Some people "stage" their homes for selling purposes, while others "stage" just to make their homes more attractive. Why? Staging your home means simplifying, getting rid of excess. But there are two types of staging: One is to help your home sell; the other is for the purpose of cleaning house. Let's compare the two.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, Scripps Howard News Service
Staging starts with assessing each room critically. What's there that is necessary and what is superfluous? Starting with the walls, are they clean? Perhaps a new wall color or wallpaper is needed. Though it does take some time and some work, repainting the walls will do wonders to refresh a room. Whether you are staging for a sale or staging for clutter cleanup, a nice, fresh paint job will start the project nicely.
What about the floors? Is the floor covering in good condition? Take carpet, for example. Does it need to be professionally cleaned or re-stretched to get rid of those bumps? If the floor is tile, is the grout in need of professional cleaning? If the floor is wood, does it need to be stripped and repolished? What about the baseboards and all the wood trim? Are there nicks that need to be puttied and fixed? A paint job will do wonders here, too. A clean background and base will always give you a fresh start.
Getting back to the walls, be sure to get rid of excess artwork or hangings. Simple is better as long as what is on the wall fits the space and enhances it, not overpowers it. This works whether you are staging for sale or staging for your own use. If you're staging for sale, remove personal pictures from the walls and use only artwork that fits the decor. If you're staging for yourself, family pictures are great. You could even put them in coordinating frames and arrange them nicely on the wall.
Theme rooms. There was a time when all model homes had theme rooms, such as beach themes or hunting themes. It was the thought that when visiting these model homes, the prospective buyer would feel comfortable in a setting that complemented their interests. However, today, themes are rather outre; it is better to have an unthemed room that is well-appointed, simple and tastefully accessorized if you are trying to sell the house. If you have rooms that are themed and selling is the object, untheme the room.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, is author of "Mystery of Color."