By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Walls are a key element of home staging. They are the canvas showcasing the greatest attributes of a house. But where do you start when preparing a home for sale? Staging Diva Debra Gould, president of Toronto-based Six Elements Inc., offers up five rules of thumb for handling walls in home staging.
1. Remove personal pictures: Those wedding portraits and baby pictures have to come down, as do diplomas and awards. Personal items such as these are distracting to potential buyers. You want them to focus on the home itself, not who the current home owners are.
2. Pay attention to the condition of the walls: If the walls are beat up, dirty or chipped, it can distract a buyer and negatively impact the sale price. “Paint is the cheapest, easiest, and fastest fix you can do on a house,” says Gould. The colors, she says should be fairly neutral, but not to the point of boring. Select an interesting neutral color palette with three to four tones, or colors that compliment the existing features of the room.
3. Hang mirrors: Big or small, round or square—there is a mirror out there for every style of home. “Mirrors are a great way to visually enhance a room and to help the room appear brighter,” says Gould. Mirrors can provide subtle stylish appeal or an anchoring focal point. Another benefit: they don’t cost a lot! But it is important to think about what the mirror will reflect—avoid unattractive or cluttered areas of the home.
4. Get some art: Select art work that accents the best qualities of a room. No controversial pieces, violent scenes, or religious art. “With staging, what you want to do is enable the buyer’s eye to move around the room and take in everything,” says Gould, and the art should help achieve that goal, not hinder it.
5. Stay in proportion: Small pieces of décor get can get lost on large walls, while giant prints can be overbearing in an area with only a little wall space. Mirrors, paintings, and other elements of décor should relate to the furniture around it, Gould says. Consider the composition before you get out the hammer.
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for 20 years and author of several guides, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide. She also offers a Directory of Home Stagers and a free home stager locator service. For more information, visit www.stagingdiva.com.