The ins and outs of staging made simple
When it comes time to sell, there are three make-or-break rooms in your house: the living room, the kitchen, and the master bedroom. These are the areas where life is most often lived, and it is in these spaces that buyers imagine themselves inhabiting. This is frequently accomplished through successful staging, the art of creating a canvas where potential owners can envision their lives taking place. I’ve compiled a list of things to do and things to avoid when it comes time to stage your master bedroom.
DO: Get Started with a Deep Clean
Perhaps the most important step of all, deep cleaning the master bedroom allows you to work with a fresh canvas and a clean palette. Potential owners will inspect every corner of your master bedroom—from the nooks of the en suite bathroom to the crannies of the closet—so don’t try to hide your clutter. Instead, get to the root of the issue first and avoid the headache later. Decluttering can be freeing, and there is a myriad of tools to help you during this process. The KonMari method approaches decluttering from the stance of choosing joy and only keeping items that bring happiness to your life, but there are also a number of online resources for eradicating needless mess in your bedroom.
DON’T: Neglect the Details
Buyers have a sharp eye. If you think you can sweep something under the rug and call it a day, think again. Once you’ve swept and mopped, you’ll want to address the skeletons in the closet: all those pesky home updates you’ve been putting off for another day. Now is the time to caulk your windows and doors for a better seal, spackle any punctured drywall, and touch up any cracked paint. Polishing hardwood floors can add shine to your bedroom, and deep-cleaning any traces of stains on carpets will instantly uplift the space. Don’t forget the en suite bathroom—tile should be perfectly grouted, backsplash should be shined, and make sure the faucet isn’t leaking. This low-cost maintenance will create confidence in potential buyers that the house has been well-loved and cared for.
DO: Less is More
Big, bulky furniture has a tendency to be some of the most comfortable, so it’s no wonder why our bedrooms often feature large statement pieces. Oftentimes, large furnishings can overcrowd a space. Instead, rearrange furniture to create roomy walkways. This might necessitate putting a few pieces of furniture into storage during the staging process. Any built-in shelving found in your master bedroom should be neatly dusted, and only the most important items should be left on the shelves. Allow negative space to naturally draw the eye of buyers to the shelves’ potential.
DON’T: Sterilize the Space
In the midst of decluttering, repairing, and neutralizing, you might be tempted to erase any sign of life from the space in an effort to streamline your master bedroom. An empty room might seem like a “blank slate,” but a completely open space lacks any concept of structure, which can make it even more difficult for buyers to see its potential. While it is typically advisable to remove extraneous family portraits, don’t feel pressured to completely sterilize the room. Instead, give your space a “lived-in” feel with chunky knit throw blankets, fluffed pillows, and warm tones. Utilizing chic decor in place of personalized mementos will create a broadly appealing design that still encapsulates the feeling of home.
DO: Contemplate Color Schemes
If you love bright, bold colors, it’s likely that they have found their way into your master bedroom. However, when it comes time for staging, consider toning down the color palettes. Often, bedrooms are encouraged to be painted in soothing neutral colors that inspire restfulness and peace, and a subdued color scheme creates a more broadly aesthetically pleasing canvas. Tranquil whites, muted taupes, and balmy blues are popular choices for wall colors that will cultivate a sense of zen serenity in your master bedroom. One way to balance accent colors is by following the 60-30-10 rule. The wall color dominates 60% of the room and influences major furniture colors. 30% of the decor is in a complementary secondary color. The last 10% consists of a splash of color, an accent that offsets the other two tones.
DON’T: Decide to Renovate
Once you reach staging, the time for significant renovations has passed. Instead, work with what you have to create the best possible bedroom in your home. Instead of knocking down walls to create a more open floor plan between the bedroom and the en suite, let a light color palette trick the eye into seeing a roomier, more breathable space instead of cloistering it with dark shades.
DO: Open Up
If you’ve invested in a pair of quality blackout curtains for a good night’s sleep, fold them and put them in the linen closet for now because fresh air and sunlight are a buyer’s dream. Peel back the curtains to let natural light saturate the space for an instant mood lifter. Windows can help a space feel larger and airy, and more spacious rooms are often attractive to potential buyers.If your master bedroom lacks a significant source of natural light, there are creative solutions that can help. Make the most of what little light (if any!) is available by adding mirrors, which will reflect the light and make the space appear both larger and brighter. Plus, adding recessed lighting is an excellent option for introducing a soft glow in the master bedroom that works with any floor plan.
DON’T: Take it Personally
While you might hold a special affection for the mementos and souvenirs cluttering your sleeping space, you’ll want to purge them for the sake of staging. Over-cluttered spaces can be difficult for some buyers to see through, and the space’s potential gets lost in the knickknacks. Move these items into storage while your house is on the market so that you can keep a hold on your keepsakes without interfering with your house’s marketability. Remember—this isn’t a personal affront to your design tastes. Successfully staging your master bedroom requires a delicate balance of inviting, lived-in warmth and a blank canvas for potential buyers.
DO: Get Up-to-Date
Worn carpets, faded wallpapers, and dim light bulbs are a bad look in a bedroom. It’s often difficult for potential buyers to see themselves living in a room that doesn’t feel up to par. Strip off outdated wallpaper in favor of a trendy accent wall or opt for a clean, chic coat of fresh paint. Replacing carpet can quickly become expensive. Instead, deep clean your carpet to make it feel refreshed. Swap dim light bulbs for energy-saving LED bulbs in a warm white to give the room a pleasant radiance.
DON’T: Forget the Greenery
As you’re decorating, incorporating touches of fresh (or faux!) greenery into your master bedroom can transform the space with necessary vitality. Plus, house plants may contribute to cleaner, purer air in your master bedroom. For beginners, low-maintenance plants are ideal, such as snake plants, pothos, or ZZ plants, which can prosper in almost any lighting situation. More seasoned gardeners might opt for the dramatic fronds of a monstera or the elegance of a towering fiddle leaf fig. Or, if you prefer something that will last the ages, reach for a faux sprig to add no-maintenance greenery to your space while still instilling the calm, peaceful nature of plant life.
DO: Consider Hiring a Professional
While there are some aspects of staging that can be done DIY-style, an expert will be able to primp and preen your space with a keen eye for design. Because we are often deeply attached to our homes, it can sometimes be difficult to view the space objectively. A professional stager will be able to assess the strong points of your master bedroom and rearrange furniture, add flattering accents, and reimagine the space with a neutral, widely appealing style. Sometimes, staging a room can require a massive overhaul of personal items—a professional stager is a guiding hand through the process, always steering you toward the light at the end of the tunnel.
DON’T: Get Overwhelmed
Selling a house can seem intimidating, but proper staging has been shown to increase a home’s selling price and reduce its time on the market. According to a study by the National Association of REALTOR® Research Group, 31% of buyer’s agents saw an increase of 1% to 5% on the offer price for a staged home, and staged homes typically spent up to 70% less time for sale than their un-staged competitors. You love your home, and there’s a good reason for it. Excellent staging techniques can accentuate the aspects of your master bedroom that you love and help potential buyers see the room’s magic. Whether you choose the DIY route or consult a professional, staging your master bedroom is a worthwhile endeavor with a proven return on investment.
Selling is made easy when you have someone on your side. Contact Matthew Breitenbach for more information on buying or selling Hampton Bay real estate or to learn more about East Hampton homes for sale.