A Move-In Ready Home, Just for You

A Move-In Ready Home, Just for You

Staging a home – instant interior makeovers intended to help increase a home’s resale value – isn’t rocket science. And, it’s not just for homes that have “For Sale” signs in the front yard.

Just ask Emmy-nominated “Speed” home stager Jill Vegas, who uses the internet and weekly action plans to help homeowners learn how to put their properties in the best light. Or ask interior designer C.J. Knapp, creative director and lead designer for Savvy Surrounding Style, a St. Louis home store and design firm.

Here are some tips you can use to instantly and cheaply transform your home - and not just for someone else to enjoy.

1. Clear the clutter

Strip the room of “anything that’s distracting from the architectural features in your home,” says Vegas, author of “Speed Decorating” (The Taunton Press, 2009). In a kitchen, these distractions include extra appliances, cereal boxes, and any out-of-place items like piles of mail.

“When it comes to staging a house, less is more,” says Knapp. “A few well-placed pieces of furniture have more impact then lots of pieces.” Vegas has a self-proclaimed “fierce” rule when it comes to getting rid of things: “Ask yourself, Do I love it? And listen to what pops into your head.”

2. Clean, clean, clean

“Make sure every inch of your floor sparkles,” Vegas says. Everything has to gleam, and those dust balls in the corner of your closet have to go.

3. Add mirrors

Mirrors instantly increase light and can make a space feel wider or deeper. “Look for windows with great views to reflect in the mirror, Knapp says. “Before placing mirrors, stand with your back to the wall and look straight ahead. If you see into the bathroom, a blank wall or a stack of dirty dishes in the sink you know not to place a mirror there.”

4. Light your way

Natural light shining through sparkling windows makes a big statement in a staged home, so remove heavy curtains that block out natural light. “Turn on lights so your house seems warmer and brighter,” Knapp says. Remove dusty shades and switch out light bulbs.

5. Join the color guard

Beware of too much or too little color. You don’t want to overpower a room with one color or whitewash the place, either. Vegas recommends adding “color accents.” Choose a palette for your throw pillows, vases, flowers, artwork and rugs.

6. Pull up a chair

“Place furniture on an angle.” Knapp suggests. Add small stools in a dining space to suggest generous seating space. Avoid multiple chairs with backs that create a vertical line; this can make a space appear cramped and small.


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