Recently we were asked to "dress up" target areas of a nearly vacant home. We had two days, virtually no budget, and barely anything available to borrow, repurpose, or reuse from the owner. Despite those obstacles, the agent wanted to show off the home's potential to buyers.
We did an initial walk-through to assess what areas could be improved with little or no expense. Even though the owner had moved nearly all of the furniture out of the home, we found two rooms and a breakfast area where furnishings remained. In addition, there were odd, single pieces of furniture, art, and decorative items scattered about the home. The contrast between furnished and sparsely furnished rooms made for a very schizophrenic experience.
There was little we could do about furnishing the empty rooms, so we focused on adding interest to key areas and amenities that most appeal to buyers. As for the almost vacant spaces, we fixed the problems of scale created by single items of furniture, accessories, or art.
You can't see it from the photo, but when we walked into the empty great room, there was a single floor lamp toward the front of the room sticking out like a sore thumb. We asked about removing the oddly placed lamp, but learned that it offered the only light for the room. So ... it HAD to stay.
The great room is a large, two story room. Unfortunately, the owner's small candlesticks and vase were lost in the space. We needed to match the scale with larger, chunkier accessories. The art was a needlework created by the owner's mother and was not being removed, so we made the color work for us.
And -- yeah, that's the floor lamp. Putting it in the corner made more sense than having it greet visitors at the door.
In the kitchen, the biggest thing deterring buyers was clutter. We also saw amenities which were not being accentuated to their fullest potential. The corner display cabinet is a favorite of buyers, but only a mismatched conglomeration of plastic and glass was on display. After a thorough cleaning and decluttering, followed by the addition of a few coordinating accessories, the kitchen looks spacious and ready to welcome the family home.
The breakfast room got a little sprucing up too. We noticed right off that the table was missing some seating. When we asked, we learned that two chairs had been placed in the garage. So we immeditately had them returned to their rightful place.
The simplest, but most impactful change we made in the breakfast room was to center the table under the chandelier. As it was, the space seemed off kilter. Whenever scale and composition are off -- like from an uncentered table or an oddly placed floor lamp -- it can cause buyers to subconsiously view the space negatively; so we fixed it. Then we cleaned off the clutter and added placemats, napkins and a plant. Simple, but effective.
Another area we tried to play up was the butler's pantry between the kitchen and dining room. When we first visited, the space was being treated like an afterthought. With a framed sketch, a plant and some bar accessories, the sought-after amenity came to life.
Here are some additional before & after photos of various areas throughout the home.