In Colorado Springs there is a fantastic neighborhood called Skyway with mid-century gems in a great location. Unfortunately, for the owner of this house, potential buyers were walking away from his ideal home, giving feedback that it was “dark” and “needed a lot of work.”
This was the buyer’s first impression… Dark and uninviting.
Do you know how we address the feedback that a house is dark? We add light! I know, that seems obvious, but you can’t just go around sticking lamps in corners either. Empty rooms with table lamps placed on the floor is not the best look. An inviting, staged living room with perfectly placed lighting and high wattage bulbs (100 watts a must!) makes a huge impact. Here’s another blog post that covers other ways to add light through the staging process: http://www.homestagingofhouston.com/home-staging-in-houston-make-your-space-light-bright/.
Something else that was giving off the “dark” vibe were sage green walls throughout, and a dark burgundy kitchen. Now, those colors aren’t bad, per se, and a coat of light beige could definitely brighten the space, but this is where staging also solves a problem. By using light neutrals and artwork that breaks up the sea of green, that color becomes an intentional design choice and the room lightens up.
Here is another example of how the right decor and white towels and shower curtain changes a peach (PEACH!!!), dated bathroom to a look like it is actually on trend. In my initial staging estimate, I did recommend painting the kitchen and bath, but since the house was already on the market, it was not something the homeowner was up for. So we made it work!
Now let’s discuss the burgundy kitchen. Notice how breaking up the burgundy really changes the space. I debated about adding the counter and barstools, but felt the wall needed it in order to soften the stark contrast of a really white refrigerator and dark walls. Plus, I love that it created a place where buyers can envision having a glass of wine after a day at work before prepping dinner (and enjoy the view of a lovely backyard!).
The master bedroom had the same green walls, although it didn’t give off the “dark” impression of the living/ dining area because of two windows. It is also a much smaller space. Empty, it looks too small in a day where new master suites are large enough house an European family. Staging an empty bedroom, especially of this size, is critical to demonstrate that a bed can actually fit.
Additionally, the window placement in this room makes it challenging for a buyer to know where the bed will go. There isn’t a no-brainer spot where it is centered between two equal-sized windows, for example. I was able to create balance by hanging a picture of similar size to the window on the opposite side of the bed. Now instead of small and odd, we have a desirable master suite!
Here are the before and after pictures for the master bathroom. To be honest, it is not the most exciting room of the house, and is only a half bath. It has dated cabinetry and fixtures, making the 2nd and 3rd strikes against it. On the other hand, the tile is newer and the paint is fresh. Towels and fresh greenery add life and turn this downer into an asset where a new homeowner would be happy to have the space to get ready before heading out for his or her day.
While the outdoor space didn’t have a lighting problem, it did need to be highlighted in order for buyers to see what great spaces they actually were. This backyard is amazing! With the fall leaves, all I could picture was a Friend’s reenactment of their Thanksgiving football episode. A little love, beer, pumpkins, and pillows, and some rearranging of the current patio furniture, and the yard becomes iconic.
Finally, but not least is the front door. The front door is the first impression potential buyers have of the house. Before staging, the front porch looked a little sad and run down (adding to the “needs work” vibe); after a few welcoming touches it greets visitors with a touch of charm.
In the end, after being listed for 8 days with zero offers and negative feedback, the home went under contract the first day of showings following the staging. The goal of the staging was to remove the feeling of “dark and needing work” and replace it with an inviting cozy home that was move-in ready. Ultimately, I wanted to make the place pop and demonstrate how beautifully livable this home could be. Based on the post-staging reactions, I believe we accomplished that.
How about you? Do you feel staging made the home brighter and more appealing?