Home Staging : Small changes reap large rewards

The mention of home staging often conjures up $$$$ signs in a homeowner’s mind but actually it’s the small inexpensive changes that often make the most impact when listing a home for sale. The trick is to merchandise for your market. Your home, once on the market, is a product and needs to be presented to attract attention. The right kind of attention. Staging can ensure your listing doesn’t get lost in the virtual marketplace. You only have seconds to impress so make that first look at your home count.

#1 Update Decor

If the last time your home had a spruce up was 1985, don’t be fooled into thinking just because you are ok with your décor, buyers will be too. Cosmetic upgrades are always a good idea. Even a simple and inexpensive bedding update can make a world of difference to online images. In the bedroom shown we used the homeowner’s existing furniture. Changing the overpowering, outdated floral bedding and removing the drapes made a huge difference and brightened the room immediately. Quick, easy and an instant update.

Before bedroom Portland


Bedroom after Portland


The Bathroom was a similar easy fix, Remove rugs to expand floor space, de clutter counter, add colour and art and new, fresh towels. Online images need to be visually appealing, especially for bathrooms which are big selling features for buyers.

Main bath before Portland


Bathroom after Portland

Dining rooms are where a buyer will entertain family and friends so they need to be shown as an inviting, functional space. If you are selling a home with a formal dining area, as this older home had, de cluttering is key. Remove any small collectibles, wall plates, small pieces of art, dried flowers etc. Also remove overfilled curio cabinets and dining hutches if possible. Not every piece of china needs to be on display. Pack up items to give an illusion of space. Keep it simple. Removing tablecloths is an instant update and makes a room seem more spacious too. Take down heavy drapes to let more light in to brighten the room.

Dated dining

Dining after Portland

Even if you don’t use a room in your home, it is so important to show it as useable square footage. A buyer needs to see how the room can function for them. Many buyers are unable to envision how they will use a room so make it easy for them to see themselves in your home.

Guest bed before

Bedroom 2 after Portland

The home shown was an estate sale. First I visited the home to do a staging report with recommendations for removing some furnishings, de cluttering, what to pack up etc. and on the day of staging all it needed to make it market ready were some cosmetic changes, furniture rearrangement, updated accessories and colours.
SOLD 🙂 by Mary Stickings Remax Nova

Children’s rooms

Choose pieces that will stand the test of time

As children grow their rooms become much more than just bedrooms, they become playrooms, after school study areas and a safe and comforting place to play and read. Throughout the years the words “my room” has very special meaning with ever changing design that reflects the evolving tastes and interests of your little one.


I have never been a fan of the usual children’s furniture sold in many stores. It makes more sense to me to purchase good quality pieces that will stand the test of time and will function for a child from an early age until the teenage years and beyond.

A dresser, night table and bed don’t have to be small scale and usually the quality is better in larger pieces because most kid’s furniture is only meant to last a few years and discarded when they have outgrown it.

One designer who uses this principle to perfection is Sarah Richardson. Sarah uses good quality, sometimes second hand pieces refurbished, to decorate children’s rooms. The pieces she uses are always functional and will grow with the child. Fabrics are always playful and kid friendly but never childlike – no Dora or superman in Sarah’s rooms!

You can still reflect a child’s interests in their room without going for the usual cartoon characters, it just takes a little imagination and creativity!

I look forward to using some of Sarah’s design principles when I decorate my first grandchild Lauren’s room in the spring. I know, I look too young to be a grandma but I am enjoying every minute. Lauren was in the spotlight this week when a picture I sent to CBC was featured as” Peter’s Pick” on the suppertime news.

Here she is in her pumpkin hat with her little friend Emily.

Lauren in pumkin patch

They are adorable don’t you think? Happy Fall from myself, Lauren and Emily