By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Some stagers and real estate professionals keep an inventory of items and accessories on-hand so that they can spruce up properties instantly while on-the-go. Let’s take a peek inside the components to these staging inventories to see what tools these professionals rely on.
Debbie Preisig with Home Sweet Home Staging & Redesign in the Chicago area, considers the following the basics to any staging inventory:
- Candles (all colors, shapes, and sizes)
- Pillows (“You can never have enough,” Preisig says. “You can get them on sale and at thrift stores.”)
- Bowls of any kind or color
- Vases (any kind in which you can use to add some flowers to brighten up any room or bathroom)
Adding More to Your Stash
Over the months or years, you’ll undoubtedly want to add more to your staging inventory. Don’t forget “great-looking” bed and bath linens, wall art, and plenty of decorative accessories, says stager Theresa Vallier-Thomas with Stage Right! Home Staging LLC.
Tabitha King with King REALTORS® in San Antonio, Texas, says she also keeps the following items in her inventory:
- Small lamps with low wattage bulbs to place on bath vanities or kitchen counters to add ambiance lighting.
- Seasonal wreaths and potted flowers for the front porch
- Shower curtains and rods
- Small potted plants for kitchen windows or baths
Stager Christine Spitale with Sunflower Staging likes to keep unique bowls, trays, plates, small spa bath accents, and wall mirrors for staging. But the two main items she keeps plenty of in her inventory: Lamps and throw pillows.
“These items alone go a long way in giving a room extra personality and color,” Spitale says. “Adding accent pillows to a sofa, chair, or bed is a perfect way to add ‘pops’ of color. Also, I find that most homes lack proper lighting. I really think lamps can make a room sparkle, and I love low lighting for the ambiance it creates in a space verses overhead lighting.”
Don’t Forget a Tool Box
Stagers and real estate professionals always come to their listings prepared. A tool box can help.
“I carry a basket of tools in my car, including things like a hammer, screw driver, and various sizes of hooks and nails for hanging pictures or other items,” King says. “I also carry lots of cabinet and drawer pulls in case I need to change outdated pulls in kitchens or baths. This really gives them a fresh new look.”
Preisig also keeps a toolbox (on wheels so it’s easy to travel with too). Her toolbox includes: tape measure, picture hangers, paper towels, cleaning tools and wipes for quick cleanups, hammer, screw driver, and vinegar (another cleaning aid, which also can be paired with baking soda to help remove odors).
Build Your Inventory a Little at a Time
You don’t need to build a staging inventory overnight. Most stagers and real estate professionals say they’ve built theirs overtime, adding pieces to it as they find perfect additions, as they have space to store the items, and when they can find a good deal.
For example, Preisig suggests scouring Goodwills, thrift shops, and garage sales for discounts on items to add to your inventory. “Sometimes with a little elbow grease on some knickknacks these can be a great addition to a room when staging,” Preisig says.
Also, Theresa Vallier-Thomas with Stage Right! Home Staging LLC, has found that researching online at high-end retailers like Pier 1, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, and Pottery Barn can provide inspiration. She’ll then find similar items at discount or closeout stores at lower prices.
You can read more about staging inventories and the pros of cons to having one in this month’s Buyer’s Guide: Home Staging Solutions at REALTOR Magazine online. You’ll also find secrets of the staging pros and get more ideas of staging solutions to fit any budget.