Did you know that millennials account for 25-40% of home buyers? These buyers have grown up with HGTV, Pinterest, Instagram, and IKEA. They are very style conscious—even on their often limited budgets. So, as stagers, we have to make sure our inventory does not scream “your parents decorated this house!” Pro Tip: If a style is more than 10 years old, it is outdated. It might be time for an inventory clear out—and we are here to help!
Don’t use ficus trees or English ivy.
Photo via www.houzz.com
Everyone loves a good houseplant and the current trends are all about eco-friendly, healthy living, but those old ficus trees and English ivy pots are only collecting dust and reminding people of their grandma. Ditch them. As we talk about in our current design trends course, fresher alternatives to ivy are orchids and succulents, and ficus trees can be replaced with olive and fiddle leaf fig trees. The best part of all of these is that the fakes often look more real than the real ones! To check out some faux plants we like on Amazon, click here.
Don’t use Tuscan furniture.
Photo via: www.hemispheres-us.com
We are travel junkies and still recommend a spring trip to the Italian Riviera… but don’t bring back any furniture! Current design is all about three places: Northern Europe, East Asia, and Paris. We know you spent a ton of money on all those heavy drapes and bedroom suites, but it is time to let go of the furniture and just keep the memories and pictures of your romantic trip to Tuscany.
The good news is that a lot of the furniture can be revived to look fresh again! Painting that cherry wood black and adding some gold fixtures can transform a 1990’s throwback to an on-trend fashion statement. Below is a picture of a member of our logistics team painting a coffee table we found at an estate sale that is perfectly on trend now that it has been freshened up.
Don’t use curly ironwork.
Photo via: www.hemispheres-us.com
Modern, clean lines and geometric patterns are what buyers are looking for these days. Scrolling ironwork can feel a bit chaotic—and that is the last thing a buyer wants to feel in a home! We use a lot of metal pieces as art “stretchers” to make our art fit the scale of the furniture it is grounded by, but a dated stretcher can make the art you are trying to draw attention to look dated as well—even if it is an abstract/modern piece of art.
Don’t use faux props.
Photo via www.ebay.com
With the exception of some faux plants, mentioned above, and fake lemons in the kitchen, we recommend getting rid of most of the fake stuff you have in your inventory. It usually looks dusty and just not quite right. We see so much that is edited and fake every day… so we can all spot it a mile away. Authenticity is always way more attractive and doesn’t go out of style.
Pro Tip: If a realtor/client asks for a faux TV, we recommend showing them a beautiful piece of art from your portfolio and a faux TV and ask which is more compelling.
Don't use window treatments.
Photo via: www.townandcountrycurtain.com
We saved the best for last-- you don’t need to invest in expensive window treatments to sell a house! In fact, bare windows bring in more light, are less likely to hold the smells of the previous owners’ pets and smoking habit, and don’t date the room! The room pictured above could actually be very on-trend with its bold wallpaper and beautiful chandelier, but the curtains are taking us back to the 1990's (before some of the target buyers were even born!). Taking them down and ditching the faux floral arrangement would add to the purchase price of the home and sell it a lot faster. Simple panels, wood blinds, and shutters are the only window treatments we recommend leaving up. Buyers may decide they want more privacy for actual living, but window treatments are not necessary for staging.
Pro tip: Make sure the windows are clean!!
Do know your market!
Each market is very different. Usually, the coasts get trends first and then they work their way in towards middle America. So, it is important for stagers to know their market and their target buyer. Knowing the style in your market will enable you to create a staging design that will appeal to your target buyer. Remember, it’s all about making an emotional connection to get the home sold. Urban lofts, where your target buyer is an early adopter of style trends should be staged very differently from a suburban home where your buyer is probably averse to risky trends and wants a more traditional approach. Drill down deep to connect with the buyer and use the trends to get the listing sold.
Pro tip: The target buyer is likely the same age as the sellers were when they bought the house.
Current Design Trends
We offer an online course about the current design trends and how they can be used for staging. If you haven’t taken the course, you definitely need to, so that you stay current in this fast moving home fashion business! But, of course before you bring anything new into your inventory, you might need to do a little clear out of the trends that are… well, not trendy anymore.
For a complete education on the Current Design Trends, click here.
If you want to learn more tips and staging strategies, our Staging Design Professional™ course includes everything you need to be a BOSS Stager!
We also created a free video series for you, to help you become more profitable in your staging business.
If you are a realtor and would like to earn your Staging Design Agent™ designation, you can learn more here.
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This is the beginning of a beautiful journey together into the world of staging and design.