Staging your home for sale goes beyond a few basic repairs and a fresh coat of paint–you are dressing your home for a date with its potential new owner. 

While countless designers are focused on professional home staging, there are plenty of ways to enrich and enliven the look of your home, on your own, with a few simple adjustments. 

The key to perfect staging is to please all of the senses, making your home both photo-friendly and welcoming to visitors, while keeping simplicity in mind.

Create a Scene

The primary goal in staging is to create individual vignettes: try pulling together a couch and two seats to form an intimate sitting area, or pair a loveseat with a side table and an accent piece.  Each of these “scenes” should be lit independent of each other.  This makes the room seem active in its design, and directs the eye to different areas of the room.  Direct your track, can, or recessed lighting to highlight key pieces, such as the fireplace, built-ins, or the dining area!

Direct Your Lighting

Just like in the movies, lighting is everything.  A few moves can add drama and ambience to even the most common rooms.  Recessed lighting and dimmers can adjust to complement any kind of daylight, and track lighting can focus in on specific areas of a room. Carefully placed up-lighting can highlight key objects from below, such as indoor plants or an art piece.  Every light should be deliberately placed to lead the eye toward a different part of the room.

Don’t Forget the Sunlight

Allow as much natural light into each room as possible.  Bright spaces appear larger, and the easiest way to achieve this is by opening your blinds, or pulling back your window treatments.  Even if the room has potential for being bright, your home buyer will never see this with dark and shadowy lighting!

Set the Mood

Now that you have achieved visual perfection, you must appeal to the other senses.  Take simple steps by throwing a soft, colorful (not gaudy) blanket over a piece of furniture.  This can be an accent piece as well, so place it in an area you might want to focus upon.  Add scented soaps to each of the bathrooms (don’t spray half a can of air freshener before your visitors arrive), and make sure that your laundry machines, the dishwasher, or other loud appliances aren’t running while visitors are in your home.  The key is not to mask your home’s weaknesses, but to enhance its strengths through subtle detail.  You are staging your home for an important date; make sure it is staged to perfection!