First and Foremost: remove that clutter! Beyond the obvious, consider how much furniture is filling your spaces. Many professional home staging companies will remove as much as half of the owner’s furnishings in order to make the rooms look bigger. Consider renting a storage unit to store some of your belongings if necessary.
Be creative with furniture pieces too. Just because a chair was purchased for the living room doesn’t mean it won’t serve a very functional purpose in a corner of a bedroom.
Keep in mind that rooms don’t necessarily look larger just because the furniture is positioned against the walls. Create cozy conversational areas with furniture groupings. Define traffic flow with strategic positioning. Be careful not to overcrowd a room with furniture that is too large.
Shelving can add depth to narrow spaces. Try painting the backs of the shelves with the same color you used on the walls to add dimension to the space.
Window treatments should be proportionate, larger patterns for large windows, small patterns for the smaller ones.
Update to Relate
Most buyers today look for updated kitchens and baths. Even without a significant remodel, you can replace cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware to make them look new. Bathroom tile can be re-glazed and grout can be stained to improve the appearance of bathrooms. Be sure to declutter cabinets too as many buyers will open those doors. You want to give the appearance of lots of storage space as this ranks very high on most buyer’s lists of priorities.
Do you have some old materials lurking in your basement or garage? See if you can turn them into treasures that will add some nostalgia and value to your home. Strips of old hardwood flooring can become a fence. Old laminate countertop pieces can be made into shelving or a headboard. Even old doors can sometimes be turned into a beautiful and useful creation. Just use your imagination.
Shine the Light
Great lighting will make your home warm and welcoming. Increase the wattage in your light fixtures, aiming for 100 watts for each 50 square feet of space. Use overhead ambient lighting as well as pendant lighting, under-cabinet and reading lights, and table and wall accent fixtures. Also be sure to open blinds, shades and draperies whenever your home is being shown.
Neutral Colors Redefined
Even if your home is somewhat dated in design, you can help tone that down by painting a fresh neutral color in a warm, natural hue. Go with soft blue-greens, honeys, warm tans, not simply the traditional beige. Save the bold colors for other projects.
Powder rooms, however, become more dramatic and cozy with darker hues. Even the bedroom space may seem more intimate in a darker shade. Consider doing a contrast wall to draw attention to some focal point in the room, such as a fireplace or bookcase.
These are just some of the ways you can work at staging your home for a successful showing and sale. Use your imagination. But most of all, aim at making all areas of your home look as large, decluttered and functional as possible.