BY ALEXANDRA WARD
The difference between a house and a home, as we all know, has to do with our own personal touches. Your distinctive style, creative flair, or even just family photographs and the multitude of ‘things’ you’ve collected over the years are what make your home distinctly yours. These touches are key in interior design and settling into your space, but when property styling for sale, there is a fine line to tread between making your house seem homely and inviting, and walking someone around your personal life.
The key to home staging is treading this line very carefully. It is essential, when property styling, to ensure that prospective buyers see the space as filled with potential - cosy and comforting, yet with room for them to add their own personal touches. No one wants to walk into a space that is clearly someone else’s.
The key to achieving this balance between over-sharing and a cold, uninviting space is all to do with decluttering. This is the first step of home staging – the simplest method is going room by room, clearing out everything but the bare minimum furniture and then taking a look at what you’ve got. Now, you can slowly re –fill the room. But how to decide what to keep and what to clear?
Your criteria should be this:
Which items add character, comfort and homeliness to the room? (keep)
Which items are very personal to me and my family? (clear)
An easy way of styling your property in this manner is taking a look at photographs. Intimate family photographs are a no-no, but some pictures of landscapes from your travels, even just of the local area, create a cosy feel without reminding prospective buyers that this is someone else’s house. Don’t be afraid to put back mementos from said travels or some statement pieces you’ve collected – you don’t want to make the space too empty! These can be displayed artfully to show viewers the potential the space has to fill with their personal items.
You should leave out the “clutter” of everyday life when home staging. Whilst some things are necessary, such as kids toys and cooking utensils, these should be cleared away neatly when putting your property for sale – prospective buyers don’t need to know what’s for dinner!
To help you with this, neatly arranged baskets for storage show some signs of life, but don’t overbear the viewer. Baskets, particularly trendy right now, are also a handy way of making your house seem homely when property styling.
Do keep cosy cushions and your favourite scented candles and knick – knacks, you want some clutter, as long as it’s nicely displayed. It’s all about showing signs of life and the potential of the space, but in a ‘magasine cover’ filtered light. As long as you strike a balance between comforting and impersonal, your property’s interiors will be perfectly styled!
The Trick of the Trade: take a photo of your newly styled room – you will clearly see what works and what needs to be rearranged or removed. You’ll also have new Instagram ammunition, as well as bragging rights over your messy friends!
This being said, decluttering and de-personalising a home can be one of the most difficult tasks for many people – especially those with busy schedules, so don’t be afraid to call in a home staging professional for help. They can save you lots of time, money and stress and they will have a different insight which will help your property sell faster and achieve the maximum possible price. After all, it’s the result that counts.