Staging a Home For Sale: 5 Interior Design Trends to Consider

You can make your Long Island home stand out in the over-crowded home market by incorporating at least one of five current design trends. You don’t have to use every trend. Likely, the house you’re staging will only require one or two.

But using them can make all the difference. Let’s examine five excellent design trends we suggest you consider using when staging a home for sale.

1. Go Green

It’s common wisdom to stage a home using neutral colors rather than bold colors because you don’t want to impress on the rooms too much of the personality of the present homeowner. Instead, you want to present a somewhat blank slate on which the prospective buyers can project their tastes.

That advice still stands but in a slightly adjusted manner thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced us all to spend an inordinate amount of time noticing our interior environments. It also moved us likewise to examine our inner person.

The result was that the uncertainty brought by COVID made us long for serenity, comfort, and hope. And more people began desiring that their living quarters reflect those feelings. The challenge is translating those abstract concepts into tangible walls, floors, and furnishings.

What has emerged is a warmer version of the blank slate room. Yes, you still want to produce a room that relies heavily upon neutral colors, but you want to inject the room with visual and tactile representatives of positivity.

That’s why you’re seeing a certain color pop up as an accent color in these formerly all-neutral rooms. What color? Green.

Why green? Green has long been a stand-in for life. Giving the room a dollop of green here and there signals that despite the setback of the pandemic, all is not lost.

How to Carefully Introduce Green

It’s not suggested that you paint entire walls green, but find more subtle ways to incorporate color. For example, the lining of a bookcase adds color to the room without being overpowering. The green peeps through but is partially obscured by the books and other objects displayed on the shelf.

Consider a softly tinted pillow or throw blanket in a feel-good fabric. Here, you would bring green into the room while also introducing something that triggers a feeling of relaxation when touched.

Other ways to add green are through art and objects. However, you should be extra cautious.

Don’t choose art or objects that dominate the room. This would infuse the environment with too much personality that might conflict with the taste of the potential buyers.

Add Plants

Don’t hesitate to add living greenery to a room for more home appeal. Yes, the idea of keeping a plant alive is intimidating to many people, but you can mitigate those fears by your choice of plant.

First of all, don’t overwhelm the environment with plants. Instead, choose one or two plants known for their hardiness and low maintenance. You might consider a snake plant, a succulent, or an aloe.

2. Home Office

The trend of working from home had begun long before the pandemic, but the confinement forced upon us by the illness made a home office more important than ever. People were looking for a quiet location somewhere in their home where they could retreat from the kids, dogs, and TV and concentrate on work for a few hours.

Now that more people have gotten a taste of working from home, the number of those choosing to do so permanently is expected to increase. Who wants to fight freeway traffic when you can commute to your office in less than 30 seconds while wearing pajamas?

Updating the Modern Home Office

But the home office your buyers want to see is quite different from those home offices of yesteryear when bulky furniture was de facto. One of the reasons that home office furniture is remarkably different than what your parents had is due to the change in office equipment.

Your parents needed furniture that could support heavy desktop computers and monitors. Typically, today’s worker only needs a lightweight laptop. Your parents also needed space on their desks for multi-line telephones. Today’s smartphones don’t require any special space considerations. And the top-of-the-line modern printers are much smaller and lighter than their aged counterparts.

So, ditch the space-eating so-called “executive look” home office workstations and replace them with slimmed-down desks. When people work from home, they don’t want to enter a home office that reminds them of the office they’re trying to escape. Instead, they want an inviting and cheerful work environment.

Get rid of anything that screams “corporate.” For example, remove those objects of so-called interest that retailers sell for placement in offices, such as superheavy paperweights and novelty bookends.

Also, say goodbye to the ubiquitous business motivational posters. One person’s motivational poster with its water cooler wisdom is another person’s reason for eye-rolling.

Less Is More

Your aim for the home office is similar to that for the rest of the house. You want the new homeowners to be able to envision themselves successfully using the space. That’s best accomplished with a home office that’s not stuck in the past.

Keep the space simple with a pared-down desk that would fit any modern style and a comfortable chair. Allow your buyers to fill in the rest with their imaginations.

3. Remove Heavy Furnishings

A room decorated with heavy furnishings can feel suffocating. That’s not the sensation homeowners are searching for after the seriousness of a pandemic.

Remove the thick, dark drapery and replace it with a lighter material. It should be lighter in both weight and color. Not only will the new window treatment make the surroundings feel friendlier, but it will also facilitate the introduction of more sunlight which is a primary contributor to the feel of a room.

During the early days of COVID, many people probably had the urge to retreat into a cavelike room, complete with dark walls and devoid of sunlight. But as life began to return to some resemblance of normal, that feeling has been replaced by an urge to rejoin the human race, to run headlong toward a brighter tomorrow.

People are looking for rooms that invite the sun into their lives. Make sure that your staging accounts for this.

Drop the Heavy Furniture

It’s similar regarding imposing, ornate, weighty furniture. In times of distress, it can be comforting to curl up into an oversize piece of furniture. Its literal stability satisfies the urge you have for stability in your life.

Now that things are looking better, that old furniture seems too imposing and joyless. Stage your rooms with furniture that’s comfortable but less rigid in style and appearance. People want to feel that they are in control of their rooms, rather than feeling that they are under the dictatorship of their massive furniture.

Dealing With Immovable Objects

There are likely permanent and semi-permanent features that are beyond your ability to eliminate for a staging. In particular, built-in cabinetry and kitchen islands with an out-of-date style.

Try to lessen the impact these features have by staging them with lighter elements such as plants which can bring life to the area in question. If possible, you also might consider staining or painting these features in a neutral color. The bulkiness of the furniture will remain, but you can dramatically lessen the effect they’ll have.

4. Creative Space

Did you pick up a new hobby or resurrect an old one during the pandemic? Likely you did, and so did millions of others.

And the one thing that all these pastimes have in common is the need for space. Now that people have fallen in love with a particular hobby, they want to make sure that their new home gives them room to indulge in it.

So, what we’re seeing is more homes with rooms set aside for creative activities. In former days, these rooms may have been reserved as a seldom-used guest bedroom.

Today, people are less likely to maintain a room year-round for the two weeks of the year that it’s used. Instead, they want to make the most of every square inch of their homes.

What Kind of Room Is Needed?

Of course, there’s no way of accurately guessing which hobby the new owners will have. So, you can’t equip the space specifically with them or a particular past-time in mind.

Actually, that’s a good thing because it forces you to think generically. For example, you don’t know, if ideally, the room should have running water.

But that’s okay. Instead, consider the basics, such as electricity. You want to present a room with multiple electrical outlets.

Something as simple as having easy access to an outlet can make it easier for buyers to see how they can use the space for their sewing machine, aquariums, or model train layout.

You also have no idea how much space the new hobby requires. Once again, don’t overly stress what you don’t know. Simply select an average-sized room that allows for one or two people to move around comfortably and to have a reasonable amount of space for a few furnishings, tools, and storage.

5. Outdoor Living Space

Nothing makes people pine for the great outdoors more than being stuck at home. The pandemic helped us appreciate the value of having an outdoor living space.

Make Repairs

Much of the staging of an outdoor space deals with removal. You want to get rid of distracting elements that make the space less inviting.

Because these spaces are exposed to the elements, they tend to deteriorate faster than we notice. That neglected look can turn off buyers.

So, make sure that you repair or replace broken lights, loose bricks, tiles, and handrails. Speaking of lights, ditch any lights carelessly strung. Invest in quality lighting that shows forethought.

It’s true that buyers probably will not visit the house after dark, but the lighting still matters. After all, you probably spent a great deal of time thinking about desk lamps inside the house though they’re probably never activated when showing a home during an open house.

Has the sun faded the paint? A fresh coat can work wonders.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Furniture

When was the last time you updated your outdoor furniture? Styles have changed. So, unless you’re deliberately going for a vintage look, consider staging with modern furnishings.

Today’s outdoor furniture has the attention to detail formerly reserved only for indoor furniture. You can make an outdoor living space as attractive as other rooms of the house.

The available sofas and chairs are well-designed, appealing, and, perhaps, most of all, comfortable. That’s something that couldn’t always be said of your mother’s and grandmother’s outdoor seating.

Pay Attention to Cooking Stations

Get rid of any grills that have seen better days. They may still be functional, but if their appearance is lacking, it will work against you. Treat the outdoor cooking area the same as you would the kitchen cooking appliances.

Would you stage a home with a dilapidated stove or oven? No, because you know that food prep and cooking areas give the buyer a visceral reaction. Deterioration is associated with uncleanness, and that spells disaster for a home staging.

Don’t forget to clean out the fire pit and to artfully arrange any stacked firewood.

What Comes After Staging a Home for Sale?

Now you know how to shorten a house’s time on the market by correctly staging a home for sale. Dean Miller Real Estate also knows all about quickly selling a home, especially on Long Island.

Don’t let your home sit unsold. Stage it and get help from Dean Miller to find qualified buyers.

Contact us today to discuss how we can work together to quickly get your house off the market.

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