If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, it pays to do a bit of home staging before your listing goes live. You can go all out and hire a pro, or you can make a few interior design changes on your own to prepare for a successful home sale.
The same interior design faux pas that plague the average homeowner are the best places to start when preparing your home’s decor for a sale. The good news is, these issues are easy (and generally inexpensive) to fix.
- Furniture pushed up against the walls. Think of your furniture as guests at a party: give each piece room to breathe, but make sure all the furniture is encouraged to mingle. Pull sofas a few inches away from the wall, or even further into the room. Bring chairs closer together and to the coffee table. Dressers, armoires and display cabinets often need to rest against a wall, but seating should center on a coffee table or rug and be arranged to encourage conversation. When everything hugs the wall, you are missing the point of seating groups.
- Dinky area rugs. Some interior designers prefer all four legs of a sofa or chair to be planted on a rug. A more relaxed approach is that the front legs on a sofa, loveseat or accent chair sit atop the rug. Most people make the mistake of buying rugs that are too small for the space. If the majority of the seating in a room is not able to sit at least partially on the rug, this is probably the case in your room. If you can’t afford a large enough rug to suit the space and furniture, consider cost effective sisal, having a large carpet remnant bound for the space or removing the rug altogether while your home is on the market.
- High water window treatments. Window treatments should break at the floor or even puddle a bit, depending on your personal preference, and they should rise three inches or more above the top of the window frame. Insubstantial window treatments that fall short or are hung exactly at the top of the window frame don’t look chic – they just come across as cheap. Chances are good you can pick up decent neutral draperies in an appropriate length at your local big box store or online. Imagine how great your rooms will look with fresh new (right-sized) curtains when showings begin!
- Matchy. Matchy. Matchy. It’s fine to coordinate drapes and accent pillows, or to purchase accent chairs in the same neutral fabric as your sofa. When absolutely everything came from the same two page catalog spread though, a room can feel boring and stale. If this is the case in your bedrooms or living spaces, it’s time to break up that set of linens, drapes, lamps, etc. to breathe fresh life into the space. Try trading the came-with-the-couch pillows for something a little bolder, or replacing one of a pair of lamps with something unique. Bring the chairs that match the couch into another space (maybe beside a bed?) and add two different accent chairs; even dining chairs can work for this purpose and give the space an eclectic feel. Even staged rooms should look and feel lived-in, not straight out of a catalog.
- Art hung at crick-neck levels. For whatever reason, most people tend to hang artwork, mirrors, photographs etc. too high, causing the viewer to crane their neck to look up at the picture. The center of the artwork from top to bottom should be at eye level, or 57-58″. If you are guilty of hanging artwork too high, this may feel unnaturally low to you, but it is the right height for hanging. You can measure the distance from the ground up to 58″, then measure the distance from the wire or sawtooth on your pictures from there, or you can eyeball it and aim for hanging any picture, or focal point of a grouping, around that point if you consider yourself average height. If your furniture is particularly low slung, you may even consider hanging your pieces 2-3″ lower to properly accent your seating.
Whether you are buying, selling or weighing your options, I have the experience to guide you successfully through your next real estate transaction. I’d love to hear from you!
The Meyers Group