Home Staging: Bedrooms

Home staging is the real estate equivalent of dating: you take extra care with washing and scrubbing, coordinating your ensemble and displaying your best accessories. Essentially, home staging is about accentuating the positives in your home to increase its appeal to buyers. Why not simply tidy up what you currently have and hope for the best? Well, most people are far too busy with everyday life to maintain the 'dating' level of cleanliness and style all the time. More often than not, people lapse into a certain comfort level with their homes. The carpets only get vacuumed when they really need it. The newspapers and knickknacks start to pile up. Perhaps the décor hasn't been updated since you moved in several years ago. Before you put your home on the market, consider the following home staging tips for bedrooms.

Blinds and Drapes

If you have washable plastic, metal or vinyl blinds, a thorough cleaning can greatly improve their appearance by removing dirt and dust. However, just because they are washable doesn't mean they will be easy to clean. Remove the blinds from the windows and wash them on an outside deck or in a bathtub with an appropriate manufacturer-recommended cleaner. If you cannot remove the blinds, work from the top down wiping with a damp soapy cloth. Rinse off the soapy film with a clean damp cloth. Another alternative is to hire a professional cleaning company to come to your home, remove the blinds, clean them, and then re-hang them.

Cloth blinds and draperies should be cleaned by a professional company that offers a guarantee on their service. Cloth window treatments can shrink, warp or discolour if they are not properly cleaned.

Carpets

A professional carpet cleaning can greatly improve the look of the carpet. It can also remove dust, pet dander and odours that you might not have noticed but prospective buyers might! Hiring a professional carpet cleaning company is a better option than renting a machine in the $25 to $50 price range. The latter often leave too much moisture in the carpet and the underlay, which encourages the growth of mold and can cause the underlay to rot.

Hardwood Floors

If your hardwood floors are looking dull or scratched, you may wish to consider sanding and resealing them. This can be a labour intensive job but one that can make a dramatic difference to the overall look and feel of a room.

Rugs

If you have a hardwood floor, an area rug can make the room feel cozy. You will find a wide range of choices on the market to suit your bedroom décor, from traditional Persian -style rugs, to shag mats and trendy sheepskin rugs. The shapes have also changed; rectangular and circular rugs are still the mainstay, but you will also find a good selection of abstract shapes.

Paint

The colour you decide to paint your bedroom will depend on the look you wish to achieve. Rich shades such as deep taupe and burgundy can look sophisticated and cozy. Light shades and neutral tones can make a room look brighter and airier. Bold colours such as mustard yellow or aqua are best reserved for accessories or pillows on the bed. Whichever paint colour you choose, be sure to coordinate it with the flooring and trim.

Pillows

Nothing says comfort better than a pile of pillows on a bed, especially when they cost as little as $20 each. The variety of colours, textures and patterns available in fabric today make it easy to create pillows that complement the décor of the room.

Bedding

Consider the difference in impact between these two quilts in a guest bedroom: a bright red and blue Spider Man design or a new silk duvet with matching skirt. Needless to say, some simple updates can make a tremendous difference.

Bed skirt

An exposed bed frame is rarely an attractive sight and for less then $50 a box pleated bed skirt can conceal it in style. The straight lines of a box pleated bed skirt complement contemporary bedroom design at a minimal cost.

Candle

Use scented pillar candles around the room to create ambiance. Groupings of tea-lights are an attractive way to add warm, soft light.

Artwork

An eclectic collection of posters, painting and drawings may appeal to your artistic sensibilities, but to a potential buyer it may look cluttered. Limit your display to a few of your favourite pieces. If you wish to update your collection without spending a fortune, buy an inexpensive print to fit in a frame that you already own. Strategically placed shelves are a trendy way to display artwork, photographs, vases and candles.

Child's Bedroom

Because not all homebuyers will have children, it is important to make a child's bedroom somewhat 'adult-friendly'. If a buyer walks into a bedroom that is painted with pink polka dots and is strewn with toys, they might have a difficult time envisioning the room as an office or a guest bedroom. Since you are planning to move anyway, consider returning the room to a neutral paint colour. Donate to charity any toys that your child has outgrown and keep the rest tucked out of sight during a showing.

Remove Clutter

Clutter often distracts from a space. It can also make it more difficult for buyers to picture themselves living there. If you have ever been to a show home, you may not have noticed what's missing: the clutter! Instead, you left feeling that the home was orderly and the furnishings and accessories were coordinated. That is the feeling you want to instil in the people who visit your home.

Few of us are lucky enough to have a television crew and a group of style advisors show up to help us revamp our homes, but with these tips you can get your home ready for a 'date' with new buyers. And don't forget the flowers!

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