"Fresh Beginnings: Bathrooms & Closets"

Mastering the Mess

Is home organization one of your top resolutions as you get ready for the 2019 selling market?!  Well, let’s “master your mess” together and sell those bathrooms and closets – two of the most frequently cluttered spaces in the home.  During the holidays especially, homeowners busily shove everything but Santa’s sleigh into closets or cabinets to make room for seasonal decor. 

Did you know that an important “gotta-have” on most buyers’ wish lists is definitely plenty of storage?   Believe it or not, lack of sufficient storage can jeopardize a sale.  Buyers should both see and appreciate the total storage available in your home.  Space and functionality in bathrooms are also high on buyers’ lists.  They want bathrooms that fit their particular “lifestyle” or one they soon hope to achieve.  Below you will find our “mastering the mess” staging tips for both closets and bathrooms.  Follow these easy tips and you’ll impress potential buyers with stress-free and organized spaces! 

Staging Tips for Closets:

1) Clear out closets – start by editing at least 30%.    Packing up off-season clothing and storing for your move really helps with this first step.  Next, make a pile of things you intend to give away.  With less in your closets, it makes an important impression that there is definitely lots of room to spare.

2) Add on-trend and matching baskets (i.e. – wicker baskets, opaque containers, cloth baskets) to store necessities and hide clutter.  Avoid clear containers because they add to an unwanted cluttered look.

3) Always, always keep the closet floor clear of messes and storage!!  Sell that square footage.

4) If budget allows, matching hangers create a much more cohesive look (stick with neutral colors --tan/wood, cream, soft gray or white).

5) Install extra lighting or add a small lamp on an open counterspace (if available) to brighten the space.    Closets will instantly appear LARGER with good lighting!

6) Color coordination of hanging clothes always provides a very organized stress-free affect. 

7) In master closets, try creating a feature area with a cute piece of artwork – you’re selling a “lifestyle” that buyers are sure to want!!

8) Wondering what to do with all your discarded closet treasures?  We love supporting local thrift stores with clothing donations.

Staging Tips for Bathrooms:

1) Create a blank canvas by clearing off those countertops – remove ALL of your daily toiletries and personal products (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair products, deodorant, etc.) and keep those cabinets tidy, too.

2) Bathrooms should be immaculately clean!  You want buyers to feel that your home is well-loved and that you’ve taken pride in presenting a consistently clean home.  And always empty (and hide) the trash before showings.

3) New on-trend neutral towels are definitely one of our staging staples. Hand towels on countertops or at sinks topped with a pretty bar of soap, and on the tub deck a stack of neatly-folded bath towels help accentuate that coveted spa-like vibe.

4) Dated & tired looking bathroom?  No worries - an easy bathroom update can come from using on-trend accessories.  Your goal here is to create an updated feel with the simple addition of accessories like fragrant soaps, loofahs, cotton balls and candles.  Remember to think simplicity because less is always more.

5) Flowers or green plants and succulents (fresh is preferred) are a great finishing touch.  They add instant color, dimension and life to the space. 

6) Lastly and as time and budget permits, clean out bathroom cabinets and use baskets to store all of your everyday necessities (rubber bands, Q-tips, makeup, combs and brushes, etc.) Spacious storage sells, so keep those cabinets only partially full.

Here’s to new and fresh beginnings!  Be sure to look at our sample images of “dressed for success” staged bathrooms and closets!  Happy New Year and Happy Selling in 2019!! #masterthemess


12 Days of Christmas Gift Guide: Stager’s Edition

Every Christmas we make our gift lists and check them twice, but still have a challenge deciding what to give those who have been extra nice!

This year, we decided to help out by introducing our 12 Days of Christmas Gift Guide:  Stager’s Edition!  Hope you’ve seen our fun Instagram story posts with gift ideas for the 12 days leading up to Christmas!! The stories featured 12 budget-friendly must-give X-mas gift ideas sure to lower stress levels and up everyone’s joy during the season of gifting and giving! 

We received such a great response to our posts that we wanted to share these must-have accessory ideas as a blog because they are true staging staples and great gifts to give all year round!!

12 days of “staging staples” gift ideas: (including list of store ideas for purchase)

1) welcome mat

2) pair of coffee mugs

3) accent pillows

4) white cereal bowls

5) fresh fruit basket or bowl

6) large hardbound cook book with colorful pictures

7) inspirational art

8) table runner

9) neutral throw for living room

10) coffee table hardbound book with colorful pictures

11) matching hand towels for bathroom

12) fresh herb plant

List of store ideas for items – Paul Michael’s, Target, World Market, Bed Bath & Beyond, At Home, Home Goods, Nordstrom Rack, and Dollar Tree. Online store ideas – Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair, Magnolia Farms, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, and Etsy. (there are many others but these are some of our favorites!!)

We have included all of our images for the 12 days of Christmas to give you examples of these great staging staples.  We hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year!!

“Set to Sell” Tables - Dining Room Staging Tips

Dinner is . . . sold!  Let’s sell this great gathering space to buyers, inviting them to imagine sharing a cozy meal with family or hosting a festive dinner party for a happy crowd

 Set the sale for your dining space with these irresistible dining room ingredients:

  • To help the dining room appear BIGGER and remove “visual” noise try a few of our go-to table staples:

o   Regardless of table size, we typically use just four dining room chairs.  This defines the dining area, but doesn’t crowd the space for pictures or showings.

o   Rugs are a popular ingredient for space definition, especially in open concept layouts.  Rugs can add color or texture to the space, while also complimenting the dining room furniture, art and home style.  Avoid dark tones or busy patterns.

o   Not using your formal dining room for dining right now?  We often encounter these spaces being used for offices, extra sitting areas or even a class room for home schoolers.  Please – transform it back to a dining space when selling so buyers easily understand how to use this key space.

  • Doesn’t a table set for gatherings make you feel all warm and happy inside?  Yes, it just feels like home – exactly what we want potential buyers to experience.  We always recommend adorning your table with a neutral runner, and don’t be afraid to pull out your fine china.  No china? No worries - you can use every day dishes.  Simple, light-colored plates work best. Be sure to add cloth napkins (plain or with a pop of color), and don’t forget the votive candles and glasses!

  • To create interest and drama, we suggest not doing a fussy table, formally set.  Casual and comfortable work best for “dinner is sold” tables.

  • And the final touch -- fresh flowers or greenery.  You can style with a pretty glass vase, on-trend basket, tall beverage pitcher or sweet mason jar.  If you decide to use fresh flowers, make sure to keep them seasonal, ideally just one color and don’t forget to change the water every few days. Greenery can be anything from a fresh bouquet of herbs to a blooming plant, shiny jade plant or other live succulents.

  • If you are on a budget, you’d be surprised at the hidden treasures you’ll find within your own cupboards for vases, centerpieces, platters, vintage dishes and more.  Greens can easily be sourced from your yard.  Snip a few stems from your garden and put them in a pretty vase with water.  And voila – you’ve just “set the sale” for a welcoming table!

The House Dressings team looks forward to gathering around our own festive tables this Christmas season to pray and give thanks for the abundant blessings of 2018.  Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the Lord’s great provision in our personal lives and for our amazing staging partnerships this year.

We’re excited to share some example images of “Staged Happy” dining spaces! Bon Appetit!

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!