By Candis Meredith
Selling restored houses is a really interesting process. In some ways, they’re just like any other kind of house—they’re in great shape, updated with all of the amenities buyers look for, and located in good neighborhoods where people want to buy houses. The big difference is, when you’re selling a restored or renovated house, you might have a bit more of a challenge with staging than you would with a newer home.
Staging a 19th century home can be tricky because ultra-modern furnishings and décor are going to look out of place, but at the same time you don’t want your buyers to think that they’ll need 19th century furniture and giant portraits of their ancestors to make their new home look beautiful.
Choose a Period-Appropriate Palette
Before you hire stagers to bring in furniture and other details, you should start with your walls. Most of the time, I recommend paint over wallpaper because it looks cleaner and simpler, and it’s easier for your buyers to repaint if they decide they don’t like the color. I don’t recommend going with anything too neutral on your paint, though. White is boring, and beige is too safe.
Instead, do a little bit of research and find period-appropriate colors that help maximize natural light and give the place an updated look that still fits with the architecture and style of the house.
Don’t Let Your Stagers Go Crazy
It can be tempting to fill one of these old homes with all kinds of décor in lots of bold patterns and colors. When you hire your stagers, make sure that they know that you want to emphasize the architecture of the home. You want to show off what a great job you did with your restorations and renovations, not draw attention away from all of your work and all of the main features of the house.
Window Treatments Should Be Simple
Heavy drapes and window sheers make old homes look darker, and they have a heavy appearance that can really turn buyers off. Plus, the windows in old homes are some of the best features. Remember, when your home was built in the 19th century, it probably didn’t have electric light, so it was important to maximize natural light while the sun was up. In other words, let your windows speak for themselves; don’t hide them behind layers of curtains and drapes.
Add Mirrors Instead of Art
Whether you’re going the DIY route on your staging or you’re hiring stagers, you can help yourself out a lot by adding décor that isn’t too personal. That’s why I recommend hanging mirrors instead of art. Everyone’s taste in art varies, but mirrors are always a classy way to increase natural light and add the illusion of more space, too. Plus, they add style without making your house look like it’s a museum.
Basically, as you work with your stagers or stage your house yourself, you want to focus on details that will help your buyers picture themselves living in your house. Choose furniture that works with the space but isn’t too personalized, and go with décor items that give your buyers ideas on what they’d like to hang on the walls when they move in.
Just follow these four tips, and you shouldn’t have any trouble staging your old homes when it’s time to sell them. And, if you’re stuck, there’s never any harm in asking a professional stager for help. Give them a little bit of guidance about the period in which your home was built, and then let them go to work. You might be surprised at how perfectly up to date some of their choices are without detracting from any of your restoration work.