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Home Staging and Décor with Sarah Kidd

Prep and show off your home like a pro

Article by Scott Bell

Photography by McKenzie Gregory Photography

Originally published in Gallatin Lifestyle

When staging your home to sell or to simply showcase for a dinner party or gathering, determining how to style, where to start and what to include can be a daunting task. Local home design expert and Realtor, Sarah Kidd, stops by to share with us her tips on how to ensure your home has those extras that will turn heads and how to add those special details.

Staging Tip 1: Declutter all counter tops. This includes kitchen counters, bathroom countertops, side tables, nightstands, coffee tables and desks. All chargers, books and notepads should be put away and out of sight as if nobody lives there.

Staging Tip 2: Add light décor. After decluttering, add small touches of décor using fresh flowers, decorative baskets, throw pillows, whatever you can find, but keep it minimal. Fresh flowers give off an elegant, almost regal, feel to a home. On a sofa I like to use only two pillows; give them a good fluff and set them up straight. It is amazing how a clean, well-styled home can impress potential buyers.

Staging Tip 3: Touch up your paint. Take the time to walk around your home and inspect all of your walls. If you have young kids or animals, you may notice quite a bit of needed touch up. Use a medium sized paint brush and paint using vertical strokes. It goes on quickly and will make your home look freshly painted and again making the buyer feel like they are in a “newer” home.

Staging Tip 4: Bake or use a Plug-In. If baking is your jam, bake some fresh cookies for an open house and let the aroma fill the home. Baking can bring up nostalgic memories and help someone envision your home as their potential home. If you aren’t a baker, no big deal; use some fragrance plug-ins in a few of your rooms to give off a fresh scent. My favorites smell like fresh laundry, or springtime!

If you want to make your home look professionally staged and you have a modest budget to do it, there are certain things to remember when decorating a space.

1. Always use BIG pieces. If you are wanting art on your wall or new throw pillows on your couch, get good sized items. Most people underestimate the size of rooms and furniture. You want wall art to take up a good portion of the wall and be pleasing to look at. You also do not want pillows to be washed out by the couch itself.

2. Neutrals always work best. Not everyone is a fan of neutrals, but if you are trying to sell your home, using soft, soothing colors will appeal to most buyers. Don’t overthink it! Most neutrals will match and work well together. Wood tones and creams work perfectly together, as well.

3. Splurge on window treatments. It is crazy how much a beautiful set of curtains can change a room for the better. Always place your curtains at least seven inches above the window, this will make your ceiling appear higher and add depth and warmth to your home.

One of the perks of being a real estate agent is getting to explore and play with one of my other passions, home design. Luckily, the two tie in together and I am able to help home sellers with staging, décor and design. Whenever I have a listing appointment, we do a walk through of the home and discuss staging ideas and décor tips. I promise it is simpler than you would think; you do not have to go out and buy all new furniture as some would assume. Take what you have and simplify everything!