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All the House is a Stage….


…and all the men and women merely potential buyers! Okay, okay- so I totally defiled one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines… but it was kind of fitting given the topic at hand… so, I went with it! And in case you hadn’t guessed, yep- today we’re talking about STAGING!

Now don’t get me wrong- we (meaning me, the hubs, and the kids) are NOT in any danger of moving anytime in the next geologic era. Seriously, I told my kids the next time I move it will be from this house to the cemetery! During the past 7 years, we have moved five times.  FIVE TIMES!! I’ve always admitted to having a bit of the gypsy wanderlust in my blood, but even I think this is getting ridiculous!

This time, the person doing all the moving, is my sweet sweet Mama (hi Mom)! Her home is located a mind numbing 2 1/2 hour drive away, down one of the most desolate stretches of American highway- it’s like the hallway in Poltergeist where JoBeth Williams goes running towards her kid’s room and the hallway just keeps getting longer and longer- yep, just like that.

Now, we all know moving is never fun. And if anyone ever tells you they enjoy it, they’re either lying, a masochist… or both! BUT, it gave us the perfect chance to utilize all the stockpiled knowledge we’ve picked up from shows like ‘Sell This House’, ‘Get It Sold’, and ‘Designed to Sell’ (just to name a few). Here’s what we did:

  1. Cleared out all personal effects and 95% of knick knacks- personal effects detract from your home and distract buyers and can potentially keep them from paying attention to the most important reason they are there- to view your house so they can buy it! If they spend all their time looking at your wedding pictures, they’re not paying attention to your upgraded kitchen appliances, etc.
  2. Painted the whole interior of the house a unifying neutral color- not always necessary, but definitely helps. A lot of buyers don’t want to be burdened with the task of painting (or repainting) when they move in, so having a neutral color that appeals ‘to the masses’ helps- even if it’s not necessarily a color you would normally choose. Remember, when staging you are trying to design for the buyer- not for yourself.
  3. Cleaned the whole exterior of the house- pressure washed vinyl siding, cleaned up all landscaping, had pergola in backyard re-stained, replaced any damaged siding/shutters/lighting, etc- it’s very important that your home have curb appeal. If it doesn’t, a potential buyer may decide to not even bother with seeing the interior. Think about it- if they don’t even want to be bothered with repainting the living room, WHY would you think they’d want to completely redo the front yard?!
  4. Cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned- had the carpets steam cleaned, had the house professionally cleaned, had any issues like damaged linoleum replaced, etc. – I can’t stress to you the importance of presenting a clean and uncluttered home. It allows positive chi to flow through with the potential buyers, it also projects a calming image and shows the buyers that you actually care for your home and take good care of it. It helps them feel like they are purchasing a quality home and not someone else’s headache.

Once you’ve laid all of the above groundwork, then the fun can begin!

I have to admit it took a bit of convincing to get my Mom to agree to allow me to stage- not because I’m bad at it or anything (!) but because we went at it a bit backwards. See, we had to go ahead and move her here (where I live) which left her house completely empty. Once the house was empty, she didn’t want the hassle of staging it and dealing with the upkeep (can’t say that I blame her).

She tried to sell it leaving it empty for the first little while, but it just languished on the market. If the housing market wasn’t still in such a slump, perhaps it wouldn’t have been an issue; her house has amazing upgrades and is a steal at the listed price. BUT, it IS a buyer’s market and upgrades or not- an empty house just wasn’t selling.

So, after a lot of convincing I finally got her to agree to let me stage. We didn’t have a lot of spare furniture and/or spare money (who does?!?!) to put a much into the house, so we used just bits and pieces we had that we weren’t using in our own homes and stuff I managed to cobble together from yard sales. That and lots and lots of spray paint!  Gosh, I love spray paint! And here are the results!

We didn’t have living furniture for this room, so I just staged it with a few key accessories and left it open. The entry is adorable though!

The kitchen cabinets were originally the horrible stock oak cabinets that builders love to use. Ugh! Mom did this french country style all by her herself! Replaced the countertops, laid the peel and stick tile (yep! it’s peel and stick!), bought all new appliances, etc. So there wasn’t much I needed to do- just a few things here and there!
Again- didn’t have a lot to use- but I think it looks great! A nice place to relax and have a cup of coffee! I took my two front porch chairs (Hampton Bay from Home Depot) and gave them a quick coat with some Oil Rubbed Black Spray Paint so they had a nice sheen. GORGEOUS! The cushions tied in beautifully with the rug from Mom’s house and the French country cabinets in the kitchen. The cute stool was mine as a girl- a light coat of some happy apple green spray paint and this room was as cheerful as the sun shining in the windows!


This is one of my favorite rooms in the house! We carried the french country theme throughout and made this a bit ‘French Country Garden’. I love the stripes and flowers- looks so pretty! The only that would make it better is some plaid! Almost everything in this room received a coat of spraypaint- the old metal dresser I inherited when my husband and I got married. It has always been UGLY!! My mom actually thinks it’s so cute now! And the side tables were Mom’s when she and Dad were married but have long since gone out of ‘style’- the two-toned look I gave ‘em was a neat touch!

I wanted to stage this one as an office, since most homes these days have one in some form. Carrying the French Country theme but wanting to go a bit ‘beachier’, I brought in my mannequin form, turquoise lamp, and spraypainted ‘distressed’ desk (both yard sale finds!) The adorable chair was my grandmothers and received a whole new life with a coat of Valspar LaFonda Mirage Blue from Lowe’s. LOVE IT!!
This is my FAVORITE room transformation BY FAR!! My daughter refuses to sleep in her own room at home so we decided to bring her furniture and set this room up as a toddler’s room. I was so psyched to see it all come together- I couldn’t have imagined it looking any cuter!

Well, what did you think? Did it turn out as good as I thought it did? I was very proud of the back porch and the dining room as well (in fact, the dining room was my second favorite room I staged) but somehow I ended up not taking pictures of those?!? (How in the WORLD did I manage that?!) In any event, when I get back up that way to take all of this down (because yes, she does have an OFFER!!) I’ll snap some quick pics and update the post so you can all see them… I know you’ll waste away if you don’t ;) Also, I’ll post a few tutorials under my DIY page in a few days so you can see how I pulled off some of the projects. Keep an eye peeled!

Until next keep time…don’t stop the DIY!


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