If you watch a lot of HGTV (or have seen Amy Adams’ romantic comedy “Leap Year”), you’ve probably seen how home stagers can transform a space. These professionals have the ability to change places and sell even the most unsellable homes.
As a result, they’re chock-full of excellent Guides4homeowners suggestions. For daily non-experts just seeking to make our spaces feel more inviting, HuffPost asked a variety of experienced home stagers for their top décor recommendations, ranging from accent walls to tabletop design.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Create a haven in your bed.
“Whether you’re living or selling, making your bed can be a chore. Using fresh white linens and plush beds and pillows is the key to making it feel elegant and hotel-like. Plump, fresh white bedding (a bed in a bag, a comforter and duvet, and crisp sheets) is easy to acquire at most big home goods stores, and then simply layering in two or three of the same accent pillows in front, which is easy to change annually.” Karen Otto, HomeStar Staging’s chief staging officer
“For an updated look, use a solid color or mild pattern comforter or duvet in the master bedroom; coordinate pillow shams on the bed pillows, and add another decorative pillow or two for an updated appeal.” Owner of Room Solutions Staging, Maureen Bray
2. It’s all about the smell.
“Invest in a high-quality scented candle. This isn’t a place to cut corners; fragrance is important. They make a place feel warm and inviting when done correctly.” StylHaus co-founder and design director Joni Rentz
3. Mirrors have an impact.
“With mirrors on the walls opposite light sources, brighten and magnify the light in a room.” Mirrors are one of my favorite design elements since they effectively quadruple the apparent square footage of any space. A series of three or four mirrors should be hung opposite a window to reflect both the incoming light and the view.” Interior Marketing Group’s founder and CEO, Cheryl Eisen
4. Don’t overlook the lighting.
“Add dimmers to all of your lights to create the proper atmosphere. “Brightness isn’t necessarily a good thing.” Rentz is a character in the film Rentz.
“Lighting, such as table lamps and chandeliers, adds a lot of elegance to a room!” Rather of tiny table lamps, go BIG!” Sensational Home Staging founder Kathy Burke
“To make your home feel more appealing, replace old light fixtures in the main rooms; use high-wattage bulbs in lamps and light fixtures for optimum effect.” Bray is a character in the film Bray.
5. Consider the texture.
“To generate visual appeal, layer and blend textures.” For example, to make an inviting sofa, add textured pillows and a fur throw.” Rentz is a character in the film Rentz.
6. Make a large splash with your artwork.
“When it comes to art, more is better. Large paintings create a statement in any environment and might even make the space on the wall appear larger.” Eisen is a fictional character.
“Paint a feature wall. It can serve as an excellent backdrop for artwork as well as a focal point in a room.” Rentz is a character in the film Rentz.
“Are you trying to figure out where the greatest area to display art or other wall decor is? Make sure it’s centered above whatever furniture is below it (sofa, sideboard, fireplace mantel, bureau, or console table) and that the art’s midpoint is about 60 inches off the floor.” Bray is a character in the film Bray.
7. Drapes can give the appearance of height.
“Use basic floor-ceiling draperies to give the sense of greater ceilings. On a budget, plain white sheers can go a long way, but make sure they’re correctly hung. Drapes should begin at the ceiling and end slightly over the floor.” Eisen is a fictional character.
8. Don’t forget about the restrooms.
“To create a spa ambiance, add well folded fluffy white towels, eucalyptus, a hefty bar of soap, and a few, well picked, decorative objects.” Rentz is a character in the film Rentz.
9. Do something out of the ordinary.
“Seek out a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture and turn it into a ‘corner quirk moment.'” A Danish mid-century wood chair, for example, with a fur pelt wrapped over it, gives credibility to a design. You don’t want your home to resemble a movie set or a furniture shop.” Eisen is a fictional character.
10. When it comes to fashion, less is more.
“De-stress and de-clutter.” An overabundance of stuff on coffee tables, pillows on chairs, and art on the walls can make a room feel claustrophobic. To give your area a clean, modern vibe, stick to a few standout pieces and big art.” Eisen is a fictional character.
“It’s always more to have less!” To put it another way, show off your uniqueness and style with well-placed accessories and art while avoiding clutter.” Florence Attinger, leader of Studio D’s staging and design team in San Francisco
11. Think about color.
“Use some new throw cushions in colors that suit the art or wall decor on neighboring walls to breathe fresh life into your seating areas.” Bray is a character in the film Bray.
“Are you trying to add a splash of color to your room but it never feels quite right? Use one color accent in the room three times! The eye naturally moves across a room, and carrying a hue throughout the area, whether in the rug, art, pillows, or décor details, nearly always works and feels correct.” Otto is a German writer.
12. Make your furniture float.
“If something doesn’t ‘feel’ right in a room, it probably isn’t.” We often push furniture against walls to create what we think is a more open space, but it only feels like a waiting room and isn’t conducive to conversation. Rather than clutching the wall, try floating your furniture.
Make a focal point in the room (often around the fireplace, under a ceiling fan, or if you must, around the TV area). If you have solid surface floors, such as wood or tile, I recommend choosing a rug that is at least 6’x9′ in size. The right-sized area rug will anchor the room and its furnishings. Gather your furniture around a coffee table that is anchored in the rug’s central point, allowing at least 18 inches between the soft furniture and the coffee table. If your furnishings don’t all function at that distance, you may need to find a larger piece of furniture to anchor the coffee table on. It is completely acceptable to set the soft furniture’s front feet on the carpeting while leaving the back feet off!” Otto is a German writer.
13. Re-paint and re-paint the room.
“A fresh coat of paint is affordable (and DIY-friendly), but the impact on how a place looks and feels can be enormous.” Attinger is a character in the film Attinger.
“Freshly painted neutral walls will highlight your furniture and wall decor to their full potential” (and also make the house feel well-maintained). Painting the wood trim around baseboards, doors, and windows, especially when using white paint to contrast with the wall color, makes the area more inviting.” Bray is a character in the film Bray.
14. When it comes to staples, keep it simple.
“For major pieces like sofas, beds, rugs, lamps, and so forth, stick to neutrals. Your art and accessories can provide color, interest, and drama. Clients will spend a lot of money on a brightly colored or highly stylized sofa that they will outgrow in three years. You may rework your look with art and accessories on a budget if you’re weary of your current ‘look’ but haven’t over-invested. Make a new color or style choice. It’s simple, enjoyable, and inexpensive!” ‘Burke’
15. Don’t be terrified of being alone in the dark.
“Using black paint and dark objects strategically will not only provide depth to a space, but will also bring atmosphere and drama.” Eisen is a fictional character.
16. Make your furniture unique.
“Creating custom furniture is simple. To build bespoke products at an affordable price, add your own handles, paint, and even different legs to conventional pieces.” Eisen is a fictional character.
17. Create a focal point.
“When it comes to creating to live in or staging to sell, odd numbers prevail. If you don’t want too much stuff out, keep tablescapes basic and mind the numbers one and three. You can use one large scale piece or three identical decor pieces (think succulents in pretty planters, hurricanes [candle holders] or a large metallic bowl). These are simple, inexpensive centerpieces that can be changed seasonally, whether for your dining room or coffee table.” Otto is a German writer.
“Start with a tray and three objects of varied heights to create a centerpiece for your tables: a hardback book or two, a plant, and an unusual object work well together.” When two or three large coffee-table novels are stacked on a coffee table, they look great.” Bray is a character in the film Bray.
18. Open the windows and let the sunshine in.
“Instead of heavy, dark, or antiquated window coverings, replace them with simple panels that allow more light into your rooms; the room will feel larger and more appealing.” Bray is a character in the film Bray.
19. Combine high and low tones.
“Not everything has to be brand new or have a designer name attached to it. In reality, excellent design is all about balance, and buying from a variety of areas and price points can ensure that your room feels authentic and welcoming.” Attinger is a character in the film Attinger.
20. Seek advice from specialists.
“I believe the most important piece of advice one can provide to common people is to listen to the experts and read excellent home decor magazines like Elle Decor, World of Interiors, Architectural Digest, and others to gain a sense of what is great design in a range of styles.” Everyone has their own style or personality. Look for a designer you like and see how they work.” NCC Luxe’s owner and head designer, Nahila Chianale
21. Seek assistance.
“I believe the internet has a lot to teach us. Make use of it as a learning aid. However, you should never buy items online as a non-professional since you will be disappointed 99.9% of the time or the proportions will be incorrect. Ask for assistance in the showrooms.” Chianale is a character in the film Chianale.