Selling Weedy Acres...staging the Jack & Jill suite

weedyacresJanuary 18, 2012

OK, I'll post the next set of rooms to gather your input. This is two bedrooms with a J&J bath between. Main question: it's obviously decluttered (read: sparse). Are the bedrooms too sparse? I don't want to go overboard loading them up with accessories, but I still want them to feel warm and comfortable.

Photos from all views so you can see the details. Would also appreciate input on which view(s) would be best for the listing photos.

Jill's room

Jack's room:


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can't put my finger on it, but something about the first bedroom doesn't look right.
I know these are pics for listing, not making the house like you want to live in it, but I would remove the pine chest in the blue/yellow room and if you have a larger lamp, I would use it in place of the one by the blue bed. Also, have you considered placing the blue bed on the other wall so that the head is where the chest is?
Maybe a photo taken from the entry door vs the bathroom would be a better view/angle?

For listing, I think you only need photos 4,6,8, & 11. The bedroom shots would probably do best with a wide angle lens

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would add very simple (and inexpensive) solid curtains to the bedrooms. I think the rooms are very nice but need to be warmed up a bit. Simple panels that do not need to close would help I think.

I think the pine dresser is fine. It doesn't crowd the room and shows there's enough room for a dresser.

I agree about the larger lamp in Jill's room so that you can turn it on during showings and have it look warm and inviting.

Is there room for a small nightstand in Jack's room, also with a lamp?

The fact that the rooms are simple, decluttered and clean is all you really need.

For listing, I would use pic #s 1, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12. If that's too many, omit the closet pictures.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree about the solid panels. The bare windows make the room feel cold.

Other than that, a lamp on the pine dresser.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
RNmomof2 zone 5

I belong to the "if you can't say anything nice" don't say anything at all category but.....what is up with the bathroom doors? It appears that they don't seal or lock and they kill that whole wall they are on.

The current door situation would be a huge turnoff for me and my girls would flip at that set up. Is this the norm for your area? I am not sure that I would include pictures that show them. Could they be changed to swinging doors inexpensively?

The bedrooms appear clean and spare but could use some personal touches, books, throws, baskets, drapes, etc

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The rooms are beautiful but if it were me, I'd take the dresser out because it doesn't match.

Put panels on all the windows including the bathroom, otherwise potential buyers can immeditely tell there are no trees around which makes a big difference.

I'd also change out the comforters to something softer.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the bedding is good enough. I do not think that would be a deal breaker. The beds give a buyer a good perspective on just how large these rooms are.
I would also get some inexpensive drapes and maybe some art work above Jill's bed. Jack's is fine since you have that stripe going around it as decoration.
I would put a vase on Jill's dresser and some kind of masculine doodad on Jack's.
The idea is that when your eyes go around the room they shouldn't keep stopping on empty spaces.
If you are realistic in how your price your house, it will sell. If not will will be in for a long haul.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

The beds need headboards to look finished and there needs to be at least one large piece of artwork per room to give it some warmth. Yes, I'd put panels on the windows, making sure that they were at the window sides and didn't cover any of the window. There needs to be enough fabric there to cover the window if a buyer wants, but the windows themselves should be uncovered.

I'd shop at something like a Big Lots and find some really cheap panels and buy an extra and then cut a piece of plywood, buy some cheap quilt batting, and make an inexpensive padded headboard with the extra curtain panel. It's a cheap way to coordinate a room and give it more presence.

For the artwork, check out Goodwill or the Salvation Army thrift stores for large canvases. The subjects do not matter at all. Get some craft store paint in the room's colors and create your own abstract type art. It doesn't have to even look "good". It just has to be colorful and large.

For the bathroom, I'd roll up a couple of towels and place then on the lower shelf of the vanities along with a small basket of soaps. I'd really like to see something with a bit of color to tie into the bedroom in the towels rather than white, but not if you have to go out and buy them. Maybe just buy a couple of yard of interfacing from a fabric store (it's cheaper than ribbon) in the bedroom's colors and use that to create a decorative tie around the towels and the rim of the basket.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another vote to add a few more larger lamps -- in white or silver around the rooms. VERY helpful for showings -- much much warmer pools of light.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 5:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Really? Art on the bedroom walls for staging? As a buyer, I'd rather see the blank walls that are in good shape and don't have holes I'd have to fill, or wonder if there's damage behind the art. I would not spend any $$ on art for the bedrooms for staging.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with jill... I'd rather see blank walls. I also don't think you should put up drapes (but I'm obviously in the minority.) I think those windows are begging for window treatments, but I would rather have a clean slate as a buyer. I can't speak for others, of course, but I'd rather have the say in where the curtain rods go and/or what window treatments are appropriate. Your home looks like a new home.... since you haven't put a bunch of holes in the walls. I would appreciate that as a buyer.

As for your original question, I don't think you need to do anything. To me, staging is especially important when someone has an abundance of items and/or personal items. You have large rooms with beds that are appropriately sized. What you have in there illustrates that... With that said, I do agree that the first bed would look better with a headboard.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Rather than invest in a bigger lamp I'd place the current small one on a short stack of books to bring the height up.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Decluttering and depersonalizing are only one part of staging. The root of the word is based in the theater. Creating a stage set. A fictitious imaginary space. One that a buyer feels as though is a blank slate, but is NOT a blank slate. You're selling a "lifestyle" here, not a house. People want to imagine the life they could have in the house, and that takes skill to create impressions without making the space too personal. You use subtle visual cues to create a larger feeling space out of a smaller one, a cozier space out of a huge one, and a lived in space out of an unoccupied room.

My 10 "must haves" for staging any room are sparkling cleanliness, neutral paint, window treatments, artwork, lamps, books, pillows, throws, candles, and greenery. Exterior "do haves" are a clear house number that is easy to find and well lit along with a well maintained yard and some seasonal color in a pot or bed by the mailbox/drive area. Being winter, that means cabbage and pansies for most of the country or even a plain small evergreen if it's too far north for even pansies.

The 10 "don't haves" are personal pictures, religious pictures, pet furniture, bright colors, more than 3 large accessories, large TVs that are not wall mounted, beanbags or other "dorm" looking furniture, rugs on top of hardwoods, crammed closets and cupboards, and broken home items that convey.

I see way too many homes "staged" for sale that skip artwork on the wall and that's a big mistake. Artwork is a super cheap way of making a space feel "homey" and pulled together. You don't want a gallery wall, but every room should have at least one piece of artwork of some kind in it. It adds life and color without too much personality. One large piece is much better than several small. A room feels unfinished without window treatments and something on the walls. It can be as simple as the "recycled" paintings that Holly suggested, or it can be simple fabric panels stapled over stretcher bars. If you use the right hardware to hang it, you will never even punch a detectable hole in the wall. The Command adhesive hangers are perfect for this application.

Add in the larger lamps as suggested and place a couple of books at the bedside. Put a throw across the bottom of both the beds. Layers equate to a luxurious feeling. You also want a plant or flowers in both bedrooms. A small cachepot of African violets or a sanseveria or other hardy plant can work. Good quality artificial can work, but it should not be obviously fake.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was thinking the first bedroom bedding is too light and making it look blah, but on 2nd look I think maybe you went too far in decluttering. Maybe just add back in a little something, like a chair in the corner or a tall plant.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have great rooms to work with! I think the bathroom looks great as it is.

The bedrooms look cold and a bit empty, especially Jill's room. Plants, some large accessories, window treatments and some artwork could help.

I'd put 3 dark framed botanical illustrations (you can get nice unframed ones on eBay for a steal, then put them in standard inexpensive frames) over Jill's bed. You might not need a headboard if you do this.

Jack's room needs a bedside table and lamp.

I googled model home pics when staging my house. I figured those designers did a lot of research into achieving a look that was appealing to buyers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Model home bedrooms

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guess I am just completely out of the home staging loop. If you have a well built house that has some nice architectural details and appointments, why on earth would you spoil it by purchasing cheap curtains and "artwork" at Big Lots thinking that would soften or warm up anything?

Area rugs on hardwood floors are an integral part of almost every home I've ever visited, let alone lived in. Who are these mythical buyers who can't abide rugs and count the accessories?

It looks like you have already moved. If you want to put a bit more furniture in the house for sale, borrow a few things from your own house. You'll get them back when you sell and won't have spent money on staging trash you'll just have to throw away or donate. And anyway---in the end--- it usually comes down to location and price, clean and fresh, and that includes the exterior and yard.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pretty home...I would add lamps and absolutely hang something pretty over Jill's bureau to warm up the room.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 5:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i have to agree with those who question the need for art---i've been told by realtors in the past that staging should include removal of art so that the potential homeowner can picture their own artwork on the walls...

i would put some things on the dressers- plants, vase of flowers, etc would be a great addition...
some books, etc-things that warm up the rooms and make them alittle less sterile.
i'm really ambivalent on the drapes--- some people who look at previously owned homes really don't want to spend another penny buying furnishings for their home and want it move-in ready... i would probably look into something like decent wood blinds or some type of shade to put on the windows since they're bedrooms and bathroom rather than panels---IF you're going to bother putting up window treatments...something neutral that makes the home move in ready.

i also don't really understand the door set up---looks like the door slides shut?? i'm not sure the reasoning for that, but as a home buyer i would want more available wall space in the rooms and i would probably view that as a negative...

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 7:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think a lot depends on what the rest of the house looks like. If I remember correctly from a previous post, this house has 4 or 5 bedrooms? If these are the "extra" bedrooms, I wouldn't spend much more time or money on them. The furniture that is in the rooms gives a pretty good idea of how large the rooms are and what can be done with them.

If anything, I'd shop the rest of the house and not spend money on these rooms. What I'd suggest--one more piece of furniture in each bedroom. A small table that could be set up as a vanity in the girl's room or a desk in the boy's room. A lamp or two in each room--light is important when selling a house, especially if a buyer is coming on a grey, cloudy day. A mirror or piece of art on the walls or a plant. Simple panels over the windows would be nice, but not necessary (flat sheets, if you can find them separately and not part of a sheet set) make good curtains.

One thing about moving in furniture from other rooms--it makes those rooms look larger, because of less stuff in them.

As a buyer, I would find it odd that none of the rooms, especially the bathroom has *anything* on the windows. These are, after all, rooms where people get naked, and unless the house is very isolated, which I don't think this one is, some sort of window covering is needed. If the buyer is planning on using these rooms as bedrooms from the day they move in, one of the first things they will have to do is measure the windows and run out and buy something to cover them. Which is a pain on moving day. At the very least, I'd put something over the lower half of the bathroom window. People could get changed in the bedroom closets if necessary, but it looks like the shower is directly across from the bathroom window.

But overall, I think the rooms look fine. They are clean and neat and tidy and you can see that there's room for more than a twin bed in each.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At least two actual design professionals have weighed in so far. I'd listen to them. The OP isn't looking for subjective feelings or speculations--she's looking for empirical results. And empirical results show that staging results in faster sales and higher prices.

The one thought I'd add--if you look at staged rooms, they are by no means as full as a room you are actually living in. But each item that is in the room is fully staged. That is, an end table will have a lamp, a clock, some books, maybe a small picture frame with an art card rather than a photograph, or even a teacup--just like a setup in a catalog. It's never overly layered or as cluttered as real life, but there's always enough to set a mood.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

For the listing pictures I would close the closet doors and bathroom doors, thereby giving cleaner overall lines to the room.

While not germane to these rooms, I believe the reasoning behind no area rugs on hardwood floors is as a buyer, I need to see the true condition of the floors. In my house, the purpose of an area rug is to cover up the bad spots.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions so far. I've bit off quite a challenge here, trying to synthesize sometimes conflicting opinions.

A few answers:
The bathroom doors slide on barn door hardware above--like a pocket door that doesn't recess (plumbing and/or electrical in the walls prevented that). We have a simple hook and eye that can lock them from the inside (haven't installed yet) and, if the other bedroom occupier forgets to unlock, can be unhooked with a pen or screwdriver slipped between the door and wall. Swing doors that opened into the bathroom would have had door or drawer conflicts, and swing doors that opened into the bedrooms would take up wall and floor space, so that's why we opted for this setup. Not trying to change the minds of those who don't like this, just explaining our decision process. We'll see if that turns out to be a downer for showings or if it's offset by the other pluses of the house.

No, we haven't moved out of the house, and these rooms have pretty much looked like this since we remodeled them. It's just the 2 of us, so the 4 extra bedrooms (including bonus room) have just been guest rooms.

We've had the PO's cheap paper accordion shades that they left behind on all the windows for guest privacy, and we just took those down for staging. I was wondering when someone would mention the bathroom window, as that's the biggest exposure. :-) We had a simple tension rod sheer curtain on that for guests that again, we recently took down. Our land is big enough and the neighboring houses far enough away that privacy isn't an issue, but the perception of privacy is still important. I might spring for a wood-look blind for that window.

No one has suggested to paint the dresser white. That was a thought I had had, and to update the hardware. Thoughts on that?

Do mirrors count in the same category as artwork, if I set a big one on top of the dresser?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 1:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Painting the dresser white or black/or gel staining dark seems like a good idea. It is very yellow.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love your photo of bathroom vanities flanking the window, with a view into the Jill bedroom. In general, for MLS, I'd show angle of room that includes windows (view, light) and exclude views that show doors (takes up wall space). I'd be inclined to paint over the stripe in the Jack bedroom.

For staging, I agree with kswl. But no harm in doing it so long as you don't sink much money into it.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 4:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would paint the dresser in a heartbeat, but I don't think it's a project you should take on while prepping a house to put on the market. If you're going to leave the chest, I'd at least throw some stacked books, candles or a lamp on it.

As kswl said, buyers will (should) be looking at the bones of the house and not how you've decorated it. If they have an issue with the barn doors they'll bring it up when they make an offer.
Regular doors won't take up any more wall space than the existing doors and if the rooms end up being a true Jack and Jill each child will want all the privacy they can get. So, at the worst, a buyer may ask you to either change the doors or give them an allowance.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 7:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would paint the dresser white or blue -- it just doesn't seem to go with the bedding. Shiny/glamorous doesn't go with rustic/country; it makes that room seem "off" to me.
Then I would put the little lamp on the dresser and get a bigger one for the bedside table.
As far as art and window treatments go, I think that everyone's taste is different, so it might be better to keep a blank slate. When pricing your home, remember that buyers will be thinking about the things they have to purchase, like window treatments.
The bathroom is gorgeous! Don't change a thing!

Here is a link that might be useful: blue painted dresser

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What do you think of this consignment store chair for Jill's room? Not sure if the color is right but the style is kind of cool.

If I do window treatments, should I shoot to match the blue in the bedding?

Believe me, painting a dresser is a "nothing" project compared to the work we've done on this house. I've painted 23 doors and jambs in the past 3 weekends. :-p I do like how that blue dresser turned out.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 8:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honestly, if I were a buyer, no amount of staging would sway me unless the house was small and cluttered.

A picture on the wall isn't going to make me see the room any different, especially in a large house.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Exactly, oakley! I've wanted to say that all through this thread. Don't underestimate the intelligence of possible buyers; they can see the good bones of the house without any fluff, as long as it's priced right.

The beds are a good idea for perspective. Nothing else is necessary. If people don 't like the clever bathroom doors or where the toilet is placed, a picture or curtains won' t change it. I think you can leave well enough alone.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My BIL is a realtor, and I occasionally will pick up a staging job from his referral. Usually it's because the home hasn't shown well, and empty or nearly empty homes actually show much worse than homes that are a bit on the cluttered side. Empty homes lack life and a fictional life that the buyer can imagine themselves living is what sells them. It's all smoke and mirrors so to speak, but it works!

Most of you are vastly over estimating the home intelligence of the average buyer. This is a home savvy board, and anyone here understands about "bones" and discounts the "fluff", but this board is pretty far from the real world. The real world is that today's buyer feels "entitled" to move into a home that is "move in ready". The more HGTV the buyer has watched, the more entitled they feel, and that gorgeous terra cotta accent wall in the breakfast area that goes perfectly with the brick of the family room fireplace can be enough to quash a sale. Dumb, sure! But most younger homeowners don't even know how to paint a room anymore! And they way over estimate the amount of work that painting is---or any other home project.

So yes, any room that isn't occupied needs to have the bare minimum of furniture to show the scale of the room. That's one element of staging. Then you add layers of stage props that sketch a "story". A throw across the end of the bed with a small tray containing a teacup and a book with a bookmark. A large lamp by the bed with an interesting candle holder and candle and a small plant. Window treatments do not have to have fancy hardware or be expensive. They do need to at least exist! The offer the idea of softness and luxuriousness of layers.

It works the same in occupied rooms. De-personalizing them does NOT mean making them personality-less! A bland colorless room isn't the goal of staging at all! You want to create an environment where the buyer feels they can live their own life story and not be distracted by the current occupants life story.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The point is, this isn't a matter of opinion. The facts have already been established. Weedy is doing the right thing.

Leave the chair at the consignment gallery. It could be cool reupholstered and painted, but for now it's just dodgy old Victorian. Look for things that say young and fresh.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to admit my ambivalance in the debate over staging. On the one hand, I can see through the fluff and I know others can. On the other hand, I know there's an emotional impact that a nicely finished room has on anyone that walks through it (myself included). So while it's not impossible to sell an unstaged or empty house without slashing the price (in fact we've got one in another state under contract at a decent price that is empty), at worst staging doesn't hurt, and at best it can distract from flaws.

So I'm attempting to settle somewhere in the middle: I want people to have a positive emotional reaction from each room, but don't have the budget or the inclination to do a full-on decoration of each room (and I hate to poke holes in the walls that will soon be vacated like some above). Thus I want to do more than 2 unmatching pieces of furniture in the room, but will likely not create a tray-scape on the bed. I'm not offended by anyone who suggests I do either more or less than that, so feel free to do so. There will be some rooms that I do want to do a more full-on staging (master suite, for example), so keep all the ideas coming.

What I would value the most is very specific decorator feedback, like "hang side panels on the windows that match the blue in the comforter" or "that chair you're proposing to put there isn't a good fit because you want something more modern."

So I hope this thread hasn't worn everyone out. I've got lots more rooms to go. :-) Keep the suggestions coming and I'll pull out the ones that best fit our budget and chosen mid-road approach.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK, I'm back having done some work on Saturday (the only day I'm home to get anything done, unfortunately). Here's my attempt at some minor modifications to Jill's room: swapped out the night stand and lamp, added a chair and mirror.

The chair is smallish...does it make it better? If not, what size/style of chair do you recommend? I'll keep hunting CL.

I still feel like the mismatched wood is a problem. Recommendations on color to paint the dresser?

I've got plans to make an inexpensive headboard from 1x6 poplar. Should I paint it the trim color or dark like the current nightstand?

I will eventually put a plant or candle(s) on the dresser.

It's weird, but the room actually looks more empty and sparse in photos than IRL. Not sure why....

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you have the perfect attitude about this. Yes, staging can help, mostly in certain rooms (kitchen, family/living room and master bedroom and bath), but not so important in other rooms (secondary bedrooms).

If possible, I would do a much larger and more substantial nightstand. Just to show that there is room for such a thing. This lamp is much better.

I am not sure the chair adds anything. It's not bad, I guess. Tells people there is room for chair.

I still stick with my original thought -- add curtain panels to soften the room.

Do you really want to spend time painting the dresser? Do you want it painted in your next house? I just wouldn't spend the time doing that unless I knew I wanted it done for the next house and then would do a color that work in that house. No, it's not beautiful in the color it is but it is just a place holder so people can invision their dresser there. I do not think it is at all necessary in a spare bedroom for staging.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 1:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The longer nightstand looks better with the taller lamp, and that mirror is too large for the dresser. Curtains would soften the look of the feminine room. It looks harsh without. A slipcover for the chair would also help to add more softness - the room just looks so bare without more texture.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The pale blue of that comforter may be hard to match. This is what I found when I googled pale blue curtain panels.....if this color works, they aren't too costly at Home Depot!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue curtain panels

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 2:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are right -- the camera doesn't see things the way we do in person. Have you seen the thread on what a difference professional photography makes? I think it's on the kitchens forum and there are a number of examples -- some using real estate listing photos. A camera lens sees things in 2 dimensions and doesn't fill-in or correct for what it expects to see the way the human eye can. The lens can also distort images with wide angles or close ups.

I haven't commented on your staging threads but have been thinking about the comments. I do think there are two schools of thought and two very different groups of home buyers. Have you noticed how many people looking at homes on HGTVs Designed to Sell are looking at the furniture, the bed linens (even sitting on the bed), the way the table is set? If your home appeals to both groups of people, you have a larger audience. Next best thing is your other home in another state -- empty (but clean and freshly painted). If the rooms are not unusually large, small or oddly shaped, most folks will automatically start placing their things in the empty rooms.

Your bathroom here is very nice. You could hang a towel on the bar or put a vanity seat or platter under the window for some color, but no one is going to reject that bathroom based on those little details. The Jack bedroom is okay. The paint treatment goes with the bedding, so I'd expect the bedding to go with the house.

The Jill bedroom is what keeps jarring me. The bathroom and Jack room are more contemporary while Jill's is very traditional. That's one factor, and the mismatched furniture is another (I'd try a chocolate brown paint or maybe better -- an espresso gel stain that I understand from Kitchen forum discussions doesn't require stripping). Before you get to those items though -- I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, so it could be my monitor, but the paint in that room seems to be at odds with your linens. The paint appears to be a light sunny yellow. If it is cream, it appears to have too much yellow while your bedding goes to the taupe side. I'd look for a different (and maybe younger looking) bed treatment. The paint is fresh, so that would be my first choice -- leaving the bed out or repainting the room would be the other options. I wouldn't worry about a headboard. A couple of magazines, the tray idea, or a book and a pair of glasses on the night stand -- nothing too personal or too much, but something to suggest someone has actually been in each room might be a nice touch.

If the rooms look great and all the paint is very fresh, you may be able to get away with the builder naked window look. But have you ever noticed that some builders include shades or inexpensive mini-blinds? It eases buyer's minds about the cost of all those window treatments without spending a lot. If you are unsure about the expectations in your area, talk to a couple of realtors -- see if they feel the buyer's they'd be showing a house like yours would be bothered by bare windows. Better to know before you start showing and hear it through feedback. They might even have someone they use to help stage. We had a realtor who had a great eye and helped stage homes as part of her listing service.

Good luck with selling your home.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to agree with those that are saying one should never overestimate the buyer's imagination. It's all too true. And it's very hard to look at the familiar with 'new eyes'.

When my MIL sold her home, the RE market was just starting to trend down. The RE agent recommended a pro stager. So you had three sets of opinions:

- the owner (80 yr old MIL)
- me and DH
- the stagers

This firm has their own warehouse of furniture and loved MIL's house as it was a perfect 'backdrop'. I wish I had kept the photos they did, but I must have deleted them at some point. But here's what they did that might be relevant to your home:

- LR curtains were removed. First, it was the only arched picture window in the house, and a real architectural plus. Sunlight streams in during the daytime - not a good thing for daily living, but ideal for market showings (and this was summertime)

- Kitchen blind was removed. It's a dark kitchen and cabs were repainted white.

- Rugs were removed. It is true that people want to see the floor condition. A home nearby ours sat on the market for months longer than it should have, simply because the PO did everything but refinish the floors. It was a jarring incongruity during showings, and showed me that our RE agent (friend) was correct when she said that people's eye go automatically to the worst/cheapest detail, and it affects the home price proportionately.

- Light sheer curtains went on the bedroom windows.

- Plants were placed strategically, but not in every room

- ALL living spaces, such as LR and den, had one or two pieces of art hung.

I brought my family to see MIL's home right after the first Open House. They were struck by the difference in how it looked - gracious, elegant, inviting, warm, spacious...instead of dark, cluttered, nondescript, despite the many nice things my MIL did own.

What I did notice about each room, even if I might have preferred a few different details, was that each room had a distinct "story". It looked like someone actually was using each room.

What the stagers put in was not just different furniture, but also the little details, as someone pointed out above. The desk in the den had a desk set and a potted plant; an upholstered chair in the corner had a contrasting velvet pillow.

The house now had a consistent style of decor. And here's the key: even if it wasn't the exact type of decor you or I or MIL would have picked, what was there helped you envision being there and making a few changes as 'your own'.

I don't see enough visual interest in the rooms. But as you said, these are extra bedrooms. The bathroom is clean lines and contemporary, and the use of materials have a wonderful, engaging textural contrast. But it makes the bedrooms look 'flat' in comparison. They don't tell a story; they look like storage for unwanted furniture. Everything is separate from what's around it, and feels lifeless.

It's a fine line between 'personal' and 'inviting'. I agree you really have to think of magazine shoots. After all, you want to use these photos for the listing, right? We all know kitchens, for example, don't really look the way they do in magazine photos. But if you study them, there are always two or three personal details to focus on, to give warmth and life to the room. Everything else is cleared away, but you need those details to focus on - whether it's a beautiful lamp, a lush potted plant, a bowl of fruit - whatever. Otherwise, the eye wanders around, feeling unsatisfied without knowing why.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I'm finally back. This Saturdays-only work schedule is making things crawl more than I'd like. I added a headboard. I will add something on the dresser (plant or candles) at the very end, and paint the dresser if I have time. I don't much like the look of it in natural pine...this was my first post-college dresser, a 20-year-old Ikea special, and my tastes have changed. :-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just wanted to say that I love the bathroom doors. They make so much sense, as far as not taking up space if they had been swing ones.

You are making great progress. If you strongly feel that the dresser painted white would pull the room together, go for it (if you have time). The headboard helps as well, to give the bed a placed feel. It changes the feel of the room, so the nightstand sticks out now, since it's so dark, but I don't know that it's a big deal.

Perhaps sheers on the windows? Easy and inexpensive, and will still let light in, but softens the room a bit.

You have a beautiful home from what I've seen on here, and the right person(s) will find it and make it their own. It appears to be clean and neutral, and appropriately spacious. Those are the things that are most important to me. :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 11:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
artificial Christmas tree; Frontgate? Balsam Hill?
We're thinking of going with an artificial Christmas...
Improvement With A Few $'s
My plain pony wall bugged me. I finally tackled it...
HGTV Fixer Upper show
I have been reading in blog land about HGTV's new show...
Is Restoration Hardware bedding worth it?
I've been searching for the perfect white quilt for...
SW Kilm Beige
If you have used this color, would you please tell...
Sponsored Products
Firebird Pendant by Tech Lighting
$292.00 | Lumens
Kartell | La Boheme Stools
Burns Leather Chair - Brighton Parrot Red
Joybird Furniture
Hamilton Silver 12-Light Clear Heritage Handcut Crystal Chandelier, 30W x 44H x
Winco 5-quart Crown Stainless Steel Round Chafing Dish
Bocci | 14.26 Round Pendant Chandelier
Round Copper Stool - Medium Antique Copper
Signature Hardware
Area Rug: John Beige 7' 6" x 9' 6"
Home Depot
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™