7 Tips for Staging Difficult Spaces
One of the critical reasons to stage a vacant home is to give perspective to buyers. Empty rooms are lifeless question marks in buyer's eyes, so merchandising the space becomes essential!
Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal, a New York City based staging company was given one of the toughest vacant staging assignments I've ever seen, so I just had to share it. This 3-bedroom, 4,000 square foot loft in Tribeca was on the market three months without an acceptable offer.
The loft sold at FULL asking price 22 days after Donna staged it!
Check it out...
This was the loft space as you walked in the home and as you can see the large columns are distracting and overwhelming. The space appears dark, lifeless, cold and definitely not easily able to arrange furniture around!
Entryway/Living Room Before
1. Create Groupings
Strategically using area rugs, Donna separated the large space into groupings. A central living and seating area between the columns draws the eye to the seating area and away from the columns.
2. Use Reflective Surfaces
The large and well placed mirror brings the eye further into the room immediately while extending the more narrow space. Using a light palette, reflective surfaces and mirrors, the space appears more open, light and inviting.
Here is a view from another angle where you can see how open the space was and how difficult it would be to fit all the represented living spaces in this one great room.
Not only did she fit a living grouping but a dining area off the kitchen as well.
3. Use Furniture to Separate the Space
What do you do with a small, seemingly un-useful space off the living area when you've already established plenty of seating arrangements?
Separating the space with a bookcase, it becomes an office with a view!
4. Proper Scale Needs to Always be Considered
Filled with large, empty space this loft needs properly scaled furnishings to first "fit" between the beams in the living/entry area and now larger pieces to match this large space below.
The cabinets are artfully arranged to add color and symmetry.
5. Know Your Buyer Demographic
Staging for Families
Since the buyer demographic for this space was a family, Donna incorporated that lifestyle in her merchandising by turning this cold Den space into a bright, kids play area.
Notice how the brick wall in the vacant space appears to be a detraction while once it's staged becomes an asset.
"Artful staging can turn even negative architectural elements into positive assets!"
6. Use Great Art to Elevate the Space
At this point you've probably noticed the amazing artwork that serves to elevate the space and give personality right? Well Donna cleverly partnered with an art gallery to complete her staging vision.
This bedroom is tricky because all you notice is the long, unsightly heater under the windows.
Using a highly textured area rug, soft textiles and amazing artwork the space becomes a girls dream bedroom!
7. Never Leave Anything Up to the Buyer's Imagination
Frankly, any kitchen unstaged with cleared countertops will look cold, sterile and bring the eye to the worst architectural feature (in this case the overhanging light on the island). The "cleared counter top" look is NOT a staged kitchen!
Color was essential to move away from the hospital feel and the contemporary barstools draw the eye away from our light fixture while providing the sleek, cool feel associated with this space.
Empty bedrooms add nothing to a buyers decision. They become quick "walk-on-bys"
Add the color, textiles and life...now the buyer lingers.
Another view of the master bedroom and incredible artwork!
Thank you Donna for sharing your talent! Staging is essential for buyers to really "see" the value in a home...otherwise the seller is leaving cash on the table.
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