Monday, January 28, 2013

Working With What You've Got

I'm learning that pereception about home styling and staging is not always grounded in reality. Some homeowners believe that styling a home for sale is an expensive proposition. Well, it's not. Others think that stagers will insist that they get rid of everything and bring in all new stuff. If your stager does that, it's time to get a new stager. Lastly, a great number of people believe that for a home to be "staged," everything in it must match. Wrong again! A great home stylist will work with what you already have on hand. Sure, you may need to buy a few things, but making your current furnishings work better is what sets a real stylist apart from an imposter.

Remember last week when I showed you pictures from a home staging we did for a couple who had moved nearly all of their furniture to another state? The greatest challange was that we had very little to work with and no budget for bringing in new stuff -- not even rentals.

Here you can see a bedroom that is completely empty. Some stagers might suggest that the owners rent/buy furniture and accessories, but it was not in the budget. Instead, we found a smaller bedroom containing a bed that was too large for the room. It made no sense for the tiny bedroom to have a bed, while the larger room sat empty. Not only did the poorly arranged room leave buyers with a negative impression of the home's space, but the room was the only access to the huge bonus room over the garage. By simply moving the bed into the larger room, we solved two issues (poor scale and room identity) at one time.

Once the bed was in the larger room, we realized that we had nothing else to go with it. No dresser, no nightstand, no lamp, no bedding, NOTHING. We scrounged through closets and basements in search of anything to go with that bed. Praying to find a "Bed-in-a-Bag", we happily settled for a Laura Ashley-ish comforter with a small royal blue and deep red flower motif.

First problem solved. . . sort of.  We had a comforter, but no bedskirt. We did, however, find sheets. They were rusty red with a beige flower print. They did not match, but they worked. We covered the box springs with the fitted sheet and tucked the flat sheet around the mattress -- giving us blue, reds, and a tan/beige color in our new color pallette and solving the problem of having no bedskirt.

Next we found a rug in the basement. It was berry red with a light beige design. It didn't match either, but again -- it worked! 

At that point we had plenty of red. It was time to play-up the blue color in the comforter. We remembered seeing a bright blue trunk in the garage. It wasn't the exact same color as the comforter, but it blended well enough to make a great beside table. We also found a blue globe to use as an accessory. Did the blues match? Of course not, but somehow they looked great together.

The biggest surprise was an odd little oil painting. If I'd seen it in a gallery, I would have walked right past it; but the colors of the painting totally popped when we placed it in the room. It put the blue color in a 3rd location in the room, and the beige/yellow in the painting blended perfectly with the pine bed and a bench we found in another room.

Then we brought in a small, dark cabinet from the attic. It matched absolutely nothing, but the scale was right for the space. With khaki colored accessories, it too worked great in the room.

We hit pay dirt with the use of an antique wooden gameboard over the bed. It was made of a light pine (like the bed) and the graphics were red. Like everything else, it didn't match perfectly, but all together it worked.

Sure, we could have taken the easy way out and advised the clients to buy all new bedding, a side table, dresser, and coordinating accessories to complete the space in order to have a showroom quality room.  But that would have been the easy and most expensive way out of the problem. Instead, we made the owners' items work in a logical, well-coordinated, and affordable way.

And as for that other tiny, odd bedroom where we found the bed . . . Here's how it turned out . . .

What you cannot see from the photos is that to the left of the corner window there is a door to the bonus room. This is room is considered a 5th bedroom, but in order to access the bonus room, one must walk through this room. Instead of keeping its identity as a bedroom, we thought it would make more sense if buyers saw the room as an office. There wasn't much available to make this tiny room an office, but with the addition of a desk and chair, buyers aren't left to wonder why you'd walk through a bedroom to get to the bonus room.

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