upgrades.  A coat of paint in a great color or new hardware can work wonders.

3. Accent chairs.  Did you get a tan sofa, loveseat, and chair for your seating, thinking you would add color accessories and then never get around to injecting enough color to make them interesting?  An accent chair in a fun fabric is a low cost way of adding color and pattern to many different rooms.  Consider it for a lonely corner in a bedroom or office in addition to living rooms and family rooms.

4. Lighting.  Most of us do not have enough light sources in our homes.  Fight off that gloomy dark corner with an interesting floor lamp or torchiere (lamp that points up) for ambient light.  Consider not only overall light and ambient light, but task lighting as well.  Bonus:  extra lamps mean more opportunity for an interesting space.

Staging for life is about realizing how special your space and your things truly are.  It is not about removing personality for a home to be sold, but about allowing a space to reflect not only the best of itself but the best of its owner as well.

What’s New – Staging for Life

In a tough real estate market, home staging has become an expectation among buyers.  More and more buyers are looking for a “turn-key” home.  But what happens when you stage your home and actually like the end result?

By now, most of us understand that we need to clear out the clutter, personal effects, edit the furniture to the aesthetic best the room can be and highlight the focal points and selling features of the home.  Those are the staging rules.  But what happens if you decide to “stage” your home for yourself?  This is a fantastic way to fall back in love with your house and re-acquaint yourself with your home’s features.

For example, try to edit the family photos and knick-knacks in your space.  Think about dividing the decorative “stuff” in a space in 3.  Put 1/3 in one box, 1/3 in another, and keep 1/3 on display.  Then, during your spring cleaning or when you decorate for a holiday, switch everything.  You will appreciate each item more for having fewer to look at everyday and you will loosen up the look of your space.  And remember, just because your Great-Aunt Gladys thought you would love that angel statue she found at a yard sale doesn’t mean you have to display it.  If you do love it, great.  If not, don’t display it in your home.

Another great opportunity is to examine the everyday clutter we all keep around us.  Get a decorative basket for the magazines and newspapers and recycle them often.  Put all 7 remote controls in a drawer.  More and more our living spaces are being taken over by chargers and cords.  Find a cord controller (all kinds of different ones for different types of electronics) or a charging station to keep those cords from stretching all over the floor.

Find and highlight your space’s natural positives.  Maybe you’ve got a fantastic fireplace that just needs a coat of black  (firesafe) spray paint to cover the brass grill.  Maybe you’ve got coved ceilings or a great light fixture.  A simple coat of paint on or around the ceiling can highlight this.  Or maybe you’re hiding a drawback. Uninteresting moldings?  Paint them the same color as the walls and they will disappear.  Uninspiring doors? Great hardward will dress them up for very little money.  Dated kitchen cabinets?  New pulls will give them new life.

Edit the furniture.  Think about how the room is really used every day.  It’s awful nice to have a place for Great Aunt Gladys at Thanksgiving and Easter, but does that mean she needs to be considered every day of the year?  Nothing makes a room feel small and cramped like too much furniture.

Staging for Life is about making your home just as much a priority when you live in it as you do when you are trying to leave it.  It’s usually more about getting rid of than adding, which makes it a very inexpensive way to approach a space.  And instead of making your space devoid of your personality (like staging for selling), you will highlight the things you loved about your home from day one.

Home Staging How To

If you’re currently selling your home, you know how much competition there is right now.  Buyers are happily snapping up gorgeous homes and demanding more and more the home be “turn-key.”  That is, perfect for move-in right away.  You would not believe how often I have heard friends say, “Well, the house is great and I really like the school district.  Too bad the kitchen is that weird dark red and the bathroom has that horrid wallpaper.”  Buyers are no longer required to have a ‘vision’ for making the home theirs.  They can just shop until they find the one that already looks like a model home.

This is the best and most succinct home staging video I have seen.  If you’re selling your home, watch this piece and check out the YouTube channel for more tips and tricks.


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