Ask the Expert – Staging inventory “on trend”
Ask the Expert Staging Solutions
I have a question that puzzles me to no end. It is about stagers having their own inventory. How “on trend” does it need to be?
– Sherri Clarke, Ohio
I appreciate the question. You didn’t indicate if you are a real estate agent or a stager, so I will answer from both aspects.
In my opinion, accessories/furnishings need to be current but not trendy/edgy. A stager must guard against all the properties looking the same if they have a limited supply, so they generally stay with safe, true and neutral. If you are a real estate agent thinking everything needs to be the latest trend, you are not alone. Many agents think the same way; however, it’s important to think about the buyer who is most likely to purchase the home. Will they really have all the latest, trendy colors/items? Probably not. If you use those items, they become the star of the space instead of highlighting the functionality/focal points or features of the property.
CSP graduates are taught to use a proprietary process to ensure impactful viewings that secure offers,great photos, and fewer days on the market. For instance, velvet in jewel tones is on trend for decorating. We would not go out of our way to use it for staging because it would draw the eye to the item instead of the focal point. We might use it as a subtle influencer in a pillow/art or decorative piece, but there really is an art and strategy to great staging. If a buyer’s first comment is “Oh my, I love that couch!” they are not looking at the property.
Take a look at the room to the right. What are your eyes drawn to?
Eyes catch the art, chairs, and red lamp shade – they are all eye stoppers. You don’t notice the view and the floor, which are important because that is what the buyer is actually getting! Where ever the eyes rest, the sale begins.
Now look at the room below. See how the subtle use of color doesn’t distract from the space?
This is a picture that showcases decorating and not staging. But if a seller had that couch, we would have to make it work for staging (vs. renting another). As you can see, it brings the outdoors in and harmonizes with the space. A stager would remove the green accessories and add more cream so the view, fireplace, and floors are seen first. If it was a vacant property the couch would be cream and the art and cushions would be carefully selected to subtly bring the outside in. How tranquil would this be with red, purple, or hot pink? So remember, on trend does not always translate well for staging.