Home Staging Tips and Advice

How to stage an empty house

By Kerry Derwent-Robb

Some home stagers stage only furnished homes, because staging an empty home requires furniture, accessories and a lot of physical effort. But staging an empty house gives you a truly blank slate, and I personally find it a satisfying challenge.

Use these tips to stage empty homes for a quick sale.

First, understand the psychology. Some buyers might be able to easily imagine themselves in an empty home, but it can feel cold and impersonal. You need to spark their imagination with small touches and a select amount of carefully chosen furniture.

Make sure the house is perfectly clean and as new looking as possible. Shine the windows, polish the kitchen chrome, remove or hide stains. Wipe the baseboards clean. Touch up paint or paint as necessary. Make sure it smells fresh and clean. Replace any burned out light bulbs.

Welcome them from the front door. Polish the doorknob and the front light. Sweep up. Touch up paint or paint the door if needed. Place a new, inviting mat. Hang seasonal decorations on the door, or place a potted plant on the porch.

Bring in furniture, but selectively stage a few rooms. With NextStage cardboard furniture, we stage the living room, the dining room, and one, or possibly two, bedrooms. (This is enough to set the stage – if the house has more bedrooms, they can be left empty.)

So this requires
Fortunately, with NextStage cardboard furniture, all this furniture fits in my car. And I can carry it into the house in 20 minutes.

A neutral, more modern home might be easier to stage, but in older neighbourhoods, you're going to encounter some "distinctive" colour choices. With a variety of accessories, you can tie in your furniture to the room colours, creating a flow.

NextStage Furniture in an empty house

NextStage Furniture in an empty house

In the kitchen use small touches, such as distinctive kitchen towels and oven mitts, decorative glass jars filled with pasta or oils or the counter, a basket of plastic fruit (kept clean), and silk plants.

Bathrooms immediately seem more welcoming, with clean, fluffy towels on the rack. An attractive soap dish and decorative soaps complete the look.

Keep curtains and window coverings open (on those sparkling clean windows) to bring in natural light and increase the space.

Hang framed pictures and posters where they'll have impact.

And consider small, "real furniture" touches, such as a rocking chair, a bench, or a child's rocking horse.

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