8 Tips from a Stager

A stager is someone who looks at a given space and maximizes it to it’s fullest potential. There are many tricks of the trade that are used very frequently because they are fool proof.  These tricks are small low cost adjustments that can completely change the feel and functionality of a room.  I use these tricks to photograph a room and make it look its best for publication, social media, and advertisements.  However these tips are so versatile they can be used for selling a home, store showcase arrangement, and enjoying your home in the best way possible.  Let’s get right to playing up strengths, hiding flaws, and making your home more appealing to everyone.

1. Accessories in threes.  Your eyes want to be intrigued and interested.  They are drawn to make sense of balance and beauty.  This simple step can help you to arrange your vases, picture frames, and knick knacks like a pro.  The home featured below has many wonderful examples but for this point look at the table  in the bottom right.  The lamp, dish, and picture frame are in perfect balance.  

 2. Paint with neutrals.  A neutral color palette on the walls helps you to switch out accessories with ease, and will make a space look bigger.  Try choosing a neutral that you love, and going slightly lighter or darker for an adjacent room.  This will add continuity between the two rooms and make each room seem larger. 

3. Declutter!  Too much stuff is messy and confusing to the eye.  Basically, your mind works too hard trying to makes sense of the stuff instead of enjoying the space.  When decorating a book shelf or showcase, the common rule is to eliminate by 50%.  Take out books and other items so that you can truly show off the remaining treasures.  Balance out the verticle and horizontal lines and add circles and curves. 

4.  Raise those curtains.  When you raise the height of your curtains you make the room look bigger and it adds elegance.  Try placing the top of the curtain mid way between the top of the window and the ceiling. 

 5.  Arrange for conversation.  Sofas and chairs should talk to each other so that we can talk to each other.  A common mistake is to push all the furniture against the walls because people think that it will make the room look bigger.  It does just the opposite.  Floating your furniture will add functionality and enhance the space.

6.  Play with light.  Mirrors are great however mirror placement is key.  A mirror directly across from a window will actually bounce the light right back outside.  Place a mirror perpendicular to the window to bounce the light within the room.  Choose lightweight fabrics for curtains. Cotton, linen, and silk are best because they tend to lay right and let natural light in.  Natural light is your friend so make it work for you. 

7. Layer your lighting.  Ideally every room should have three layers of lighting.  Overhead for general illumination, task which is for reading or cooking, and decorative which highlights artwork or adds ambiance.  Of course natural light is best, but this layering methods mimics natural light when relying solely on it is not possible.  

8.  The final touch is the most important and the easiest.  Add movement!  We want a space to look alive.  Light a candle, turn on the fire, turn on a fan, open a book on the coffee table, add a throw blanket.  These touches provide a lived in warmth that speaks to your eyes and soul. This is the step that conveys how much you love your home without saying a word.