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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Staging Tips

No sooner did we get back home when we got another phone call asking to see the house, so out we went again. The listing only went live this morning. I was surprised that we would get bites so soon. But that's a good sign, right?

As I mentioned before, my friend Mel helped me stage the house. Melina hates to read, which always struck me as funny because she is one of the smartest people I know. No joke. All her siblings grew up to be doctors and scientists. Mel went into the arts and used to work for Disney at one point.

Instead of reading, she spends all her free time watching tv. She adores that decorating channel on cable. In essence she got her decorating degree from these shows.

She is so good, when the realtor came back to get some papers from me, she offered her a job as a stager! And we are talking serious money here. I told you she was good.

I am a fair decorator, but Mel picks up on the subtler points. Here are a few of the things she did to spruce up my house.

• All loose objects like waste baskets, lone knick-knacks, extra towels are stashed or packed away.

• Store bulky furniture if possible. This was probably the most dramatic thing I did and it definitely made a difference. I only took out one piece and the interior immediately looked bigger.

• Bathroom: a tray with soaps, perfume, and aromatics in complimentary colors.

• Towels must match and enhance the color of the room. My master bath is painted in toasted pumpkin, my towels are a deep russet with an embroidered rose. The color of the towels pop against the background.

• Art: Fortunately, I collect or make my own art so I had plenty to choose from. Be bold and don't be afraid to use big pieces.

• Floral arrangements. I let Mel do all these. See the pic of the arrangement on the dining room table.

• Kitchen: Clear off the counters of regular cookery stuff and only dress one or two countertops with items that will showcase the color of the room. She put together a little wine vignette in a corner bar and a cookbook vignette on the opposite counter. (I'll post that picture tomorrow.)

• Polish all glass until it gleams.

• Have the carpets washed. Not only will it look cleaner, it will smell fresher too.

• Pretend you're throwing a party and dress the dining room table for the occasion.

• Bedroom: I have a couple of small lamps that I keep lit while the house is showing. I think it makes for nice mood lighting. When people walk in they can turn on the main lights to see everything in detail.

• Make it smell nice. I have aromatics in the bathrooms. The brand name is called Culti and the scent is called Terra. It smells heavenly, just like you were in a spa.

That's all I can think of offhand. If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Below are a few photos. My battery died at the last minute so I'll post some final pictures tomorrow.

Another view of the dining area.
.This is where my old English sideboard used to live, but I moved my little writing desk there and it made a big difference.
Living room as seen from upstairs.
Notice this is the only room that was left bare. Shown is a still life I painted once upon a time. It's actually the left side of a larger painting by a master whose name escapes me now. Ah, senility is like a warm blanket. *g*

One more post tomorrow.