Home Staging For Life (DIY)

BEFORE: A dark and crowded living room with inaccessible piano and wall unit.

Why wait until you are moving to stage your home? When a house is on the market, the seller usually goes to great lengths to make it as attractive and as comfortable as possible…for the next owner. Home Staging for Sale is a service that realtors and sellers use to make a property appeal to the largest possible number of potential buyers. If nothing else, the house must be de-cluttered and de-personalized. Otherwise potential buyers will feel like they’re simply visiting your home and won’t be able to envision themselves living there. Repairs, updating, painting, cleaning, lighting, decorating and landscaping all “set the stage” for a quick profitable sale.

AFTER: We removed the piano and wall unit, and rearranged furniture and artwork. Now it’s a great space for entertaining!

Interior Redesign, on the other hand, is something you can do yourself to make your home more attractive and comfortable for you and your family now.  I like to call it Home Staging for Life.  A redesigned room reflects more of your personality, not less, and it’s affordable because you use items you love and already own.  By following a few simple steps, you can get a fresh and inviting new look and feel for that lackluster room — without buying anything new!

1. De-clutter and organize.  S.P.A.C.E. the room first.  (S.P.A.C.E. — Sort, Purge, Assign a home, Containerize, Equalize — is an acronym coined by Julie Morgenstern in her book Organizing from the Inside Out.)  Remove all existing artwork and accessories.  Remove extra pieces of furniture that make the room seem crowded or dark, or that don’t support the function of the room.

2. Rearrange your furniture.  The furniture arrangement you have now might be just fine, and it may truly be the only possible configuration for that room. But it’s likely that there’s another arrangement that will allow traffic to flow more smoothly, or make the room look cozier (or more spacious, if that’s what you need).  Furniture sliders, if you have the right type for your carpeted or hard surface floors, make it easier to try it different ways.

BEFORE: Typical playroom, cluttered with toys.

3. Shop your home.  This is the fun part!  I have yet to meet someone who had nothing we could use for redesigning their space.  Think about it:  Wouldn’t that painting in the seldom-used guest room look fabulous in the living room?  What about that trunk in the attic…would it work as a coffee table?  And that area rug rolled up in the garage from two houses ago?  It works again…but in a different room this time!  Make a “wish list” for items you really do need and don’t have.

AFTER: So what happened to the wall unit and piano from the living room? The wall unit provides great toy storage, and the kids are now taking piano lessons! (upper left corner)

4. Add artwork, lighting, accessories, and greenery.  Do you need a new overhead light or shade?  Floor or table lamps?  Mood or task lighting?  Add back in only the artwork and accessories that really make you happy.  Try to avoid using things that you’ve always had on display because they were gifts, or because you simply didn’t know what else to do with them. Toss them. Sell them. Donate them. Store them elsewhere, if you have enough space.  Display collections in a group (rather than scattered about the room) to make more of an impact.  Would a tall leafy plant enhance that corner?  Put it on the list.

5. Ask for help if you need it.  If you have a tough time with these steps, ask a friend, or hire a professional, to help you.  Sometimes we just need “fresh eyes” to come give us an unbiased opinion and some great new ideas.  When we’ve lived in a space for a while we all get used to the way things look, sometimes making it nearly impossible to envision them any other way.

6. Stand back and admire your handiwork.  Who knew your space could look so good?  I did, that’s who!  And it’s a perfect reflection of YOU because you used all your own stuff! 

So…which room are you going to start with?

 
Copyright 2011 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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2 Responses to “Home Staging For Life (DIY)”

  1. Pavilion N6000 Battery Says:

    There comes a time when you gotta look yourself in the mirror and say “This is my life. It’s time for me to start living it the way I want.”

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