An Outline for Owner-Occupied Staging

Author: Jillian Dinnie, Design and Merchandising

Some stagers prefer the blank canvas of a vacated home, while others enjoy everything that entails working in an owner-occupied home. The ability to provide a full range of services in your industry is always great for business and can lead to more work through agents.

Owner-occupied homes offer different challenges, and our members have said those challenges make them better designers. Learning to work around colors and know where to move everything can improve your ability to envision a home’s potential. We have put together a list of helpful tips to make your next owner-occupied home a success.

Hold a meeting with the owner and broker or realtor.  An introductory session will help you develop an agreed strategy with the homeowner on how to get their hot home market-ready. Knowing they have your design expertise will assure them you are working to make their home appeal to the masses and the transition as smooth as possible.

De-personalize the space. Ensure all personalized items such as photographs, awards, calendars, monogrammed items, personal products like prescriptions, and toiletries are removed. Removing personalized items helps the homebuyer envision living in the space and creating memories there.

Styling. There are hidden gems in every home, and utilizing your expertise to rearrange, and style brings new life to it. Doing a tour and taking inventory of what you can work with and where it will work best is a great skill of a stager. Removing all unnecessary objects around the home help show the bones of the home too.  

Update the look of furniture pieces.  In owner-occupied homes, there are always pieces that must stay but blending them with furnishings that are on trend will give it an updated look. Add bright and contemporary pillows and throws to an older sofa and update a dining table with modern chairs and an elegant centerpiece. 

Tone down vibrant accent walls. If painting walls in a neutral color is not in the budget, you may have to work around bright accent walls. The best thing to do is try to calm the color in the room rather than hide it. Find a neutral palette that pairs well with the color and bring more of it into the room. A large piece of art that complements the color can help tone it down.  

Update bedding and linens. A quick update to any bedroom or bathroom is white linens. A fluffy white bed and white towels look fresh and new and appeal to homebuyers.

Design Tip of the Week: With summer months ahead of us, think of woven materials and desert neutrals from warm tans to pinks and mustards of a sunset. Natural fibers like seagrass and sisal are a modern twist to coastal styling and pair well with desert neutrals. Add a little pop of aquas and turquoises to your rooms for a punchier hue. 

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