Going back to the basics, black and white, with accent color(s) and the right shade on the walls can make a bathroom sparkle as shown in the before and after photos below.
Simple changes to the dining area and a bit of help in the kitchen make the house look more current and no doubt more appealing to buyers.
These types of changes do not cost mega bucks but can certainly make a home more desirable to the consumer. It is not about how you want a house to look but what others are looking for in a home. Looking at magazines can give you a good idea of what is popular. Think about what you see in model homes. Certainly those rooms look more like the after photos than the before. Ever think why?
We see it all the time on MLS. Homes that have good bones but scream for help. As professional stagers it makes us cringe because we know that these dated spaces could be, but aren't. While the seller may love the space exactly as it is, it is after all their home, there are two bigger questions to ask when selling. Will buyers love the home like this? Would buyers pay more for this home if it were different?
Often times the answer is a resounding - You just have no idea. YES!
Is the home really dated, or is it just the stuff?
Believe it or not, perception often begins with stuff. I realize that buyers are purchasing the home and not the stuff, but that's where it starts. Sometimes what's in a home can keep it from selling.
Could we have more geometric patterns going on? Sure, clearly the seller is a quilter and has a fascination for squares and triangles. They also have a predisposition for piles. Looking at their stuff, they are probably into "country". That's OK. What if the buyer isn't though? Will they see through the vinyl checker board table cloth? Will they be able to imagine their belongings with the mismatched chairs and clutter strewn across the space?
How about now? There is certainly a larger buyer pool for this home, and one that will probably pay more for it as well. Upgrades in this space include granite counters and a new light fixture. Everything else is just cleaning up, then swapping out some furniture and art.
Don't underestimate the power of black and white
In staging there are often great themes that are repeated. Black and white is one of them. They are solid neutrals that always add great contrast in a room. Almost any accent color will pop when combined with these two favorites.
Bold colors, on the flip side, sometimes have a hard time feeling cohesive even in the smallest of spaces.
To tame this larger than life color, we soothed it with a pale periwinkle blue, then resorted back to our neutrals. Notice other than adding hardware to the cabinets, not other major changes happened to the room itself. Staging was the catalyst in the creation of this elegant room.
Will buyers love the home like this? Would buyers pay more for this home if it were different?
These are the two big questions I said we needed to answer in order to justify staging. Were the questions answered and do you think that buyer perception would have been altered from one photo to the next?
Margaret Gehr is the principle owner of Chicagoland Home Staging, servicing the greater Chicago area for home staging, redesign, and design projects. We work in both occupied and vacant homes.