In this post: You don’t have to be selling your house to stage your own home. If you want to upgrade the look of your home, try these simple home staging tips.⇒
Did you ever walk into a room and think, “wow, I really need to re-do this room”?
But you really can’t put your finger on what’s wrong.
Maybe you don’t love the decor but it’s not awful. In fact, you like a lot of the pieces and the accessories are pretty cute.
No, it’s something else.
Sometimes, in fact, we can make a huge difference in the way our home looks by making the simplest changes. And often those changes don’t even have to do with the decor.
If we borrow some ideas from home stagers, who prepare homes for sale to be shown to buyers, you’d be amazed at how much nicer your home can look. Why not stage your own home to enjoy it more and make it more beautiful? Here are 20 quick fixes to upgrade the house you live in!
Home Staging Tips
1. Clear away the clutter
Of course it’s pretty obvious to put stray things away, but even decorative items can amount to clutter. If you’ve overdecorated the coffee table or have one too many planters sprinkled around the room, consider taking a ‘less is more’ approach. Sometimes an end table only needs one vase on it!
2. Touch up wall defects, scratches and dirt regularly
This is one of the easiest fixes and yet so many people do not do it. You can stretch out the time between paint jobs by simply touching up the dents and marks as they occur. Or do one room at a time, every so often. Always keep the extra paint, clearly labeled, and then use it! I’m not talking about repainting the entire room, but literally touching up the spots that need patching.
And if you have a rainy day and some time to kill, that’s a great time to repaint the trim.
3. If it’s broken, fix it
This one is a pet peeve of mine! How often do we let broken items pile up and never fix them? We do this with personal items and we do it with home decor, as well. If the hardware came off the cabinet, put it back. A clock stopped running? Have it fixed. Dented a piece of furniture? Repair it right away.
Not only will it make your house look better but it will also remove the stress of seeing a visual to-do list around your home.
4. Clean rug and furniture stains immediately
No one wants to walk past the same stains all the time. Have them cleaned. If you can do it yourself, all the better, but if not, make the call and have it done! You will enjoy your home so much more and the sooner you clean stains, the easier they are to remove.
5. Correct the height of wall art and light fixtures
We’ve all been there. You finally hang the artwork that’s been sitting there for months. It was a tough job but you got it done. You step back and look. And you try really hard to convince yourself that the height is right. Or that it’s straight. But you know right away that it’s not. You think, ‘agh, it’s good enough’.
Bite the bullet and correct it. It will drive you crazy and if not you, everyone else who comes in the house. Once you get it right, you never have to worry about it again. But if you don’t fix it, you’ll see the imperfection every time you walk into the room.
6. Iron the drapery panels and other textiles
One of the fastest ways to destroy the look of a room is with wrinkled fabrics that look like they were packed in a box for a few months. You can iron them, steam them, or use a wrinkle release spray. But if you think no one will notice, I promise you, they will!
7. Fluff the pillows, rotate the cushions
It takes just a few seconds to fluff the pillows and it makes a world of difference. If you do nothing else when people are coming over (besides putting away the dirty dishes!), fluffing the pillows is a step you should not skip. It’s an instant refresh in a room.
I also make it a habit to rotate the sofa cushions to avoid getting that lumpy cushion in the spot you always sit.
8. Limit the decorative objects
I touched upon this above when I mentioned decluttering, but it bears repeating. Limit the accessories around your home. Most people have too many. As Coco Chanel advised when talking about putting together an outfit, decorate an area and then always remove one thing. Leave room to breathe around your decor.
9. Organize and hide the cords
Another super fast way to ruin the beauty of a space is to see it overrun by unruly cords. It’s not the TV that is so offensive, but the mess of wires that are trailing all around it. Organize your cords and hide them as best you can. If you can wire electronics through the wall, even better.
10. Make sure your rooms aren’t too dark, or too light.
You can decorate a room with the most exquisite furniture, but if the lighting is off, it will kill the effect. Too dark and you won’t be able to appreciate the details, but it’s also possible for it to be too light. I love a lot of light but even I know, you don’t want your home to be lit like an operating room. A little softness can benefit any space.
11. Spray the crystal and the mirrors
Another really simple trick. You don’t necessarily have to spend an hour cleaning the crystal chandeliers. There’s a “magic” spray that you just spray on and it drips dry. Sure, occasionally you may want to do a more thorough job, but for frequent touch ups, this works like a charm. And polishing the silver, cleaning the mirrors and spraying the chandies makes a huge difference!
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12. Push the chairs in and line them up evenly
Does it drive you crazy when someone leaves the table and doesn’t push the chairs back in? This makes me nuts. every. single. night! Also in this category is straightening the paintings and having lined up items facing in the same direction. Yes, it makes a difference.
13. Open the blinds and pull up the shades
As I mentioned above, I love a light room and there’s nothing as wonderful as letting the sunshine in. Open the shades and blinds to let the outside in. Be sure to keep them raised to the exact same height.
14. Buy fresh flowers, water the plants
I’m a huge fan of fresh flowers and I always make sure to have some scattered around the house. They can make an ordinary room look very special! Plants, too, bring life to a home and add a note of charm. Be sure to keep them appropriately watered and keep the leaves free of dust. Having no plant is better than having a dead plant.
15. Remove objects that don’t match
I realize this is a hard one for items with sentimental value, and who am I to tell you to get rid of your grandmother’s yellow chair? Just realize, while you may be able to look past an object’s offensive characteristics, they are visible to everyone else. It’s your home. But I prefer things to match.
16. Close the closets and cabinet doors
This is about as simple a task as one can imagine, but amazingly, it’s not always done. And it’s one of the fastest ways to make the room look messy and take away from your decor. No one needs to look at the storage in your closets. Keep them closed. Pay particular attention to the sliding doors because they’re the easiest to forget to close. Ditto for cabinets.
17. Repaint the room if the color needs updating
How many times have you agonized about whether to spring for the money to repaint a room or not? This is especially true if it wasn’t that long ago that you painted the room, or if you just painted it and knew you hated the color right away. If you can help it, don’t live with a color you don’t like. As long as you’re not changing the trim, painting a room is not difficult. Do it. You’ll be glad you did.
If you were staging your home to sell, you would certainly be told to paint it neutral. This is where my head is right now too, so most of my rooms have recently been changed over to a pale greige. It makes decorating the rooms so much easier and is a relaxing backdrop for most any style.
18. Add moulding if there is none
Ok, unless you’re handy and can DIY it, this one does cost some money, but if you’re doing one room at a time, it’s really not that much. And oh, what a difference it makes in the general look and finish of your home! Having no moulding is like having bare walls with no artwork.
19. If a rug is too small layer a larger one under it
Nothing makes a room look more awkward than the wrong sized rug. If you have a rug you love but it’s too small, layer it over a neutral larger one. Or if you’re less attached to the rug, simply replace it with a larger one. Skimpy rugs make the furniture placement look strange and can throw off the entire room.
20. Know when to call a professional
There are some projects that are best left to the professionals. Only you can determine which, by honestly evaluating your abilities. If you can do the job as well as a pro, go for it! You just never want a DIY project to look like it was done poorly.
Many of these fixes amount to upkeep and in truth, keeping your home in good condition is half the battle. A well kept home can get away with a few decor imperfections until you are ready to update.
And if you ever decide you want to sell your home, it’s already staged!
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