The Hearth of the Home - Staging your Fireplace

Who doesn’t love cozying up to a glowing fire with a good book in the evening or sitting fireside for game night with family and friends?  We sure do! And that’s why it’s time to market this great feature to interested fall and winter buyers.

An appealing and comfortable living space is a high selling point for any home and usually near the top of most buyers’ wish lists.  It truly is the hearth (heart!) of the home.  As stagers, we consider the fireplace to be the architectural feature of the room and an important focus of our styling, creating a sense of warmth and welcome to guests (buyers).

Staging your fireplace might seem challenging, but just remember our staging mantra –“Less is always more!” 

Here’s a few of our staging tips for fabulous fireplaces that buyers are sure to love:

1) First - declutter your fireplace area – you don’t want it to feel overcrowded with clutter or functional items.  Let’s see that great focal area!

2) Next, depersonalize the space – (i.e. – removing picture frames, awards/trophies, or any personal items).

3) Balance – you want your mantel décor to be balanced with the room and create an overall feel of symmetry in terms of style and palette.

4) Add some color to the mantel and hearth – it’s a great place to add a pop of color to draw attention to the room’s feature, especially in neutral colored living spaces.  This can be done through artwork or colorful accessories such as vases or pillows. Color draws buyers into the space and encourages lingering. 

5) When choosing artwork as a focal point, choose artwork that will appeal to various buyers’ taste.  We prefer simple neutrals and abstracts.  Detailed art requires too much interpretation and doesn’t translate well in photos.  And please, NO mirrors!

6) Don’t overcrowd the mantel or fill both sides of the mantel with arrangements/candles.  A tall vase with artificial greens or neutral candle sticks + a large piece of vibrant artwork is simple and sweet and sure gets the job done.

7) Don’t worry about nailing art to the wall especially if it’s brick – leaning artwork against the wall and resting on the mantel is perfectly fine and adds some fun detail!

8) Some fireplaces can appear dull and dreary when empty – a simple solution to avoid the “black hole” is to add candles or birch logs to cheer up the inside.

9) Make sure to "sell" a wood-burning fireplace by removing free-standing screens, cleaning out the ashes, freshening the interior with a coat of Rustoleum Heat/Fire Safe black spray paint and placing a few logs on the grate - ready for warmth and appeal!

We’ve included some sample images to help you create the perfect mantel space!  Happy Staging!

An Early Christmas Gift -- From Your HD Elves

Staging Prep for the Holidays

As the leaves begin to fall outside and temperatures finally dip, our thoughts quickly turn to fun decorating for the holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Mardi Gras. But, what does this mean for sellers?

Holidays are a very personal time -- they mean a lot to us, too! When selling, you want to make sure your styling is neutral and welcoming to potential buyers.  We suggest no visible holiday décor in any MLS photos, and a holiday decorating “lite” approach when it comes to interior spaces for showings.  Enjoy the holidays but save your “all-out” decorating for the new/next house. 

“Less is more” is the theme for staging during the holidays, but if you want to spread some holiday cheer here are a few tips that even Santa will love:

●       Start by hanging a pretty evergreen wreath on the front door – remember fresh is best!

●       Accentuate the positive or best features of your home with a touch of holiday (i.e.- garland on the mantle or mistletoe hanging in an arched doorway) but don’t overpower with too much trimming -- or eggnog!

●       Depersonalize decorations – decor should appeal to a broad range of buyers, so please no names, initials or personal photos

●       Share a plate of homemade holiday cookies in the kitchen for showings and top with an open holiday cookbook nearby to show off your “secret” cookie recipe as a festive styling prop

●       How about some soft, classic music (i.e. – holiday tunes invite lingering)

●       Try a bowl of fragrant pinecones displayed on a foyer or coffee table (staying with the neutral/natural décor theme)

●       Place peppermint or pine-scented soaps and candles in bathrooms to tickle their noses as well as their holiday fancies

●       Simple white lights outside can highlight landscaping or features on the outside of the house – and help Rudolph find his way!

●       An evergreen swag or big red bow on the mailbox will add a fun holiday welcome at the curb

●       Don’t forget to declutter – this is always a must when selling a home

We hear you - the holidays can be a very stressful and challenging time for homeowners with listings on the market. Following our tips for holiday staging will definitely help you be less of a Grinch and feel more like Santa this holiday selling season! 

We wish you all a happy and successful 2018 holiday selling!!

Mudroom Makeover: Staging your “other” foyer

Selling your house soon and wondering how to stage your mudroom?  It’s definitely a challenging area for sellers because it’s an often used, yet often overlooked space. It can be a big collector of STUFF and usually too much stuff.  By following just a few easy tips, we can help you sell that mudroom, transforming it into a fun family entrance – you know, that “other” foyer.

5 ways to keep your mudroom from actually looking like a “mudroom”:

1)  Declutter, declutter, declutter!  - clear off any bills/mail, remove all shoes, garage tools or wet pool towels, and please don’t display too many hats, bags or coats.  If you have hooks, leave 1 or 2 colorful items like kids’ backpacks or umbrellas hanging up.

2)  Use matching on-trend baskets - this can help hide any of the clutter you usually store here.

3)  Add a cute and colorful rug to draw attention to this feature area.

4)  Sell the space to potential buyers! Help them visualize using this coveted space for themselves. This can be done by adding a touch of greenery, hanging a cute scarf, displaying a gardening hat, gloves, watering can or even a pair of sassy rain boots.

5)  Adding a piece of art or an organizational board with a cheerful quotation is always a welcoming finishing touch!



🍀 The Power of Green 🌿

Every buyer needs a little help imagining themselves in their new home. Our secret “good luck” charm for sellers? Adding green! There is something about greenery, artificial or real, that adds so much life and beauty to a space.  Plants offer a natural touch and warmth to any room and definitely enhance buyer appeal.  Small plants can bring personality to a side table or open counter space, while larger plants bring that little something extra to an empty corner. In fact, plants not only add warmth, charm and personality, but are also a budget-friendly accessory with a big design impact. 

A few tips for staging with plants:

- Less is More - plants should not overpower the decor. No jungles please!

- If opting for live plants, purchase ones that are super healthy and low maintenance like succulents, ferns, philodendron, a fiddle leaf fig tree, etc. (don’t forget to give plants the water and light they need!)

-Yep. We're fans of artificial plants. And, no, we aren't talking about Grandma's dated silk floral arrangements. We prefer small & simple designs like small round box woods, succulents, small herbs, topiary plants, etc.

-Artificial plants placed in decorative pots, baskets, or on-trend containers are another fun way to add a welcoming pop of color to any interior space

-Greenery can be used outdoors, too. Use live plants on patios, front entrances, planters and more! 

Below are a few of our favorite good luck “green moments” from our 2018 Parade of Homes listing (which will be featured in the Acadiana Home Builders Association magazine this month!!). See if you can spot the real versus the faux green. 

Photography by Haylei Smith Photography

Freshen up your Foyer

"Old ways don't open new doors"

The foyer of your home, whether large or small, should be functional and beautiful.  After all, it’s the first glimpse of your home!

Questions to consider:
Does it set the tone for your home’s interior?  Is it a snapshot of what’s to come? Does it exude a warm welcome? Is it decluttered and clean?

The goal of foyer freshening: it should keep an interested buyer wanting to see more! Let’s capture potential buyer’s interest instantly with some key foyer ingredients.  House Dressings “top secret”  foyer checklist will definitely energize your entryway: 

  •     a chest or table
  •     mirror
  •     rug
  •     lamp
  •     fresh flowers or blooming plant
  •      small bowl for real estate agents’ business cards
  •     a small bench with pillows is great for a small foyer/entryway or to create a foyer “feel” if you don't have one at all!