Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Considering Home Staging for Daily Life

I was thinking - why personalize your house dramatically when you know you'll be selling in just a few years? It is really hard to think about your house this way. That wallpaper you love is calling out to you but potential buyers won't love it the way you do. You really want to rip out and replace everything but you'll never get all your money back. And it is even harder to see the same flaws in your home that potential buyers will see. Before you buy a house you see most of those flaws, but once you settle in they become invisible. Like the grease stains on my kitchen cabinets or the vinyl flooring by the back door.
I don't want to put all this effort into personalizing my home for such a short stay (5 years?) and then redo everything once it's home-staging and selling time. So why not stage my home and live in it? I'm not saying that I'll completely ignore personalizing it, I just mean to say that I won't do anything crazy. I won't wallpaper the ceiling in the hallways or put in a lime green kitchen backsplash (even though it would look so pretty in the spring.) I'll stick with neutrals, even though I already broke two of the cardinal rules for home staging: don't paint a bedroom with little light a very dark color, and don't let any part of your house have a theme. I painted a bedroom with little light a very dark purple to go with a Moroccan/Indian theme. It looks a thousand times better than before, but it isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Here are pictures of family rooms / living spaces I like that show how you could live in a place that looks a little bit staged, clean, and appealing to many different potential home buyers.

#1 Neutral, sparse and organized with pops of color and natural light. From Dianne Bergeron Interior Design.
#2 Neutral, bright, sparse, clean, organized, and visually appealing. Found via drommhuset blog.
#3 From a preview of High Gloss Magazine, a space that is neutral yet complex, organized yet detailed, a good use of space other than the picture frames in the tight corner, with the dining room flowing well into the next room and vice versa.
One of the things I have learned about home staging and decorating is that cluttered spaces aren't good. This is something I will really have trouble with seeing as I have TONS of stuff. I could have five storage pieces in my bedroom or dining room or kitchen or bathroom and still not have enough room. I am a hoarder in the making. I could fill an entire dresser with magazines. I am anti-throwawayism. Thankfully I have lots of attic space and a huge basement. =) But I do know not to overcrowd a space, so my itty bitty family room, ideally, will have either one small, sleek sofa and two slipper chairs, or one slim sectional and no other seating. This is partly due to the 65 inch TV my husband just HAD to have that takes up almost half of the wall. But my point is, I want people to walk into that room and think it is actually really big. The four oversized pieces of furniture aren't doing that.
I with leave you with two more pictures of well designed family rooms that would make a potential buyer fall in love. The first is from the Tobi Fairley Energy House, the second from Young House Love. Just the right amount of neutrals and color in my opinion!

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