When we take after photos of projects, we stage the space. (Because we take pictures shortly after completion of the project, homeowners haven’t had time to live with, and decorate, the remodeled space yet.) And while it’s not always practical to live in a staged space (because we like to have our toaster or coffee maker out every day), it is possible to stage certain areas of your home for every day or special occasions. Here are some guidelines we follow when staging a space and that are helpful for decorating in general.
Remove Everything – First, remove everything. Yep, clear out all of your existing décor, tchotchkes, piles of clutter, canisters, toaster, Vitamix, Keurig, candles, etc. Why? That’s a lot of work! Yes, but it’s necessary, so carry on. Some of the items will be going back so it’s a good idea to move everything to a table nearby so you can “shop” your existing stuff. Be willing to pull items from other rooms that might work as well.
Choose Neutrals & Naturals – By choosing neutral and natural décor, you’ll have a lot of flexibility in your design. Think creams, whites and greenery. Eventually you’ll have a collection of items you can pull together for any occasion. In the pictures above, the neutral items and greenery can be used throughout the home and mixed and matched with an endless combination of accessories.
Add Color – When the majority of your décor is neutral, it’s easy to add a burst of color for a special occasion or season, or just because. Sometimes a special object will become your pop of color, but there are a lot of ways to add color affordably. Fruit and flowers are relatively inexpensive. Color can be functional as well when you use colorful bins, pillows and throws, which are easy to change seasonally.
Group & Layer – One is the loneliest number, so stick with three or five items depending on your available space. Layer the items so that they look nice, and intentional. Play around with placement, step back, assess, fuss over the items some more and repeat until you’re happy with the look. Even a knife block and cutting board look nice when paired with a decorative item.
Vary Heights – Varying heights are more interesting. This applies to everything: cabinets, décor, landscaping, people, mountains … So if your collection needs some variation, use what you have to give a boost. Books can be great risers along with a stack of platters or a cake stand. Be creative and have fun.
Remember Open Shelves Are Open – Open shelves are great in kitchen design but they have limitations. Cabinets can conceal a mismatched mess, while open shelves cannot. Open shelves can be used for display or storage, or both. If you’re going to use them for storage, it’s a good idea to use them for neat stacks of plates or bowls or glassware that is neutral. These same rules apply to glass front cabinets.
Be Realistic – We’ve all seen awesome home pictures that just don’t make sense. Like why is there framed art and a candle IN a shower? It should go without saying that you should decorate with items where they are likely to be used. Don’t use a cutting board in the bathroom, or bath gel in the kitchen. Decorate your bar area with items that are likely be used in the bar area. In the picture above, attractive bar ware is displayed on the bar.
Declutter & Stash – Of the items that you removed from your space, take an honest look at what you’re going to keep. Those six candles that sit out in case you want to burn one … that’s clutter and it doesn’t belong in your amazing space. Keep out one great looking candle and the rest can be put away in a cabinet until you are ready to use them. It’s ok to keep a few appliances out on the counter, but it’s also okay to put them away when you’re having guests or when you’re not using them.
Enjoy Your Space – Now that you know the basics, you can easily stage your entire home for any season or occasion. It’s a fun way to keep your home looking fresh. And when your home needs more than just new décor, let us help you plan an after photo-worthy remodel! Just contact us for a free consultation.