6 Secrets of Staging Your Home
The experts at Witty Rentals shared the six staging secrets of decorating a home to sell–or to love where you live even more
Best friends and business partners Chelsea Bradford and Tiffany Garcia started their chic furniture rental company, Witty Rentals, nearly five years ago in a garage. Today, it’s expanded to a photo- shoot ready studio in Carlsbad and a home staging company too.
You don’t have to be ready to move or sell your home to use Chelsea and Tiffany’s advice. In fact, the new trend in home staging is a design that’s just a more edited version of how most of us long to live—like very tidy people with excellent taste who also like to cook and entertain. It’s about striking that perfect balance of warmth and inspiration.
Even minimalists collect stuff. Evaluate your shelves, tabletops and other surfaces. Challenge yourself to remove 50 percent of the items. Then remove 50 percent of what’s left and 50 percent of that. Now, step back and assess. You will likely end up adding a few things back (see tip No. 5), but keep it to a minimum, like a few meaningful objects. “A small stack of favorite books and a candle can make a room feel instantly inviting and personal,” Tiffany says.
Make rooms feel spacious by rearranging existing pieces. You want the room to feel comfortable, not cluttered, and you want the home’s architectural details—those beams on the ceiling or the tiling detail around the fireplace, for instance—to sing.
“Don’t furnish rooms with sets,” Tiffany cautions. Matchy-matchy lacks personality; eclectic can sometimes feel a little hodgepodge. Instead, achieve cohesion by adopting a strong sense of style and going for it.
Most Realtors say neutral palettes sell best, and that might be true, but you don’t want to create environments that look sterile or, alternatively, make people feel like they’re walking through a kaleidoscope of color.
A safe bet is to start with a foundation of rich brown, off-white, black and/or gray and add saturated hues with artwork and pillows that bring in texture and depth but also some playfulness and whimsy, Chelsea and Tiffany advise.
“Add plants and flowers throughout your home,” Chelsea says. Opt for easy-care houseplants like cacti and succulents, and cuttings that look great even when they dry out such as eucalyptus, pampas grass and pussy willow.
Add pillows and throws to some—not all—of the chairs and beds in harmonizing hues and prints. Display a small collection of pretty cutting boards, bowls or canisters in the kitchen. Toss rugs on bare floors in bathrooms and down otherwise empty hallways. And finish rooms with a few decorative objects like wooden spheres, antlers, coasters and baskets.
After a fresh coat of paint—which is almost always necessary before you list—don’t leave walls bare. It’s not wise to do a gallery-wall installation (it will only serve to make potential buyers cringe at all those holes they’ll have to patch), but try series of works—two shibori textiles, three sketches, a pair of wood boards or baskets—or a statement piece like a large tapestry. Chelsea and Tiffany brought the entry to life by adding a few hooks to its long, blank wall and making art out of hats, a scarf, a leather camera case and a horseshoe.