The art of home staging

By AMY STILLWAGON

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or simply trying to update your space, enlisting the help of a stager can be a great alternative to more expensive renovations.

Local interior designers Cheryl Gore and Pattie Bowling of Adorable Décor focus their work on helping clients “fluff” their homes for open houses, holiday parties or just a better flow for everyday life. For these ladies, “fluffin’” means taking what someone already owns and reworking it into a more appealing and functional space.

Most people look to the services of a stager or interior designer when they are trying to sell their home. A stager sees the home as a buyer would and is able to pick out the strengths and weaknesses of a space. Having a fresh set of eyes on the space allows them to pick up on minor details, such as chipped paint or scuffed walls, and provide simple solutions. They are then able to present the house in the best possible light to help it stand out from other homes on the market. Best of all, they bring an unbiased opinion to the space. Often homeowners have emotional attachments to objects, collections or design elements that may not be beneficial to the space. As Gore said, “Grandma’s quilt may not sell the house.”

When using a stager like Adorable Décor, homeowners will have a consultation with the interior designers to assess the needs of the space. From that point they can either take the list of things that need attention and do them on their own, or they can use the connections and skills of the designers.

Adorable Décor takes the approach of having clients bring in pictures of things they like and don’t like. From there, the collaboration process begins. Gore and Bowling search for inexpensive pieces to update each space and correspond with the client for final approvals.

Each of the key staging elements listed below can be used to highlight the minimize the weaknesses of a home.

While the ladies of Adorable Décor are able to achieve that balance mostly on their own, including Pattie’s affinity for sewing, their favorite local sources for accessories are TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods and SteinMart, and they use Billy Jones, Jones Remodeling & Repair.

Overall, staging can add value to your home, help you sell quicker or give you the fresh look that will keep you in your house for many years.

Gore and Bowling started Adorable Décor in 2007 when both women decided to pursue their shared passion for interior design after retirement. Since then, their business has blossomed by word of mouth and satisfied repeat customers. Lucky for them, Gore says that the downturn in the economy has only boosted business; more people are interested in their services so they can stay in their current homes or sell quickly to move for a new career.

Key elements to staging

Ensure great lighting

Though obvious, make sure that all of your lights work and have appropriate bulbs before showing your home or entertaining. Having the right lighting turned on in your home creates a warm and inviting space, while also highlighting important parts of the space, be it art or other features.

Remove personal items

People don’t want to buy a home that already looks lived in. It helps buyers to see the potential for their own items in a space when they are not distracted by personal memorabilia.

Neutralize the color scheme

Because most buyers are not looking for a space that requires a complete redo, they can also be distracted or turned off simply by not liking the choice of bold colors.

Clean / organize / declutter

By far the most important aspect of a room is the overall presentation of the space. Clean everything from windowsills to baseboards, and address issues like scuffed walls and chipped light plate covers. If necessary, pack items away in bins or consider getting a storage unit to remove clutter.  An often-overlooked tip is to organize your cabinets, drawers, closets and anywhere else a potential buyer may look to assess the space.

Add accessories

Never underestimate the big impact of small details. Try changing heavy window treatments to sheers to let more light in. Update lampshades for a modern change. Use slipcovers to liven worn-out furniture. Add pillows for polished look or touch of color.

Add curb appeal

Make sure that the outside of the home matches the inside. Having great curb appeal tells potential buyers that the inside of the home will be just as inviting as the outside.

For a consultation or to learn more about how staging could benefit your home, contact Adorable Decor at adorabledecor2.com or 706-5912.

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