Q - Yvonne, firstly I have to ask, what actually is home styling (or home staging) and how is it different from interior decorating?
A – Great question! It’s one I get quite often.
Home styling (or home staging) is used when you are about to offer your home for sale. The goal of staging is to make the home appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers in the marketplace as we can. We do this by using furniture and accessories to improve a properties appeal and transform it into a home and lifestyle that anyone would love to see themselves living in. If you can do this well, then you have a greater chance of selling your property quicker and you will get higher offers for it. It’s part decorating, part marketing, and part psychology.
An interior designer, on the other hand, works closely with the client and takes into consideration their personal preferences. The client generally has strong specific tastes on what they like and it’s the designer’s job to pull all this together to make sure the theme they want works in their home.
The main difference between the two is that property stylist’s focus is on the potential buyer and the interior designer focus is on the home owners personal taste.
In the photo above I turned this child’s bedroom into a functional room for either young children, teenage kids, or even use as a guest bedroom, which both appeals to the market and helps the buyer picture the potential the space has to offer.
Above is a room that has been purposely designed as a child’s bedroom. From a home staging perspective, this limits the potential of the room and locks the buyer into a ‘one purpose’ room. This may be ok for a home that is marketed towards young families, but the use of giraffe’s and monkey murals on the wall limits the age group to the very young.
Q – Why is home styling so important when people are trying to sell a property? (if you have any statistics also:)
A – Styling a home for sale is more important than most people realise. It’s like when you go to sell your car. You wouldn’t really just advertise it before giving it a wash and detailing inside, or fixing minor things so its was all working in order. You can sell it without doing all that but your not going to get top price for it and it won’t appeal to many people. Buyers would look at those imperfections and would offer you a lower price for it, mainly because of the perception it hasn’t been looked after and all the work they have to do to fix it.
It’s the same with a house! To give yourself the best possible chance of selling it, you would clean it, de-clutter, and present it in the best possible light. And by arranging furniture and accessories in a much more appealing way so it flows seamlessly throughout the house, you have the best possible chance of a quick sale and for a higher price.
To show you the difference it can make, let me give you some statistics that one of my colleagues put together from a survey of 150 homes.
|Non-Staged Homes||Staged Homes|
|Average days to sell||22 days||9 days|
|Sales At auction||84%||97%|
|Average % above asking Price||0.4%||7.8%|
As you can see, staging really works! These statistics are pretty consistent no matter where you go in Australia or the USA, where this concept was first established over 20 years ago
When a property is not staged, it allows the buyers the opportunity to focus on all the house’s little details, like the walls, the floors, and all the little imperfections of the house. A stylist’s job is to sell the potential the property has to offer the new buyer … not all the work they have to do to it!
Q – You’re an expert stylist so you’ve transformed many homes. How do you decide what look you’re going to try to achieve for a project?
A – Deciding what look to go for is pretty easy. It’s a matter of first looking at the area the property is in and the style of the home. Then it’s a matter of working out what type of buyer is typically in the market for this type of home (your real estate agent will have a good idea of this), and then working within the sellers budget to achieve the look potential buyers would love to see in a home. I work with my client’s pieces and then we work on what else is needed to complete the look.
(Above) This after photo I used the developer’s own pieces and then added more within their budget to get this look for a young single person, as it’s a great location and vibe.
(Above) This was for a client’s family home with a spare room which I turned into a guest room using the client’s furniture & art. Then I added in accessories – lamps, cushions & a throw.
Q - Do I dare to ask, what do you think of these reality TV shows where different teams of people are competing against each other while renovating and decorating different rooms within the same house?
A – I love those shows! They have definitely helped homeowners to become more aware of how furniture and accessories (including cushions!) can totally transform the look of a room and sell a house. I must admit I’m a little addicted to these shows although I can sometimes go a little nuts with why they do some things at times!
One of the things some teams do wrong is they add too much of their own personal taste into a room, which can often be quirky and left of field. Sometimes this works but at other times it over powers a room and throws off the whole feel of the space.
Still, I love all the before and after’s of the rooms.
Q - And finally, do you think the knack of home styling is just something you either have or you don’t? or is it a skill you can learn?
A – Styling, just like interior decorating, is very much a personal taste. With styling a home for sale there are certain rules you should follow, but it’s still a skill anyone can learn. Practice and keeping in mind you are styling for an entire market segment and not one individual is key. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to styling; its just experience and knowing what works.
I do believe there are naturals and they find it easy to see a room without anything in it and know what would work. It definitely can be learnt and the skills refined with experience.
I’m going to sneak in another quick question Yvonne, what would be your 3 hot tips for anyone who wants to give home styling in their own home a go (or is currently competing on The Block)?
Last season I was so addicted to The Block! I loved the transformation of that amazing building. I wonder how this season will go?
My top 3 tips on styling your place for sale would be -
- De-clutter – get rid of all personal items, papers, excess family photo’s off walls, toys, junk mail etc. Throw away, give away, store away, or sell this clutter. You really want to open up the house as much as you can. Buyers intuitively look for space when buying a home, so freeing up walls and corners of clutter can really open up a room.
- Once you’ve de-cluttered, walk through your home with a fresh eyes. Try to see it as what a buyer would see. Start at the front door and walk through the house and ask yourself- What is the flow like? Is it easy to walk through without being blocked? When you walk into a room, where are you eye’s naturally drawn to? This is the focal point of the room and if it’s not where you want people to naturally be drawn to, then it’s time to re-arrange.
- Accessorize! Accessories are what make any the space ‘pop’ and gives that “wow” factor. Cushions are a MUST for lounges and bedrooms, as well as artwork, lamps (not little ones), vases, plants, and books to name a few. But don’t over do it and clutter the home up either. Balance your space!
Good to know!
Well thank you so much Yvonne for sharing your wisdom and I know I’ll definitely be taking the advice from you to get top dollar for my home.
For more info about Cre8tiv Home Styling or to contact Yvonne for a consultation, visit her website:
Cre8tiv Home Styling
Unit – Your Style Homes