Staging Diagonally: A Way to Fool the Eye

Monday, June 26, 2017
The larger your home on the market appears the more money it commands.

Yes, buyers will study the square footage stats, and appraisals will be based on numbers, but buyers will also respond to how your home feels, how they experience it.

Of course, removing clutter and excess furniture goes a long way to making a house look spacious. But what else?

One trick decorators have up their sleeves is employing the magic of diagonal lines.

If you think about a square, and then visualize the line that goes diagonally from corner to corner, you'll realize that the line that goes from corner to corner is longer than the line that goes from side to side.

A diagonal arrangement forces the eye to wander back and forth across the space, and makes the walls of a room appear "pushed out."

Tables, chairs, and couches are the obvious choices for diagonal furniture placement, but a bed can be set kitty-corner as well, even in a small bedroom. Don't overlook the possibilities of setting case pieces like bookcases, benches, armoires, chests or dressers the same way.

This kitty-cornered loveseat rounds out the room while it directs attention to
the outdoor space, a selling point in this home. Photo: BHG

A simple twist of the four chairs so their lines don't parallel the walls of this
narrow patio, make the space more fluid and interesting. Photo: Suk Design Group 

  This approach is a big improvement over the traditional 
arrangement of a major piece of 
furniture facing the opposite wall straight on. Photo: Homedit
Everything in this room that could be moved was 
re-arranged to sit at 45 degrees to the wall.
Doing so makes the room look more friendly, 

less formal. Photo: One Kings Lane   

Furniture groupings such as conversation areas and dining rooms often take on a cozier look when they are placed off the square grid. One caveat: Make certain the angle is pronounced enough to make the placement look intentional, not as though someone has simply been careless about shoving furniture around. To be safe, keep angled furniture at 45 degrees to the wall. And make sure there is still room to move about.

Floors can handle it, too

I laid peel-and-stick tiles in two rooms
 of this 1920's home to unify the 
rooms and make them look wider.  

I love the jazzy look of floor tiles set diagonally, no matter what the pattern or size.

If you are laying flooring like pre-finished or engineered wood, running the boards diagonally will create the illusion of a bigger room.

A square or rectangular rug will do the same thing if placed at 45 degrees off the wall.

Tiles on the floor or wall, in a herringbone pattern or otherwise, are widening as well.

Anytime you can show off the longest line in the room, do it, either by what you put on the floor or walls or how you arrange furniture.

So, even if your home's measurements aren't all that impressive, when buyers step inside your home, you can still make them feel like it's roomy.

To test this method yourself, move some pieces of furniture to be 45 degrees off the wall, and see if you haven't increased the visual dimensions of your space.

Have you staged your home like a square or a diamond?

I give many more pointers on how to arrange furniture in my $4.99 eBook on the subject. You can download it now and start your home staging today.

Summer Style: You've Got This!

Friday, June 16, 2017
As soon as summer starts, home buyers get serious. New listings pop up, people take vacations, they're out and about, and the mood is upbeat.

For families with school-age children, the hunt is even more serious, since they want to move before school starts up again.

Most people would rather move during the summer than when the weather isn't so iffy, and they may have vacation days to use for moving.

It's a great time to have your home on the market. But it's also a  time that your home needs to be "summer-ized." The summer buyer has special needs, and the sooner and more closely you match those needs, the sooner you'll see a purchase offer.

But how to deliver a savory summer home on the market?  What's important? And how much money and effort will this take?

Let's take it one step at a time.

Go Breezy

Forget the warm and cozy vibes your property exuded all winter. A fresh and colorful look will lure in more of summer's house hunters.

Inside, stage your home's interior with warmer weather in mind. Switch out your accessories. If you haven't already, put away the animal print and earth tone pillows and bring on the pastel ones. If your window treatments are a dark color, replace them with sheers. Use white when in doubt. It's your default color whether you're painting furniture or adding slipcovers.

Even if your home isn't in a perfect summer destination, like the mountains, lake, or seaside, ask yourself if you can play up the way your home is a treat to live in during the summer. If it's close to any summer attractions, make sure buyers know. Don't assume everyone knows your town and its amenities, and you can't assume the real estate agent will think to talk up all that your surroundings have to offer.

Keep the house cool so folks on tour feel refreshed when they enter. It doesn't have to be ultra chilly, but you can't underestimate the impact the immediate impression of comfort has on someone entering from the toasty outside.

Outside Has to Shine

The best exterior home staging for summer advice I can give is to dress up those outside living areas. 

Make them look like the perfect places for relaxing, entertaining, and playing. If you don't have a patio or deck or porch, chances are you can still imitate the experience no matter what your property is like.

Put a bistro table and chairs on the balcony if that's your outdoor space. Add some comfy seats if you have a front or back porch. Make a simple, economical firepit, or add a hammock out on the lawn if space allows.

Colorful plants in containers create killer curb appeal. Bright colors are the rule here. Cash outlay is minimal for the ROI.

Make sure your lawn is tidy, and areas around shrubs are mulched. This project should not cost you much either.

Of course, your home's basic exterior maintenance needs to impress buyers. Check for red flags that might worry them  -- things like paint that is faded, peeling, or mildewed, windows that are cracked or fogged, gutters that are clogged, or walkways that are uneven.

Does your siding, driveway or any other surfaces need pressure washing? Power washers are rentable for a low fee and are easy to use. Has your driveway been patched? It can be painted with a good quality paint used for concrete. Do you have a pool? Make sure it's in great condition, clean and staged with some tempting lounge chairs.

Elbow grease is free and bleach is economical.

Add Seasonal Touches Inside

The thought of summer calls up happy images for most of us -- road trips, pools, beaches, picnics, baseball games, outdoor meals, light reading, sleeping late, and a relaxed state of mind (unless you're a mom of little ones).

I like to let people on a house tour reflect, even momentarily, of what kind of life they will live once they move into a house. For that reason, I like to add some thrifty items that will trigger those thoughts -- furniture that looks relaxing instead of just impressive, sports equipment that anyone could love, lots of refreshingly cool colors, entertaining essentials that look like fun, and props that capture the spirit of the season.

Even if you don't own furniture that itself speaks to 
casual comfort,you can still stage it to say, 
"Relax! It's summer!" Rattan, bamboo, 
wicker, metal, pine, teak,and painted furniture
are some  of the most  
common materials for leisure furnishings. 
Let's not forget slipcovers for converting 
formal space to look more relaxed and
low maintenance. Photo: Sunbrella on Coastal Living.

Okay, maybe your family doesn't play baseball, 
hockey, football, basketball,
and volleyball, but if you can show the 

possibilities for local recreation in your area,
 it is going to impress some people. 

If there is a pool nearby, have noodles 
in your garage . If there is a tennis court in your 
complex, display rackets in your hall closet.
Photo: The Land of Nod

The coastal decor pillow is the icing on the cake here,
surrounded by bright whites and colors of the beach and water.
Doesn't everyone wish for a house at the shore? You can stage
to create the illusion of that fantasy come true. Photo: Completely Coastal

This collection of summery hats and bags, all in one place,
function like a piece of wall art. It's an easy look to engineer with
a visit to a second-hand shop and maybe your closet.
The plant also lends a seasonal touch. Photo: One Kings Lane  

When in doubt, go white. Get out the paint and give furniture,
fixtures, frames and other accessories a fresh, new look.
The white treatment is especially appealing to buyers in spaces that
call for cleanliness, the kitchen and baths. Photo: Jules Duffy 

If you need more tips on how to get your home ready for market, download my $4.99 home staging eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. I guarantee you'll get staging ideas. And results that matter to buyers! Or money back.

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