It’s no secret that home staging helps homes sell quickly. A quick Google search will give you a list of businesses that provide full scale staging; they bring in furniture, accessories, and consult home owners on any fine details that can make a difference in how quickly a home sells. Those staging services come with a price. It also means your furniture will need moved out, or placed in storage, to make room for all the new furniture that stagers will be moving in.
Aside from money and space, home staging requires time, a luxury not always available to homeowners ready to make a move. This happened to be the case with my most recent client. The couple reached out to me when they found out a new job opportunity would be relocating them to California. Not only are they preparing to move within a month, but they are also limited on what they will be taking with them. They will be downsizing from a 4 bedroom home to an apartment, so the majority of furniture and home goods are not making the trek.
With only a week to prep the house for listing and wanting to invest as little as possible into home accents and decor they can’t take with them, it became my challenge to revamp the home using items they have on hand in combination with my thrifted collection of staging props.
As I worked through their home I realize this is the challenge many home owners face when preparing to sell their home. So today I am sharing my tips on how to make the most of your own items and thrift store finds when stage your home to sell.
How to stage your home on a shoestring budget:
- Deep clean! This is by far the most important step before moving on to anything decorative. Vacuum, dust, mop, wipe down windows, and don’t forget to give all the appliances a good scrubbing as well.
- Repairs: Take a walk through and make a list of any small issues that need repaired. Tighten door and cabinet knobs. Be sure all light bulbs are working!
- Remove personal photos & mementos: People touring homes are looking for a space they can imagine themselves in. That can be hard to do if they see photos of another family all throughout the space.
- Bring in pops of color: A staged home doesn’t have to be boring beige. Bring in brightly colored bedding, or throw pillows on the couch. To create a cohesive palette, choose one shade of color and use it throughout the home. You will notice in the upcoming before and after photos I used shades of navy blue throughout the entire home.
With the above staging tips in mind, below is a walk through of the home I recently staged. Keep in mind EVERYTHING you see is re-purposed. I used furniture the homeowners already owned. The home decor and small items I brought to the space have all come from thrift shops and antique stores for almost nothing!
Starting with the dining room, you can see the “Before” photo on the left. The furniture and floors are the same dark tone of wood, which darkens the entire room. Adding the tablecloth instantly brightens the space. The navy blue stripe running through the tablecloth matches back to the blue accent wall. By moving the shelving unit to the left side of the wall, it opened up a corner space to create the reading nook you see in the bottom right photo.
The living room layout works well, but after clearing out their personal photos that shelf against the wall is barren. Adding a throw blanket brings in color, but styling the shelf really makes the biggest difference in the space.
This shelf styling is a total investment of $20. The large Monstera leaf came from Ikea for $5. The birch candle is decor from my wedding. All other items you see were purchased from thrift stores for less than $5.
On the opposite side of the living room, this wall became my biggest challenge. If you have looked at the price of extra long curtains recently, you know why the homeowners didn’t want to make the investment. Why would you want to spend $50 per panel when most likely the curtains will not be usable in your next space? Looking closely you can also see why the curtains are hung so high; the windows are different sizes. While the evenly hung curtains help hide the window issue, the too short curtains are definitely something buyers will notice.
In the end I chose to artfully style the curtains already in the space. The navy pattern matches back to colors used throughout the home, and adds a pop of color to the beige walls. The house plants add character, while also hiding the too short curtains. While not the ideal fix, I have to say it is a big improvement from the before. Despite the windows sitting at different heights, I chose to show the curtains open, as the natural light that comes through this space is too pretty to hide!
The guest bedroom was essentially a blank slate. The mirror went into storage and the lamp moved to the opposite side of the bed. Burlap curtains bring in texture and break up the beige. A brightly colored bedspread and patterned pillow cases add color and charm to the otherwise basic room.
Opposite of the bed is a large armoire that matches the bed. To break up the beige of that wall I added just a few home decor accents on top of the armoire to brighten up the space.
The last room, and possible the most transformed is the master bedroom. The window panels make the biggest difference in warming up the space and adding a bit of character. In the after picture you see the tall dresser- we moved that from the opposite bedroom wall which not only opened up the walkway to the master bath, but also filled the empty space beside the bed.
Taking a look at the other side of the room you can see the addition of a gold tone lamp and two small plants for color. Adding the textured pillows break up the solid color of the bedspread.
When staging I try not to go overboard with home accents. However, small details make a big difference when it comes to add personality and charm to a home. The addition of these two candles and the gold metal leaf are simple, yet totally change the look of the dresser.
To those that are planning to sell a home in the near future, I hope these tips are helpful! I also think that these 4 tips are great reminders for any homeowner looking to freshen up their space without spending much money.
The client space I shared in this post is going to market today. I will be sure to be back with an update when it sells! In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on the tips as well as the before and after. Which room looks the best? Any tips or advice I missed?
Please share your feedback in the comments below!