As a Feng Shui practitioner, I approach all home staging projects with an eye to creating a neutral, calm oasis of space that any potential buyer can see themselves living in.
I also try to remember to keep expenses, and therefore remodeling, to a minimum, always remembering that the point of all of this is to help sellers extract the maximum amount of price increase possible through my staging. This isn’t about ME, or the seller ... it's about selling the item (your home!). So let's stop thinking of it as your home, and start thinking of it as an item to be marketed and sold.
Step One: Declutter
It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. Pack up all your personal decorations. However, don’t make spaces like mantles and coffee and end tables barren. Leave three items of varying heights on a end table or night stand, for instance. Just enough to look lived in, but still zen and inviting.
Don't just pile things into nearby cabinets! Potential buyers open these cabinets to peer inside. Do the due diligence and pack this stuff up. Remember, you are going to need to pack it all up to move or discard anyway. You’ll have to pack it now or pack it up later, so why not do it now?
After: Clean, clean, clean
Before you can worry about where to place furniture and which wall hanging should go where, each room in your home must be spotless. Do a thorough cleaning right down to the nitpicky details like wiping down light switch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and window coverings. This may be a great time to hire out a service to make sure it's done right. Then: Furniture Arrangement:
Highlight the flow of your rooms by arranging the furniture to guide buyers from one room to another. In each room, create a focal point on the farthest wall from the doorway and arrange the other pieces of furniture in a triangle around the focal point. In Feng Shui, we call this Command Position, and it's an important aspect in creating that sense of calm I mention above. Brighten Your Rooms
While you want to keep the color story neutral, pick a warm tone that will allow for the insertion of pops of color with pillows, accessories, flowers, bowls of fruit, etc. Make sure that each room has wonderful amounts of light, with either natural light, higher wattage lighting, or both.
Set a Home Stage
Create vignettes with an open book on an end table, set the dining table for a meal, create the image of cocktails about to happen on the buffet, etc. Allow for the narrative to all talk about how that potential buyer will enjoy this space, without any reference as to how you lived in it. It's also important to show a room being utilized for it's intended purpose. There is no need to show the dining room as a TV watching space.
Lastly, let the story begin at the front door. In Feng Shui, we call this the Mouth Of Chi; that place through which all good energy flows in. Make sure it is clean, warm and welcoming; and the good energy of buyers WILL flow into your home! Good luck!