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7 Tips for Staging Your Home

Maybe you’re listing your home for sale. You want potential buyers to see the house in its best light, so they’re willing to pay a little extra. Or maybe you’re hosting a dinner party. You’ll be giving tours of the home to your  guests, and you know that their discerning eye will see everything. Or maybe you simply want your home to have that certain je-ne-sais-quoi for your own enjoyment, whether you’re cooking, sleeping, or curling up on the couch to watch TV.

Whatever your motivation, staging your home is like taking some extra time to iron an outfit and polish your shoes. Simple adjustments can make your home shine.

Of course, there are professionals that can be hired to give your home a total facelift, complete with imported furniture and accessories. But there are tricks you can do yourself to get the same feeling. Read on for tips on how to stage your home.

You knew you’d see this high on the list, didn’t you? De-cluttering is one of the least glamorous home décor tips, but it is the biggest way to make an impact on your home.

Ideally, you would organize, toss or store the straggling items, but if you’re in a pinch, you can just hide them out of sight (think drawers or closets). Surfaces should be emptied of items that aren’t permanently housed there (artwork okay; stray mail is not) and floors should be clear.

Move the Furniture
Assess each room with an honest eye: does all of the furniture fit? Sometimes, we try to cram in extra pieces when they really don’t fit, or there might be one piece that just doesn’t blend in with the others.

Outside eyes will pick up on an unharmonious feeling, so stay a step ahead by removing the offending piece or pieces. If you’re just looking to clean up for a party, store the extra piece(s) in a garage or basement. If you’re moving, keep the piece in storage for your future home. If there’s no major occasion and the piece isn’t used very often, consider that it might be time to say goodbye—forever!

Clear the Kitchen
Two quick fixes in your kitchen can go a long way. First, clear the outside of your fridge. Papers, cards, magnets—let it all go, since it is visually distracting. Second, tuck packaged food behind closed doors. Cereal, bags of flour, loaves of bread—they might seem tricky to store, but leaving them on surfaces or open shelves makes the kitchen feel sloppy.

Set the Table
Setting a table is an old trick of the trade. Use nice dishes (with chargers, if you have them), silverware and glassware. Include place mats, napkins and a simple centrepiece. Aim for a fresh look; avoid excess.

Invite Warmth
Staging your home isn’t about making it seem like nobody lives there; it’s about making it feel inviting. Achieve this by setting out a few cozy throws and pillows on beds, couches and chairs. When not in use, blankets should be folded and pillows should be fluffed to keep the room looking its best.

On the theme of warmth, if you have a fireplace, use it! Whether wood, gas or electric, a fire brings literal and figurative warmth to a room.

In the Bathroom
It is so easy to accumulate stuff in bathrooms—cosmetics, soaps, lotions, and so on. Keep these items hidden out of sight to create a cleaner space. Little touches, like towels that are properly folded, go a long way. Coordinate the bath mat, towels and shower curtain to create a unified look throughout the bathroom.

If you’re welcoming guests, be sure to have hand towels and soap readily available. Put the soap in a decorative container—it’ll lend a nicer feeling than the disposable container it came in.

Pay Attention to Smells
If you’re looking to temporarily cover up smells or just make a room smell a little bit special, consider lighting a few candles (keep them in the same scent type to avoid headaches!), or simply heat up a little home-made concoction over the stove. Try simmering cinnamon, orange rind, cloves and a few drops of vanilla to make your home smell delectable.

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