Challenges of Staging A Vacant Home

Posted on June 17, 2010. Filed under: decorating, home staging |

I just completed staging a vacant home for sale. Some people may think that starting with an empty house would be easier than staging an occupied home. Each kind of staging presents different challenges. 

Staging an occupied home means you have to be part therapist, part mediator and part decorator. You have to be mindful of the emotional minefield that comes with selling a home. You have to try to use the furnishings nad accessories that are already there and supplement as needed. You need to encourage the homeowner to start packing so that there is less stuff getting in the way of potential buyers seeing the attributes of the home. Most difficult can be creating a home that is well-staged and yet still livable for the family while the house is on the market. 

Staging an empty house means that there is nothing to work with. You must bring in every single item. Every piece of furniture, bedding, art, accessory, candle, lamp and on and on. I maintain an inventory of items I use in staged homes and doing one vacant house can completely exhaust my on-hand stock. I make it a practice to rent the larger pieces like sofas, chairs, and dining room tables. This does alleviate some of the burden and allows me a wide range of products to choose from. 

dining room in vacant home before staging

dining room in vacant home before staging

dining room in vacant home after staging

dining room in vacant home after staging

 

The house I just completed is a 3 bedroom townhouse with a finished basement. That’s a lot of rooms to fill. These before and after pictures show that the house had been beautifully renovated but potential buyers just couldn’t relate to the empty spaces. For more before and after pictures of this and other projects, visit me at “The Welcome Home: Interior Design Solutions”

living room in vacant home before staging

living room in vacant home after staging

The kitchen has been remodeled with granite countertops and maple cabinetry with a warm glaze. They chose to add cabinetry to the corner which eliminates the possibility for a table and chairs so I highlighted the additional work surfaces with some strategic accessories. 

kitchen in vacant home before staging

kitchen in vacant home before staging

kitchen in vacant home after staging

kitchen in vacant home after staging

additional work surface in kitchen of vacant home before staging

additional work surface in kitchen of vacant home before staging

additional work surface in vacant home after staging

additional work surface in vacant home after staging

Off of the kitchen is a great sun room. It has a slate floor and floor to ceiling windows on 2 sides. Before staging it looked cold and uninviting. I added minimal furnishings and gave the room some personality so people can imagine using this room for meals and entertaining. 

sun room in vacant home before staging

sun room in vacant home before staging

sun room in vacant home after staging

sun room in vacant home after staging

There is so much more to share. I will write a post about the bedrooms and family room as soon as the photographer gets done. These spaces were tricky to photograph so I am leaving it to a pro. 

*all after pictures were taken by Alison Brawdy (the best design assistant ever)

“til Next Time, 

Make Yours A 

Welcome Home 

If you are interested in a home staging or decorating consultation, please e-mail me for rates and more information or go to www.interiordesignsolutionsmaryland.com I am available for on-site and virtual consultations.

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3 Responses to “Challenges of Staging A Vacant Home”

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It’s fun to see how you staged this empty house and made it look more like a home. Nice job!

Thank you. This project was a lot of fun. I spoke to the Realtor to determine the kind of buyer that we are trying to attract. From there, I tried to imagine how these people would use the house. I wanted it to feel stylish and very practical. I can easily imagine cocktails in the dining room, family movie night in the media room and brunch in the sun room.

Some sisal carpets would be a great way to warm up these rooms. West elm has a nice selection or company store online. Also, some more upholstered pieces would add more depth to the spaces. Large kentia palms are also the key to softening hard corners. Staging is an art!


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