Staging bathrooms.How to get that “spa” look.

Bathrooms are a big deal for homebuyers,so if yours is a little lackluster you need to up the glam factor.
Removing all the clutter and all of your personal items is a given when prepping your home for sale .Buyers don’t want to see your hair brush,tooth brush or your cat’s litter.Now is the time to sort through what you really need to keep,give away,sell or throw out. Recycle where you can.Counter tops should be clear with the exception of a few accessories.

Artwork adds interest in a bathroom

Clean until every single thing sparkles in this bathroom. If you have a shower curtain buyers will pull it back to see the condition of the tub so clean all the grout until it is white.
One of the biggest changes and best investments is painting your walls. Choose a neutral paint colour that will go with the colour scheme of your home.Think ‘spa’ and calm.Aqua blue with white always creates a fresh,tranquil feeling.

Calm tranquil colours work best when staging for sale

If your lighting fixtures are outdated,you can find very current brushed nickel or chrome light fixtures for very reasonable prices at Home Depot,Ikea,Lowes, Canadian Tire or Costco.The old brass or “hollywood” fixtures just don’t have the look home buyers want.
Flooring does not have to be an expensive item for your bathroom update. There are many excellent products on the market. Peel and stick tiles work beautifully in small bathrooms and powder rooms, or of course tile is the way to go if budget allows. Choose a neutral tile not too dark and not too bright. Avoid using carpet in a bathroom at all costs.

Paint a tired looking vanity

Inexpensive replacements for sinks and counter tops can be sourced at ReStore Habitat for Humanity, Costco, Home Depot, Canadian Tire or Lowes. There are many excellent low cost laminates that you can use for new counter tops.
Toilets that are dated in colour such as green,pink,burgundy or blue should be replaced with new white toilets and toilet seats. Try and keep all of the furnishings in the bathroom white or off white. Tubs and shower stalls can be more of a challenge if they are old and full of mildew. At the least clean as much as possible. Sometimes you can create a cleaner look simply by using a strong environmentally friendly cleanser and a toothbrush;then add a new grout.Another option is reglazing if a tub or shower is in really bad shape.Well worth the expense.

White shower curtains,a good choice for staging

A new shower curtain in a fabric rather than plastic will add warmth to the room. White is always the best colour but other colours may work if you coordinate well.Think‘spa’and hotel ensuites.
Cupboards and shelving should be white, off white or a dark chocolate brown with nickel hardware works well. If you have wood such as oak now might be the time to consider painting it. You can buy a primer and then a latex paint to update the look.
If your mirror is cracked or slightly damaged now is the time to replace it. The current trend is to individual mirrors rather than one large mirror often found in homes. Find a mirror that suits the style of your home or consider framing your large mirror to create a more polished look.

Two mirrors are better than one!

Depending on the size of your bathroom hang some art that is restful to the eye and in soft colours. Select contemporary accessories for the finishing touches. Avoid using bathmats when showing a bathroom. You can cozy up the room with your paint colours, towels and shower curtain. Keep the floor clear and clean to maximize square footage and ditch the garbage can for viewings and online pictures.

How to acheive high style on a budget

Thrifting,everyone is doing it!

Home Stagers are are masters of creating savvy design ideas for little investment.With the use of paint,colour and a few tricks up their sleeve they create show stopping interiors to wow buyers.Design on a dime requires some thinking outside the box,reusing and upcycling pieces already owned or purchased for a song in second hand stores and garage sales.

When shopping second hand don’t get caught up in buying something just because the price is right.Look for quality made furniture in solid wood if possible that won’t fall apart before you get the piece home.If you do find some items you love but the finishes are outdated or don’t match don’t worry.A coat of fresh paint will fix that problem to unify all your finds,a soft cream or dark brown will work depending on the furniture style.One thing to keep in mind is the scale of all the pieces,don’t crowd a room with too many pieces remember you are selling square footage not furnishings.Hardware is another way to instantly update.Nothing dates furniture more than garish brass so new nickel or chrome handles will give a fresh new look or spray paint if the budget is really tight. 

Refurbished shelf unit

A few of the pieces I have given a new lease of life to recently are a chrome wall unit purchased for $9.99.With a little elbow grease,some new glass shelves and paint I now have a stylish and funcional piece for my dining room.A bar cart which was a steal at $12.99 recieved a new coat of Benjamin Moore “Bittersweet Chocolate” 2114-10.The top needed a new surface so I decided on a faux leather look.I didn’t want this have too much of a shine but lucked out with this wallpaper purchased at Kent.Easy to apply with some spray glue and can be wiped clean.

Another piece I love is a night table,a Value Village find for $35.It had good bones but the oak finish was not to my liking.I splurged a little with this one and had it refinshed for $150.I had a feeling it was a good piece of furniture but my refinisher made my day when he said I had a good eye and it was by “Knechtel” a U.S. furniture company and solid wood.In this case the investment was worthwhile.

Bar Cart beforeNightstand refinished
Bar Cart after


Thrift store finds

Accessories are another way to add splash without cash.A few well placed can make a room but don’t go overboard.Less is more when it comes to accessorizing.A few larger pieces have more impact than too many collections of small nicnacs,this just adds clutter and in Real  Estate listing shots you need a focal point in a room.Too many small items are distracting to a buyer,there is nowhere for the eye to rest.Too much clutter in a room means a buyer will focus on all your “stuff” and not the features of your home.

Colour block for more impact
Recently I sat down with Christina Copp for her article in East Coast Living Magazine and shared a few of my ideas for “Decorating on a Dime”.The Summer issue has just been published and you can read some more of my design tricks.Summer is a great time for yardsales so get out there and bring home a few treasures of your own.It’s fun,good for the planet and makes your decorating budget go some much further.Enjoy!