Lesson #5 – STAGING


We had an interior decorator come into our home (sent and paid for by our realtor) to give us pointers as to staging our home to sell for the asking price.  This was a selling point for the realtor since we wouldn’t have to pay for it!  Woo Hoo!  Not.

I have often wondered about ‘staging’. In many of our past homes I have stared and stared at a ‘blah, boring’ room and wondered to myself just how would a ‘stager’ ‘stage’ it! I have never actually called a stager but I have always wanted to!

This was my experience with this particular stager sent two weeks ago to this home.

I felt her desire to ‘let’s do this’ quickly as she told me .. ‘these are the rules’. She was obviously paid for a particular length of time and she wasn’t going to spend a minute more! You can understand this really. ‘Time is money’ as Bob always said when he didn’t want to cut grass or weedwack! That, by the way, became our mantra when we didn’t want to do something and we would then hire someone to do it. Ha!

Back to the stager…I was told to take notes as we would walk through every room. She wasn’t actually going to ‘stage’ but would tell me what had to be done! I took notes frantically for fear I would miss a brilliant tidbit.

It was quick, mind you…..very quick. Not a lot of time was spent staring at a room and I felt the anticipation that at any moment I would, indeed, learn that staging secret which would result in our home being sold NOT for the asking price but thousands over…maybe a bidding war!!! It was intense for me if not for her.

It was disappointing that the time went by too quickly. I never did learn the ‘secret’ to the bidding war but this is what I did learn (I knew many of these pointers but who has time in day to day life to do them???)

If you have lovely granite/stone etc. counters, show them off and don’t cover them up with cute little STUFF with which I love to decorate bathrooms and kitchens …..I always heard that bathrooms can be the place to have fun with decorating…..NOT so much when you want to sell. Show that granite and the room you have on your counters off. Take all those necessary day to day objects off. Think cleaned off…no toasters, coffee makers, blow dryers, straighteners. Pretend you don’t live there and you are actually in a posh hotel spa setting. You get the point.

Soap. MUST be a new bar, preferably a sweet smelling bar of soap but not too overpowering in case someone has allergies. NEVER use it.

Toilet Paper. MUST be a brand spanking new roll. Never used. Don’t even if you really feel you have to. Keep an ‘old’ roll by the seat! Use that one. You could even fold the end of the roll like they do in fine hotels! Elegant!

Towels. The NEED for white fluffy towels is absolutely necessary. Think spa again. Hotels have white towels. Enough said. But, for goodness sake, don’t use them. NEW again. Keep the old black towels in a closet somewhere to use.

Throw rugs. NOPE. Pick them up and hide them or throw them away. Show off the tile floors or the wood floors. People may trip (really?)…..

That deck outside. It really NEEDS bright colored pillows…outside pillows of course….the ones that slide off the chairs or are tossed aside when someone actually wants to sit down. One for each chair in different colors.

On that table on that deck….placemats perhaps? Plastic glasses? Faux flowers in a vase? You can get fancy and put wine glasses out with a bottle in a wine decanter but that would attract the bees so scratch that.

FLOWERS everywhere! Don’t think about them being kept watered just PLANT lots all around the deck. A buyer may think/dream about spending hours on that deck reading surrounded by all the greenery. (Don’t tell perspectives that mosquitoes are quite bad in the summer on the deck and with the flowers…well…..oy!)

If you have a dark room and being in an early 1980’s home…we have that dark family room…the one with judge’s paneling. In our defense we were told it was going to come back into vogue. STILL waiting so STILL dark. Anyway, white rug will work. We originally did buy a white rug but now it’s grey. Can’t clean it but trying. I shopped for a new and improved but…have you seen the prices of 8 x 10 white shag rugs? NEVER mind. Again, my husband said a new rug won’t make or break a sale. He says that a lot lately!

In that same room….white ‘things’ on every shelf will brighten the room. Hmmmm
not sure it has but those white things ARE on every shelf. White lamp shades, white pillows. You can’t actually live in that room because the white would become the same grey as my shag rug. Ho Hum.

Now, this is interesting….and I know this is becoming quite L O N G ….  Please bear with me…or is it bare with me? Whatever…..

Dining tables. Haven’t you always heard to set the damn tables? NOPE! Not anymore. Maybe a runner and a pretty glass bowl in the center. Napkins in napkin rings max. Check.

Pillows on the couch. There is a certain way to do this. Look at pictures on the net. There is a ‘back’ pillow and the comfy down pillow in the front is ‘V’d’ in the middle. Fist it down in the middle and whoa! staged!!!! They all do it. Quite interesting. Much like that toilet paper ‘V’.

A spot of vanilla on light bulbs so that when the lamp is on…and it needs to be on all the time while showing…that sweet aroma of vanilla will permeate through the room. I thought of this myself or read about it many many houses ago. I think it works. Something akin to smelling freshly baked chocolate chip cookies but that is much too time consuming every time someone wants to look at your house : )
plus I have that weight problem everyone is talking about.

The coffee table. Never thought about staging but ooooh sooooo important! Something very tall and a few things with different ‘feels’…..such as a tall vase with flowers or a piece of tall artwork…..a round tray with a glass something or other….a wicker something or other….perhaps three books atop of each other. So you will have a tall, a medium and a short something or other. Coasters? No. Remotes? No. Hide all those little things. All 10 of them.

I was always under the impression that faux greenery is gosch. I don’t even know how to spell gosch. Don’t think anyone ever uses that term anymore. Maybe not politically correct. Anyway, I grew up hearing that BUT….wait…..when you put your house on the market….you MAY use faux greenery and faux flowers! Exciting news.

At the end of the staging tour the stager, as you may guess, told me I could hire her to actually stage my house at only $150 per hour or $200….I zoned out when she started talking about money. It sounded expensive to me but she said she works very quickly using whatever I have in the house. I still wonder what she would do with my grey/white shag rug. She handed me her card and left as quickly as she had come. Half hour probably tops. Whooosh.

I didn’t call her nor can I find her business card. Much of it didn’t impress me except those V’s I learned about. I am considering a career in staging. We will need a little bit of extra income!

Get in touch with me if you want help in staging.  I’m magnificent!


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