I’m currently having a love affair with all things interior… I delve into gorgeous interior design coffee table books, browse decor magazines and peruse Instagram interiors endlessly. It’s becoming a problem, especially considering I don’t have an interior design budget to indulge my new passion!
But all is not lost. Interior design doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Often a few tweaks, using items you already own or can buy for an affordable amount, make a big difference. Recently I’ve been doing some reading about how to style a space and I’ve been loving some of the ideas so I thought I’d share them with you.
The good news is that these ideas can be used to update your own living space, add some personality to your home and make your home a place you love to be.
These easy home styling tips could even help you sell your home should you be struggling to. This concept is known as home staging and is one of the secrets that estate agents suggest using, especially when the house has been on the market for a while or if the house selling market is stagnant.
Making a few stylish updates to your space can have a big impact on how people coming to view your home perceive it, which can ultimately help you speed up the sale and get your asking price!
Read on below for my top 10 tips on How to Style your Home when Selling
Easy and Affordable Home Staging Tips
1. Improve Curb Appeal
First things first – the first thing anyone coming to your home will see is the exterior of your home. Ensuring that your home looks good from the outside is one of the most important things you can do to attract buyers.
The “curb appeal” is what potential buyers see when they do the first drive-by and this impression is often what will make them decide whether they want to view your property or not. Make sure your home looks great from the moment someone arrives.
- Clean the driveway and entrance path (weeding and general tidiness)
- Plant blooming flowers in pots at the front door (if you’re moving you can take this with you)
- Mow the lawn
- Wash the windows
- Buy a new front door mat
- Sand and repaint any peeling paint on fascia boards, shutters or window frames
2. Tidy up
Clear away all clutter. If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go! It’s not easy to get rid of BUT it will make such a big difference to how people experience your space.
The best bet is to do a sort-out, and donate or sell items you definitely don’t need. Not only will this make packing up easier when you move, but it will also help to clear your own head space and ensure you enjoy living in your home even more!
Important areas to tackle include all surfaces, floors and closets (yes, even inside–people do peek!). You’re trying to create the impression of more space in the eyes of potential buyers so you don’t want them to think that there isn’t enough storage space when taking a sneaky look.
Storage space sells! Potential buyers love homes that have lots of storage space. Organise your overcrowded shelves and wardrobes to show off how much storage you really have.
If you don’t have enough storage space to hide all the clutter you want to keep, then consider hiring offsite storage or ask a relative if you can use their garage temporarily.
The aim of your tidy-up is to keep your home looking lived in, but not overcrowded and messy. This means you probably need to get your kids on board to keep their rooms looking good for a few weeks. It’s likely that there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids, doesn’t mean toys scattered throughout the house will sell them on the place! Show them that in this house it’s possible to have a beautifully organised kids’ room 😉
3. Remove unnecessary furniture, then rearrange
One of the major contributors to that feeling of overwhelm in a space is having too much furniture. People who work as professional home stagers often suggest removing half the owner’s furnishings!Less furniture will ensure that the house looks much bigger.
Don’t be too drastic, but do ask yourself if there are any items of furniture you don’t use or need, and remove these from the space.
Once you have worked out what furniture you want to keep you will need to rearrange your furniture. In the living room pull your furniture away from the walls and use pairs (of chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area that draws people in.
4. Scrub up
You may not mind some grime but visitors surely will, so be sure to get your house sparkling clean. Vacuum floors (steam clean the very dirty carpets!), wash windows, clean counters and scrub showers. Every surface should sparkle.
This is one of the cheapest ways to ensure your home will put its best foot forward; and you’ll probably find you enjoy living in a fresh, clean space so much you may feel inspired to keep it up!
5. Go neutral
Neutral colours are sophisticated and calm, creating an inviting space that potential buyers can imagine their own furnishings and accessories in. Eliminate any bold, bright colour choices (especially on walls), and choose white or neutrals like mocha and “greige”.
One area that definitely needs to come across as neutral is the main bedroom. Now is not the time to showcase your pink floral duvet cover. Rather appeal to everyone with a clean, gender-neutral bedroom that is free of clutter and bright colours.
Choose crisp, white linen, a scented candle, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed to create a cocoon that will entice people to linger longer in your home.
6. Beautify the bathrooms & kitchen
Bathrooms and kitchens sell houses, so these are the rooms you need to pay careful attention to. You would have already cleaned the space from top to bottom so at this stage it’s all about the staging!
If you can afford it update any outdated tiles or give them a lick of paint to ensure the space looks up-to-date. Bathroom floors are also important. If yours are looking a bit old you could use inexpensive vinyl tiles to update your home.
Add a fluffy, white bathrobe to the back of the door (hide the dingy blue floral variety). Make sure each bathroom has fresh bars of soap, spotless towels and empty bins.
When it comes to kitchens ensure your counters are clear and your cabinets are in good condition. Dated kitchen cabinets can be a big turnoff to potential buyers.
Having new kitchen appliances is also a good idea and have proven to bring a high return to sellers, possibly because new appliances make the whole kitchen seem new (plus you’ll be able to take these with you if the sizes remain the same!).
7. Remove the pet evidence
You may adore your pet children, but the truth is that most people only like their own!
Unpleasant pet odours can make a bad first impression so be sure to get rid of old carpets or pet beds that can trap offensive smells. Clear the lawn of any doggy doo!
8. Let there be light
Living in a light, airy space is good for the soul, plus your potential buyers love light. Dark and dingy is almost never on the list!
Open wide the windows and curtains to let as much light in as possible.If you don’t face the right direction to have sunshine streaming in, cheat with lots of lamps.
9. Style up
Invest in a few items that will make your home look beautiful and feel lived in – a vase of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer’s market produce on the kitchen counter, or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.
You may want to hang an impressive (inoffensive) artwork, lay out a colourful, plush rug or place an interesting book on your coffee table.
Choose a few of your most beautiful collectables and pop them amongst your books on your bookshelves or on side tables, but don’t go overboard. Less is more when it comes to home staging. You don’t want to overwhelm potential buyers with your personal items; you just want to display a few to showcase your personality.
An area to consider taking time to style before potential buyers arrive is the dining room table. A large, bare table can look uninviting, so styling it up with a few flowers, placemats and glassware can make it more interesting and appealing.
Another great way to add life to your living space is with a few indoor plants, so buy a few of these and add them to your lounge, bathroom or bedroom – again you can take these with you when you move!
10. Create a lifestyle
People who are looking to move home are generally looking for a new lifestyle. Tap into this by staging your home in such a way that will entice them into choosing it because of the lifestyle it will offer them.
Live in a small apartment with a balcony? Pop a cute café table and chairs with a cheerful tablecloth on the balcony.
Have a house in a quiet suburb? Hang a hammock in your backyard. Have a grassy garden? Make sure it is in beautiful shape if you’re selling during summer – a sparkling blue pool or a cosy fire pit.
Selling in winter? Build a fire in the fireplace and brew a pot of coffee.
Follow all these tips and you can be assured that, when buyers come through your home and imagine themselves living there, an offer isn’t far behind.
I hope you’ve found the tips helpful! Let me know if you have any other ideas for styling your home in the comments below.