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There’s a huge difference between a ‘Staged home’, a ‘Show-home like home’ and a (developer’s) show-home but that’s another blog!

Subtle use of really good property styling is a property marketing dream.  It helps a potential buyer to visualise your property as their new home and it helps you to clinch a faster sale.  Bad styling gets a property noticed by the viewer …but only for its use of unreal and theatrical staging.

Here are my pet hates/top tips on how NOT to stage a house for sale:

1. Don’t formally set the kitchen or dining table; limit use of candles, china and glass wear – unless you live in a museum.

2. Never put a tray with champagne flutes or teapot/cups on the bed; even if it is at a jaunty angle – unless it is a show-home.

3. Keep towels in the bathroom; don’t stack them on the end of the bed – unless you’re selling a holiday home or B&B.

4. Always light the fire in a big hearth; for photos – unless it’s the height of summer also light for viewings.

5. Dress the master bed with cushions properly – don’t ‘scatter’ them about – EVER!


In part 2 I will give you some more tips of ‘How NOT to stage’ .. and maybe even some examples of  exactly ‘What to do!’

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Suppose you’ve spent the last 6 months or even 2 years searching for your new home.  Suppose you employed the services of a Property Stylist and Property Finder to not only get your current home sold quickly but also to find your dream property.  And, suppose everything turned out well; your old home sold for maximum market value and your new home ticked all the boxes on your wish list.

Finally, after weeks of eager anticipation and clutter clearing, you move in.

It’s a joyous occasion right? The property is exactly what you wanted.  There’s enough room for the kids, grown-ups, visiting relatives, book club group, you have your own study, orangery, hot tub ….. fill in the blank!  So why doesn’t it feel like home?

Image from August Edition of Livingetc

Unless you are one of the lucky few, for whom money isn’t too much of an object, moving into a new home will inevitably bring compromise.  When you viewed the property, (particularly if it was being marketed by switched on vendors who’d buffed and styled their house to appeal to the masses 😉 ) you envisioned yourselves living the dream.  It had bags of potential for you and yours. The rooms looked gorgeous, the master bedroom was huge, the living room was perfect for entertaining, the kitchen – well ok, that could do with a refit (looked lovely with all their ornaments, oils and shiny pans) but the bathrooms were sleek, white and oh so clean…

Picture from housetohome network

The stark truth is that when you move into a new house, your furniture won’t look the same as the previous owners did or have the same ‘wow-factor’ as the carefully styled Show-Home you viewed.  If, like the majority of us, you plonk your stuff in the same spot as the last occupants, use the rooms in the same way as you were shown by the sellers or simply, after all the costs of moving home, don’t have enough cash to embark on remodelling, then the reality is it probably won’t feel like home for a long time… if ever!

SO WHAT’S THE SECRET?

The number one tip is – Don’t panic!

Consider the reasons why you believed it would make your perfect home.  Does it have the space you always longed for, an en-suite bathroom or perhaps off road parking?

Make an objective list of things you’d really like to improve.  Start with your biggest bug bear and then revisit the budget!

Avoid doing things twice.  Don’t spend money replacing missing kitchen cupboard doors if you are planning to rip out the entire kitchen in a few months.  Hold fire on replacing the ugly patterned carpet. Take time to work out what flooring/finishes will suit your lifestyle.

Consult a professional.  Having an outsider give an objective view of how you can maximise your property’s potential will save you time and money!  Most Interior Designers will work on projects for a fixed fee, some can offer a virtual service on a room by room basis.  Whether you need advice on finding the right wall colour, help with sourcing furniture or plan to carry out a full refurbishment, find an Interior Designer you like to help define your dream home ideas.

Change the use of your rooms.  Could your dining room be used as a family/teenage room?  Could the spare room become your office?  Do you need a downstairs shower for sporty kids ?

Move the furniture.  Just because the previous owners had their sofa facing the window doesn’t mean you have to!  Play around with the space you’ve inherited and find out where your favourite chair looks the best.

Treat yourself to a deep clean!  Even if the house looks clean, have the place professionally cleaned from top to bottom, including the carpets – especially if you don’t like them but have to live with them for a while! Cleansing a space always makes it feel better.

Set up a dream home bank account.  Home improvements always cost more than you think and invariably people get carried away.  Saving for property changes and creating a separate account means that you can see exactly what you have to spend and can plan accordingly.

Finally, claim ownership with a fresh coat of paint!  This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make your new house, feel like your new home!

Peter Fallico’s bedroom as shown in StyleatHome.com

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.


If you’ve ever visited a Show-Home you’ll have noticed how much effort the designers go to when planning and decorating the Master bedroom.  Ok, I agree, not many of us tend to inhabit bedrooms that are as glamorous or indeed as ‘over the top’ in style and decor as a Show-Home.  And, I’m not suggesting that your bedroom has to be styled to the n’th degree.  However, when you are preparing your home for sale, the Master bedroom requires a little extra thought and preparation.  Show-Home designers are employed to create an interior that persuades us to buy; to provide an aspirational interior that will ‘sell’ the property to us and the Master bedroom is a key factor in the process.

Show-Home bedroom by Jacqui Smith of HomeSmiths

Conducting a successful viewing, turning viewers into buyers, simply means getting the viewer to (positively) imagine themselves occupying your space.

Bedrooms, particularly Master bedrooms, are private, intimate rooms, that most of us don’t even show our visiting friends or family … unless of course we have just cleaned, redecorated, styled and generally have something to show off!  Our inbuilt sense of reserve, prevents us from wandering into a friend’s bedroom the way we would any of the more public rooms of their home.  And, if we do find ourselves invited into this most personal of spaces, we mainly tend to hover in the doorway, slightly ill at ease and not wanting to intrude.

‘Who’s hiding under the covers?’

Getting your viewer to connect with your property and see your home as their’s, requires the viewer to feel at ease, relaxed and definitely not as though they are intruding.  An uncomfortable, whistle stop tour of the principle rooms in your home is unlikely to secure an offer anytime soon.

I have lost count of the number of bedrooms I have viewed.  Some of them have been fabulously presented for sale, others looked as though the owner had literally just jumped out of his/her steaming pit!

‘Phew just got out of bed before the agent arrived – mind the chamber-pot!’

So how can you encourage your potential buyer to linger and appreciate all your property has to offer?

Remember that the Master bedroom is the room that the buyer (the one responsible for paying the hefty mortage or squandering their life savings) will inhabit themselves.  To them, maybe it’ll be more than just a bedroom.  Perhaps it’ll be a retreat from the job they love to hate.  Or a sanctuary from a busy family life.  This will be your buyer’s personal space… make them fall in love with it.

‘A little too de-personalised!’

Even if currently, your bedroom is home to the ever present ironing pile or regularly becomes a clutttered dumping ground, when your property is for sale its worth spending a little extra time and effort preparing the Master bedroom.

Above all … keep it clean!  Take that how you will but essentially a tidy, super clean, fresh smelling, de-personalised (although not too sterile) bedroom is the best.

  • No dirty piles of knickers in the corner of the bedroom.
  • No overflowing linen baskets or clothes drying on the radiator.

‘Wardrobe too full?’

  • No obviously yellow sweaty-head stained pillows.
  • No crumpled, steaming, smelly bedlinen.  Don’t leave the bed as though you’ve just got up.
  • No family picture galleries, eerily watching your viewers every move.
  • No rubbish in the waste-bins.
  • No animals (real or stuffed!) on the bed or dog baskets in the room.
  • No ‘lads’ mags, except well hidden and under the bed!
  • No half eaten bits of toast, or mugs of cold tea on the bedside cabinets.
  • No car-boot sale corner (you know, the collection of stuff you are always promising to get rid of).

It’s realitively easy to create the allure of a Show-Home bedroom.  Air the room before viewings.  Iron the bedlinen. De-personalise by limiting the amount of family photos, clear away hairbrushes and make up.  Keep your clothes and shoes out of sight and your bedside tables free of tablets, receipts and other paraphernalia.

Home Staging project – The Property Styling Company

 If you do nothing else…. at least change the sheets and make the bed!

Credits:

www.homesmiths.co.uk – photo of show-home bedroom

www.michaelpalmer.com – photos of home-staging project

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.

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