A-Room-by-Room-Guide-to-Staging-Your-Entire-HomeSo, you’ve heard that staging your home will make it sell quicker, but you’re not sure where to begin? Welcome! You’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll break down exactly what you should do in each room to create the perfect vibe for your home. By following this tested and proven staging advice, you’ll make potential buyers fall in love at first sight.

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But I’m not just going to list the things you should do in each room. I’m also going to share an overview of what to do in your home as a whole.

It’s time to put on your cupid’s bow and make some love connections. Let’s get started!

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Living Room

living-room

Declutter

Rid your living room of all the clutter. This includes the random magazines you never read, the overflow of books taking up residence in the corner, and the growing collection of knick-knacks that you’ve collected over time.

Remove extra furniture

This is a no judgement zone, but I’m going to be straightforward with you: You probably have way too much furniture in your living room. Along with decluttering, get rid of all the extra furniture that crowds the space.

Highlight best features

What’s the most beautiful part of your living room? Is it a fireplace, the gorgeous view, the inlaid tile floor? Position the furniture to highlight the room’s focal point.

Remove photos or other personal touches

Buyers do not want to see you in what may be their new home. They want to create their own memories, and seeing images of you may haunt their dreams (no offense). Clear out the space and make it as memory-neutral as possible.

Add a mirror opposite the window

A light-filled living room is one of the best selling features you can offer in a home. Buyers love light-filled spaces. Adding a mirror that reflects the light can brighten your living room and visually enlarge the space.

Style bookshelves and built-ins

Do you have built-ins? Play them up. Decorate bookshelves and built-ins to show what’s possible, but don’t get carried away. Always leave space on the shelves to create openness.

Create vignettes

Create zones in your living room– one for entertaining guests, another for reading by the fireplace, and another for watching television.

Dining Room

dining-room

Use a tablecloth to hide imperfections

Do you have scratches or other imperfections on your dining table? Instead of buying a new one, buy a tablecloth. Tablecloths hide a multitude of sins and can also enhance the elegance of your space.

Set your dining table

Speaking of elegance, don’t overlook setting the table. By setting the table, you’ll help the buyer imagine what’s possible in this space.

Replace outdated lighting fixtures

Even though light fixtures are easy to replace, buyers still complain about them—and because it’s so easy to replace them, why not do it yourself? Find something modern and neutral that won’t stick out and cause your buyers to roll their eyes.

Add a mirror to increase visual space

Just like in the living room, bring a mirror into the dining room, too. It makes the room feel larger, which is especially needed if your dining room is on the smaller side.

Place a simple floral arrangement at center of table

The simpler = the better. It should be low, not high, and preferably one color.

Add a rug for warmth

Whether you have carpet or hardwood, a rug can introduce an elevated look to your formal dining room. It’s also another spot to add color to an otherwise neutral space.

Kitchen

kitchen

Paint the cabinets

Not everyone should paint their cabinets, but some of you should (you know who you are). It can brighten up an otherwise dim and closed in space, not to mention modernize it as well.

Paint grout between tiles/backsplash

Don’t have time to regrout, but your once-white grout is now black? Paint is the answer to your prayers. It can be done in one afternoon and dramatically change the space.

Add a bowl of fresh fruit and a vase of fresh flowers

Fruits and real flowers create a “fresh” vibe to your kitchen. It’s the same trick that grocery stores use, and it works.

Remove extra appliances from countertops

A coffee maker is okay, but just about everything else needs to find a home inside the cabinets or inside your off-property storage unit.

Install strip lighting under cabinets

Lighting is everything in the kitchen. If you find the area underneath your cabinets is dark, you may choose to install strip lighting. It’s an affordable and easy-to-do solution that can make a dramatic difference in your kitchen.

Stow away cleaning supplies

This list includes towels, sponges, and drying racks. No one wants to be reminded of dirty dishes when touring their dream home. Don’t burst the bubble of their fantasy.

Remove garbage can from room

Speaking of eww, the garbage can needs to go elsewhere. Move it to the garage (or a cabinet) during showing to continue the illusion.

Test all lights

If you don’t, buyers will. Make sure you test tasks lights in and above the oven, also.

Master Bedroom

master-bedroom

Image Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Make your bed

But make it look like a picture from a magazine shoot. If you’re not familiar, check out Pottery Barn’s Guide to Making a Bed.

Replace old linen

You should definitely replace your old linen with new, crisp white linen. It sets the right tone and you’ll be able to take it with you to your new home.

Create symmetry

Use matching night stands to bring symmetry and balance to your bedroom. It can help the buyer feel calm and at ease in the master suite which is key to them falling in love with your home.

Create a sitting space

If at all possible, add a sitting space to your bedroom to emphasize space.

Hang mirrors strategically

Not on the ceiling, but opposite a window to increase light in the room.

Remove photos

This bares repeating. Please do not include pictures of your wedding or your children. Everyone’s awesome, but the buyers aren’t purchasing your family. They’re purchasing a home—an empty home.

Secondary Bedroom

secondary-bedroom

Add a bed

You may not be using a secondary bedroom as a bedroom, but stage it to be one by adding a bed. You can purchase an air mattress and dress it up nicely to look like a real bed, if you don’t have one.

Bathroom

bathroom

Remove and replace shower curtains

Nothing can get grimy and moldy quite like a shower curtain. Chuck the old one and replace with a fresh, neutrally colored shower curtain.

Remove personal care products

This include toothpaste, toothbrushes, and towels. Neatly store in a cabinet.

Add a new toilet roll

Little things like this can enhance the whole look and feel of your space. Plus, it makes the room feel “unused”, which is especially nice in a bathroom.

Place a flower on the vanity area

Orchids are timeless. Adding a flower brings a spa-like quality to your bathroom.

Install bright light bulbs to illuminate the area

No one wants to come into a dark bathroom, especially potential buyers. Use the highest wattage.

Get rid of “maintenance” items

This includes the toilet brush, trash bin, and cleaning supplies.

Home Office

home-offcie

Remove extra furniture and equipment

Emphasize space by removing all unnecessary equipment.

Organize desk

Stuff your paperwork in the drawers and keep the surface of the desk neat and orderly. Most buyers won’t open the cabinets.

Basement

basement

Image Courtesy of Chris and Karen Highland, Flickr

Add a purpose to the space

Is it a game room, or a man cave? Maybe it’s a yoga studio? Choose a focus and implement it into this extra space to give your buyers ideas.

Finish any unfinished spaces

It may require a financial investment, but it may be worth it, especially if you add more living space and bathrooms in the unfinished basement.

Laundry Room

laundry

Clean surfaces

Wipe down all surfaces, including your washer and dryer appliances.

Dust

There are tons of cobwebs and massive amounts of dust in your laundry room. Get into the nooks and crannies and deep clean this space, too.

Garage

garage

Declutter

Your garage is not your dumping ground. Buyers will come in your garage, too. So, make sure they can actually see it.

Power wash floors

Do you have oil spills and other unsightly stains on your garage floor? Get your power washer out and hose it down.

Don’t park in the garage

After you’ve done all that power washing and cleaning, don’t mess it up by parking your car inside. Plus, don’t leave a car in the garage when you show your home because it’ll be hard for the buyer to see the space.

Curb Appeal

curb-appeal

Plant flowers

Plant flowers around your front door, especially if you’re showing in the spring or summer.

Paint the door

If your door is old and peeling, paint it a bright and welcoming hue (like red).

Trim bushes

Manage overgrown bushes around your home.

Back Patio

back-patio

Create zones

Your back patio is an outdoor room and should also be staged to help buyers imagine the space. Use patio furniture to create a living space, a dining space, and an outdoor kitchen.

Overall Tips

Paint your entire home in neutral colors. But “neutral” doesn’t have to mean boring:

paint1Sherwin Williams Silver Strand

pant2Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

paint3Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

paint4Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray

Keep a consistent color scheme on the first floor. It’s not color but contrast that makes a room look smaller. Having one unbroken color creates cohesion.

Have a purpose for each room.

Repair your home. Here are 10 home improvements you can make starting this weekend.

Create a focal point in each room.

Add neutral art to every room. Use command strips to avoid making holes in your walls.

Power wash the exterior of your home. Include the walkway leading up to your home.

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