Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Staged to Sell

Staging is one of my favorite steps of the furniture refinishing process. Maybe this will sound funny, but even though I'm the one working on the piece, I am still surprised at the final product.  And when we go to stage, I feel like it's the first time I see the piece in its full element.

Staging can be so frustrating in some ways. You could have a fantastic vision in your head, set it up, take the picture, and then look at the photo...and it looks like poo. Or in other words not like what you you had envisioned.

I usually delete the poo pictures so I don't have any of those to share. But I promise they were poo.

Here are some personal tips on how to stage to sell a piece or just to show it off.

1. Lighting! This might be the most important tip to making a piece stand out. Photoshop can really help lighten and soften your image, but it carries a hefty price tag and still can't compete with natural light. If you feel comfortable using freeware there is a program called Gimp which is similar to Photoshop.  

If you don't want to use software the best tip is to use natural light. Set your camera to the "no flash" setting or if you know how then use manual. Flash will wash out your piece, distort the color, and often leave a lovely glare. Natural light is less harsh and more accurate. Still, you need ALOT of it so try to stage your piece near windows and at peak hours of sunlight. 

2. A lot of us live in homes or apartments that we are still fixing up or where we don't have the option of changing the (stark white) wall color; so finding a great background isn't always easy. And that's OK! All of these where taken in front our oh so very white walls. 

If your walls are a bland color, accessorize your piece with bold or bright colors. Try bringing in other furniture that adds color or texture.

3. And that brings me to point number three. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. The desk at the top left wasn't working till we added the pears. The dresser next to it was staged in the kitchen. And I was convinced that the 6 drawer dresser needed to be staged as an entry table. Obviously I was wrong. :) Also look for areas to photograph that might not be your first thought. For example, I used our bright red door for this end table.

4. Use what you have. When I was trying to stage the Peacock desk, I spent an afternoon running around trying to find the perfect decor to stage it. In the end I ended up just taking a picture and being OK with the fact that I couldn't make it look the way I wanted it too. And ultimately I wanted the color to be the center of the show.

5.  Lastly, remember you are trying to sell/show your piece, not your accessories. In other words, most of the time less is more with staging.

That's all! 

P.S. I've been loving everything that I've been seeing on reader! 
You all are producing some amazing stuff!

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  1. Thank you so much for these tips! As a newbee, I am always searching for stuff like this.

  2. Great tips! I struggle in this area. Mainly because I don't try very hard most of the time....I just want it done. :/

  3. I really appreciate your tips! This is definitely my biggest struggle as a new blogger. My pictures are slowly getting better, but I have a long way to go :-)

  4. Your my hero! I just sold two of my pieces on craigslist this morning because of your tips. I have had them posted for over a month and after reading your tips I reposted them the correct way and it really worked. Now I have the extra money to finish my kitchen reno.
    xoxo from Loraine- Breakfast For Dinner

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I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments! They bring a smile to my face!