Hi guys, it’s Naomi Findlay here!
Are you wanting to style your property for sale? Are you looking to connect with people but unsure how to go about it? Is there a particular theme you want to use but worried that it won’t work or it will be too niche?
Well, worry not! Because today I wanted to share a few tips on how to put home staging into practise – and get it right.
So, how on earth do you style your property to suit everybody’s tastes?!
You follow some key design principles, that’s how.
You don’t have to have a degree in interior design to set up a well-styled home. All you need to do is keep an eye out for certain elements to make sure you leave your potential buyers drooling over your property.
And that’s why I wanted to share these elements with you today. Six, to be exact.
The first in your list of important design principles is size.
Now, most of your potential buyers won’t be walking in on inspection day with a measuring tape and meticulously calculating the size of the rooms. Unless they’re coming in to see what size cot they will need for that third bedroom – in which case, congratulations, because they’re already picturing themselves living in the space and you’ve done your job well.
What most of your buyers will do when they walk in is measure the space – but not in numbers. They will automatically look at the space and picture their kids living in it, or their family and friends coming over for a barbecue. How many people will fit in here comfortably? Are the kids going to have enough space to keep all their toys in their rooms? And what about when they’re a little older, will a larger bed make the space look cramped?
Those are the sorts of measurements your buyers will be making. So, you need to think about how your buyers will react to each space, because, at the end of the day, a 3 by 3 bathroom means nothing to most buyers – it’s how the space compares to the rest of the property, and how they will be using it that matters to them.
The second element is scale.
Again, this is not so much about real measurements as it is about the feel of the space. It’s not about how accurate the real renovation is when compared to the initial drawings.
Think about it this way: how do the light fittings, fireplace, couch, rug and coffee table all fit into the living room? Are they complementing each other?
This element can be tricky to get right, so the last thing you want to do is rush into it.
Think about the size and shape of your room, and what will fit in nicely into the space. There are two ends of the scale here: on the one hand picking the wrong thing can make everything else seem small and insignificant; on the other hand, picking something too “matchy” can make the whole space look boring.
For example, just because the living area is on the small side, it doesn’t mean that you have to pick the tiniest couch you can find. The same thing applies to the rug: a bath-sized rug belongs – yep, you guessed it – in the bathroom. Instead, choose a style and colour of couch that will complement the colour of the feature wall, and one that will have your buyers imagining having more than just one guest over at a time. A well-sized rug can actually make the whole space seem more grand.
The third principle is proportion. Now, it is similar to scale because it relies on looking at how all the elements in a room relate to each other. But there is one main difference between the two. While scale compares objects in the room that already have a defined size, proportion looks at everything as a whole.
Perhaps the living room is pretty long and narrow; the elements you add can either emphasize the length of the space or make it appear less so. For example, using mirrors and a wide coffee table can help make the room look more proportioned less narrow. It’s almost as if you are “correcting” the shape of the room to make it more attractive.
Balance is your fourth design principle. Imagine you are walking along a tightrope; how do you make sure you don’t fall off? By keeping both sides of your body balanced, right?
Now, just like the tightrope, creating balance in your space involves evening out the “weight” – in this case I’m talking about the visual weight of the space. It is about creating a sort of symmetry.
Now, balance is not about having both sides of the room be completely equal. But if you have all of your furniture on one side of the room, then the space will definitely be unbalanced.
If the living room is a perfect square, then it would be a good idea to add some symmetry to it – such as matching armchairs on either end of the fireplace. Now I know I said earlier that you don’t want to be too “matchy”, but there’s a big difference between creating a room where everything matches in a tacky way, and one where everything flows in a beautiful, “I want to buy this now” sort of way.
Ah colour; it is one of the powerful ways to create an emotional connection with your buyers. And yet, it can also be one of the easiest ways to turn them off. Why? Because colour is so subjective – everybody has different tastes, and colour can make or break a room for a particular buyer.
For example, green can be a way to bring the natural world in and connect with your buyers; but it can also be a huge deterrent when the particular hue or shade you use isn’t liked by a buyer. A bunch of red roses can be romantic and add a pop of beautiful colour to a room, or it could also make the room appear dated if the red is on a sofa.
The most helpful thing here would be to look at the colour wheel – this way you will be able to see which colours complement each other. And keep an eye on lasting colour trends – and avoid the fads.
Last, but certainly not least, is light.
You could have all the previous five elements of design down pat; a beautifully symmetrical living room of neutral hues and just a touch of navy that makes the whole space look like something from a luxurious hotel lobby. Except, if the correct lighting isn’t there, none of those design elements will shine to their fullest potential.
Lighting is so important, and it is probably one of the easiest elements to use to enhance a space.
There are two main types of light: natural and manmade. Look at the current light sources in the room – light coming from the windows, the doorways, the skylight, the lamps and the pendant light. Do they highlight the best features of the room, or do they draw your attention to the wrong things?
Think about how the space will be used, and use light to highlight that. If there is a reading nook, is there enough light to be able to enjoy some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house? To reflect this quiet space, how will it be lit? Perhaps a soft floor lamp near the reading armchair will complete the space.
Likewise, when there is too much light or the wrong kind of light, you need to think about how you will correct that. If there is too much harsh afternoon light coming through, how can you soften it without completely blocking it out? If the LED bulbs in the ceiling are making the room look stark, how can you add warmth to the space, without actually replacing the bulbs themselves?
So, there you have it. Six ways to make sure that your final space looks and feels perfect for your potential buyers.