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Staging and Style

How Much Is Too Much Gray in Home Design?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

It’s been gray mania in home design over the last few years. We first saw grays grow as the base wall color in homes, then within flooring, furniture (hello, gray sofas!), and now gray colored kitchen cabinets are all the rage. Gray is everywhere!

And while all these gray home décor items individually are certainly still trending, using them all together — well, it can be a little much. Remember, even Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” eventually opened the door to the delight of cheerful colors.

Let’s not forget, gray isn’t exactly the happiest, most cheerful color. It’s a neutral, and it needs to be mixed with color to make it pop.

So to liven up your grays, pair gray-colored walls with an accent color, like greens, yellows, or navy patterned accent chairs, pillows, or rugs. Here, the designer uses a blue velvet sofa to break up the gray.

 

For the kitchen, avoid the temptation to pair gray walls, gray flooring, and gray colored cabinets. Instead, try a contrasting shade, like a different color kitchen island to offset some of the gray.

Staging and Style

Eye-Catching Home Accents That’ll Make All the Difference

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

You want potential buyers to remember a property from the moment they step though the front door. Think beyond just furnishings and décor and present a lifestyle that they can envision—all through memorable, engaging home accents.

Add in Pops of Bold Hues

For the gorgeous living room shown above, our design team chose versatile navy-blue as the primary accent color. The color really pops and makes a statement against the soft, neutral backdrop. Since this room is one of the first that guests will notice upon entering the property, the use of an eye-catching color creates a focal point to draw potential buyers into the space. The cozy velvet side chair, accent pillows, artwork, and pottery work together to create a sophisticated space.

Set the Scene

Once the furnishings and decor are chosen, set the scene. We arranged trays and baskets on tabletops to help immediately draw buyers into the space and emotionally connect. In the photos above, we chose a collection of coordinating accents with texture and personality, such as plants, flowers, colorful bottles, napkins, and wine glasses to convey a lifestyle and enhance the home’s unique style.

Display Artwork

Artwork is a great way to add a subtle touch of warmth. We’ve found that using simple imagery with soothing hues or text with a short message works best to add to the room’s style while not detracting from its best features. The canvas “Home Sweet Home” wall art and abstract art for the fireplace (shown above) were the perfect finishing touches in the farmhouse style kitchen we recently staged with soft creams, wired baskets, and pine furnishings.

Invite in Textures

Layering and mixing textures creates depth and visual interest in any space. In the rooms shown above, we started with beautiful area rugs that contrast well with the dark hardwood flooring and added a mx of textured accents, such as a faux fur throw, pillows in different fabrics, wood, gold and silver metallics, wire, glass and ceramics. The final result is an engaging space that will instantly get noticed by buyers.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is the principal, interior decorator, and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating. She has been staging and decorating homes for more than 13 years. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home staging and interior decorating throughout Connecticut and Westchester and developed an award-winning staging program for luxury homebuilder, Toll Brothers. Her company has received Houzz 2015–2019 Awards for Customer Service. Patti also has been featured as a staging and decorating expert on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV as well as a variety of local publication,s such as Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, and more. She is a regular contributor to the Styled, Staged & Sold blog. Email her at: patti@pjstagingdecorating.com

Staging and Style

Vignette Staging Doesn’t Cut It Anymore: Here’s Why

By Jennie Morris, International Association of Home Staging Professionals

In the beginning, home staging was mostly focused on sprucing up vacant properties. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, when staging first started to gain traction, stagers and real estate professionals tended to have limited furniture resources and focus on “vignette staging.”

Vignette staging is where small groupings of furniture and décor are used for adding some visual appeal and in helping to define the purpose and size of a room. It was a technique widely used at the time. But in today’s staging world, vignette staging does not work.

Vignette staging–THEN

Staging–NOW
Photo credit: IAHSP

A vignette lacks proper size and scale of furniture that give buyers an idea of how large (or small) a room is.  It makes it difficult for a buyer to visualize when furniture items aren’t used or only surface décor or art is in the space. A buyer viewing images of the property online will not have a sense of the true size or the purpose of the room.

Buyers nowadays expect more from their property search experience and are more sophisticated as a result of watching programs on HGTV and TDN.  Vignette staging cheapens the look and feel of the house.

Today’s professional home stager follows industry trends for furniture styles, colors, and understand the demographics of the buyer they are working to attract with their staging results. They do not rely on old furniture in a property. They carefully curate an overall cohesive look that will resonate with buyers online and in person.

Stagers help create the potential for a buyer, often highlighting a lifestyle with the selections of furniture, artwork, and décor.

Just as real estate professional services have evolved to include higher quality marketing, photographs, and processes that help best market a home, home staging has progressed as well.

The idea of just putting a few towels in a bathroom, placing greenery on counters, and leaning a piece of art on a mantel and calling it a “staged” property is about the same as a seller thinking FSBO is the same as using the services of a professional REALTOR®. They are not the same.  Not by a long shot!

Which property do you think a buyer will want to purchase?

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennie Norris is the chairwoman for the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®), the president & CEO of Stagedhomes.com, and the owner and principal stager of Sensational Home Stagingserving the greater Denver region. As a Master ASP® Stager, she and her teams have staged 5,000 properties for sale since 2002. For more information on staging or to locate a professionally trained and credentialed stager near you, visit www.Stagedhomes.comorwww.iahsp.com.

Staging and Style

Neon Colors in Staging?! You’ll Be Surprised How Much You Like It

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

In a throwback to the 1980s, neon colors are popping up in more home decor. The flashiness of neon colors is a sure-fire way to brighten up your home’s interior, and the way fluorescents are being worked into a room isn’t as nauseating as you might at first imagine.

Adding in neon-green bath towels or a neon-colored pink or yellow ottoman or accent chair may sound too bold for your home staging. But as long as you mix it with the right colors, it may be just the pop of color a room needs.

The neon accent trend was on display in this year’s New American Home, a model home of innovation presented during the 2019 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Designers used neon-green and yellow colors throughout the home’s otherwise neutral colored backdrop.

Photo credit: Jeff Davis / Jeffrey A. Davis Photography

Neon color pops can actually make a room look sophisticated and luxurious.

But of course, moderation is key when adding in neon accents. (Remember, you’re not going for some black light retro effect!)

Designer Justin Riordan with Spade & Archer Design Agency in Portland, Ore., told realtor.com® that the neon trend works best when it’s mixed within a room decorated in mostly whites and grays. He suggests avoiding neon accents when working with Earth tones, such as creams, beiges, and browns.

For those looking for a more daring staging style, you’ll be well on-trend if you reach for those neon yellow pillows or that hot pink, nailhead accent chair. Check out these pictures from Houzz to see how the neon trend is being shown off in stylish ways.

Staging and Style

Get on Mom’s Good Side: Staging Fit for the Female of the House

By Sarah Anderson, VHT Studios

Let’s face it: Moms work hard! Besides juggling their own work schedule, they are integral to keeping the family on track, from changing diapers to helping with homework to shuttling kids to and from school and assorted extracurricular activities.

Because of that, when moms are looking for a property, they tend to be drawn to homes with features that work for the entire family: Large, open, and spacious kitchens, family rooms that double as playrooms and homework havens, bedrooms that can be converted to craft dens when the kids fly the coop, and designated mudrooms for sports equipment, shoes, and coats. Highlighting these family-friendly features could be paramount in appealing to mom buyers.

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

It’s also creative and smart to appeal to mom’s desire for creature comforts to help her envision her next lifestyle in that new home. What mom hasn’t dreamed of having a luxurious en suite bathroom, a reading nook, or a well-organized walk-in closet to indulge in at the end of the day? Or, having a space all to themselves in the form of a trendy “She Shed” or “Mom Cave”? And let’s not forget about a poolside chaise where the only voices heard are those of the birds!

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

This Mother’s Day, let’s take a closer look at how real estate pros can leverage beautiful photography and even some digital virtual staging tech tools to appeal to both the practical and dreamy side in a mom’s home search.

What do Moms Need in a Home?

A great way to get on a mom’s good side is to show how a home can appeal to the whole family and how the home could even make her busy life a whole lot easier.

To clearly display how a home will work for the entire family, real estate pros need to showcase high quality, gorgeous photographs of family-friendly spaces and features within the home. Also, VHT Studios offers tools like Virtual Paint and Virtual Redecorate to help present a room in many different ways and functions–to help moms envision that picture perfect image too.

Children’s bedrooms: Show the current fully decorated child’s room that provides a fun, kid-friendly space for play, homework, and sleep. A child’s bedroom or playroom also can be transformed in photographs into a new office, den, or craft room by using virtual staging tools. (Just be sure to clearly mark the images as “virtually staged” so there are no surprises when they visit the property in-person.)

Photo credit: VHT Studios

The backyard: Show off how there’s enough room for children to play outside. Also, consider giving the home’s exterior a romantic look with a twilight photography session or a Virtual Twilight digital enhancement. Capture that blue and pink glow in the sky and the soft reflective light off the windows to convey a warm and welcoming, homey feel.

What’s Really In Mom’s Dream Home? 

All too often, moms delay their dreams to stick to a family budget. Although it’s important to take the entire household’s happiness into account when making a large purchase like a home, moms should also consider what they individually want in a house as well.

What mom doesn’t want to escape to a spa-like bathroom with a glass of wine at the end of the day?

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Real estate professionals need to show how that dream of relaxation and the ability to unwind can become a reality for moms by highlighting these types of home features in a listing. Professional photography can certainly help with that.

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Crisp, clear, high-resolution professional photography with rich, brilliant colors appeal to what moms really want in a home and draws their attention to potential indulgences such as luxurious bathrooms, open and fully updated kitchens, and relaxing, spa-like master suites, or an at-home gym where a mom can go to do yoga in peace.

The smartest real estate professionals follow that reliable old, but oh so wise adage: If Mom’s happy, everyone’s happy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Anderson is vice president of marketing at VHT Studios, a national real estate photography and visual marketing firm.