Hi guys, Naomi Findlay here!
Have you looked at the design principles and applied them to your renovation? Are you now stuck on how best to use them at the selling stage? Do you want to find out more on what it takes to style your property for success?
In my last post I talked about the importance of using design principles when renovating and styling your property. How to use things like balance, size, proportion and lighting to make your property really stand out. After all, these are the things that will help you create that emotional connection with your buyers. And emotionally invested buyers are the ones who will give you your target profits at the end of the day.
Today I wanted to take it a step further and look at how you can use these very principles to style your home when it’s on the market.
One of the key elements of the home staging process is styling the property for sale. Now, I spoke about the importance of home staging – if you wanted a recap take a look at my earlier home staging post.
Home staging is your opportunity to showcase your property and show your buyers it’s potential.
This stage can get tricky because there is so much that can go into it; from lamps, carpets and cushions, to fresh flowers and even scented candles, there are so many options out there for styling your home. With so much choice, its no wonder it can all get overwhelming.
But before you throw in the towel, you need to remember: it’s not so overwhelming if you just break it down into workable steps.
Should you go pro?
If you choose to use a professional home stager, then a lot of the hard work will be done for you. It is still a good idea to have an idea of the general feel and look that you want the property to sport – after all, it IS your renovation and the styling should suit those renovations.
If you decide you are going to tackle the task solo, then it is even more important to make sure that you know how the design principles will work for your property. You want to have a very clear picture of the style, look and feel that you are trying to create. Why? Because it will mean the difference between potential buyers walking through and being interested, and them walking through and thinking “wow, I want this place and I want it NOW”.
If it IS your first time flipping a property, I would suggest that you think about using a professional home stager – not only will it be the whole selling process be a lot less stressful, you can also learn a lot of good things from their expertise that you can then potentially use for your next renovation project.
At the end of the day, you have to balance how much you already have on your plate and how much more you can manage effectively. The key word is effectively here. There’s no point self-staging if it means you won’t give it the proper time and effort that it needs. And if you end up getting it wrong, it can hurt your end profits.
So, regardless of which option you choose to take, how do you use those design principles I have talked about to create a killer first impression?
KIS (Keep It Simple)
Note this one down – it’s the best way to make sure you aren’t going overboard in your style.
Over-the-top chandeliers and gold-trimmed everything belong in a Venice. So, unless you are specifically going for that eccentric, Venetian look and feel, there is no reason to go all out. Plus, remember that although you want to create that WOW factor, you don’t want the furniture and décor to outshine your actual house and renovations. You want buyers walking away thinking “I can’t wait to cook in THAT kitchen, and the kids are totally going to love their new rooms”, not “now THAT was an amazing couch, where do I get me one of those?”.
After all, those buyers are house shopping, not furniture shopping.
On the other end of the scale, keeping it simple doesn’t mean going Japanese minimalist or stark Scandinavian. Again, unless that’s the specific style you want your property to show, making it too simple can make it look unfinished, or impractical. Will a family of five be able to picture themselves sitting around on cushions instead of a couch in the living room?
Your property doesn’t need to be filled with designer décor, nor does it have to be overly humble. Keeping it simple is about finding the sweet spot. After all, if you’re offering a family home you want to show buyers how they can use the space to its fullest potential – and a lot of the time that means working within a budget that families will have.
So, don’t be too quick to dismiss the likes of Kmart or Target; simple décor that doesn’t break the bank can be arranged to create an amazing space. Give an artist a canvas, paintbrush and three primary colours and they can create a masterpiece. Be that artist – it’s not about what you have, but what you do with it that can make a huge difference.
Which leads me to my next point.
Position and style is king.
Imagine this: a house stager shows up and gives you a whole truck full of beautiful furniture and décor to fill the living room of your property. There are two of everything; couches, rugs, armchairs, coffee tables, side tables, books, flowers, vases and lamps.
They have made sure that all of the furniture suits the style and colour scheme of the home, but have left the choice of picking between the two items and the positioning completely up to you. So, how are you going to go about deciding which pieces to use and where to put them?
Remember to leave your emotions out of it when you are deciding, and to look at the space and the items you have to work with as a whole. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle, where everything has to mesh together perfectly.
When you take one of the couches, how will it fit into the living room? And I don’t mean, “will it fit through the door?”, I mean how does it make the rest of the space and furniture look and feel. Are your buyers going to walk in and feel at home, or are they going to feel cramped because the couch is taking up too much space or is in the wrong position?
If the couch is perfect for the space, you need to move on and look for the rug that complements both the couch and the living room, then the coffee table and so on and so forth. And just because you have two side tables at your disposal, doesn’t mean you have to use them. If you feel that the space is perfect the way it is, there’s no reason to cram in more furniture just for the sake of it.
Lastly, you can direct buyers through a room with the way you place furniture. If you block a doorway with the couch, potential buyers will find it frustrating and may even think that the living room is too small for their needs. Use home staging as a way to bring out the best in your property, as well as direct your buyers towards the spaces that you want them to see the most.