As an interior designer with more than 10 years of experience in design and real estate, home staging is like a second nature for me.
The idea is to help the potential buyers or renters to see themselves in the space by making it more appealing, and by staging it in a way that would help them project themselves in the house or apartment.
One essential part of home staging is to help the potential buyers/renters see the space.
And the best way to do so is to actually stage the space with furniture and accessories.
It’s always difficult to really see the potential of an empty room. It will appear smaller than it really is without anything inside, and you really don’t want that!
You want your buyers/renters to be amazed by your space, not disappointed when they see it IRL, right?
So don’t skip the furnishing!
I was contacted by Yolanda, who was selling an empty apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
She already new that showing it empty wasn’t a great idea, especially as she had a lot of rooms.
She really wanted to show her buyers the potential of the space, and how they could use each room once they purchased the apartment.
Home staging is exactly this: showing to your buyers what they can do with the space.
After Yolanda contacted me about the project, she asked me if I could come and see the space with her.
I visited the apartment empty with her. And even if the apartment was really beautiful, the buyers could have missed it while seeing it empty as it really lacked of life.
Buyers want to see their future home when they visit, and we wanted to show them this was the place.
After touring the space and taking measurements + pictures of all the room, we took some time to attribute a purpose to each room.
We decide to show a master bedroom, a living room, a dining room and an office, leaving one bedroom empty for budget reasons.
My client also gave me her budget and timeline.
Based on all this, I started by defining a layout.
Working on a home staging project is different than working for someone’s home. The idea is not to adapt to what my client wants, but to please the majority of potential buyers.
Also, you don’t want to totally fill up the apartment with tons of furniture and accessories. You need to leave some negative (aka empty) space for the buyers to visualize what they could do with the apartment, and maximize its square feet.
That’s how I thought the layout: creating a crush but leaving a lot of empty space for the buyers to project themselves in the apartment.
Once the layout was defined, I started picking furniture and accessories.
The idea here is not to spend too much so the operation remains interesting for my clients, while still investing in nice pieces to create a crush.
We shopped at affordable brands like Target, Wayfair, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond… but I carefully picked nice items, like the accent chairs in the living room.
My client was also in a hurry so the delivery delays played a huge part in the selection.
To pick furniture and accessories, I kept in mind 3 home staging principles:
Again, the idea is to make a selection as budget-friendly as possible. So I always check with my home staging clients to see if they have some elements we can reuse.
Yolanda had a few accessories, some wall art, and beautiful plants she could bring to the apartment.
That allowed us to lower the overall budget.
Reuse what you can
You also want your buyers to see the potential of their future home, and see how happy they could be there.
And you can’t achieve that if you have a cold and blank space.
So lean towards warm colors and natural materials that will appear inviting and cozy.
Avoid leaving too much empty walls (but don’t overwhelm them either) and don’t forget the rugs!
Create a crush
Again, the mantra here is to help the buyers see what they can do with the space.
If you pick a huge red sectional that totally overwhelms the space, the buyers will focus on it, instead of the space, and you don’t want that!
So the idea is to select neutral colors and keep bolder colors for accent (wall art, accessories…).
Be as neutral as possible!
Keep it neutral
As 80% of my projects are remote, I rarely see the last steps of the design. This apartment being in Brooklyn, where I actually live, I was super excited to be part of the installation.
Usually, I offer to my clients to hire a few persons from Taskrabbit to mount the furniture and install the wall art and shelves.
But it’s definitely a higher budget that doing it yourself.
My client was comfortable handling the mounting herself, so I didn’t hire anybody.
I let them start and arrived after the hard part 🙂
We styled together everything inside the apartment, and I guided them for the wall art placement.
And voilà, the apartment was ready for the visits!
What do you think of this styling? Would you buy this apartment? I definitely would!
Anaïs was a pleasure to work with.
I was on a tight schedule and she provided a phenomenal service in less than a week.
I highly recommend her!
From start to finish, I couldn’t have been happier.