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When staging, I frequently get asked if I live like this. The answer is 100% …but, only in my head. Because life happens in my house – every day. And, my life includes a husband, a busy kid, a dog and two cats – that’s a lot of life. That doesn’t mean there aren’t easy steps to ensure that your house doesn’t look its best every day. And, that people won’t walk into your home and wonder if you live like this all the time. This is why we’re sharing everyday staging for the everyday person.
Here are six easy tips on everyday staging to create the best version of your home.
Repeat after me – less is more. Always.
I was taught that the key to good design is knowing when to stop. And it’s true. The way to achieve the staged look to your home is knowing when to stop. And more importantly, when to edit.
It’s easiest to look at your space through a lens. Start by grabbing your phone and snap some pictures. Zoom in on vignettes and zoom out for the bigger picture. Put on your most critical glasses and review. What’s breaking up the space? What’s creating visual noise? What needs to go? Try editing (or putting away) at least a third of the items on counters and on display. Then, take the pictures again. Unless you’re a true minimalist you’ll notice your space looking more, well, staged and a little less disheveled. Repeat until you’re happy with the less is more feel of your room. And then, commit to keeping the “more” tucked away neatly or donating what no longer sparks joy.
The sofas that we use for staging at Fox Marin all have clean, classic lines. And. they are all shades of grey, charcoal or cream – neutral. In fact, we stick to neutral classics for all our bigger pieces of furniture and rugs. That’s no coincidence because it gives us a blank canvas for accessorizing.
A sofa without pillows looks naked. An empty coffee table is just that, empty. Go nuts, create your own story, but remember, less is always more. Accessories should never be clutter and ideally, they should be something that sparks your joy! Plus, accessories offer an inexpensive opportunity to embrace the latest trend and switch up the feel of your space with very little commitment. You can find amazing pillows and accessories on Etsy, at H&M Home, West Elm and all your favourite design stores.
Everyday staging can be accomplished with flowers. Nothing dresses up a space like fresh cut flowers. Make it part of your weekly routine to treat yourself. You don’t have to spend a small fortune. Less than $20 will get you a stunning bunch of tulips that will spark joy. It’s that easy and yet so many people wait for a special occasion to bring flowers into their home. Don’t. Treat yourself today and make it a habit.
Make your bed, every day. Smooth out the wrinkles, fluff the pillows and toss a throw across the foot of your bed. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary and you should treat it like one. Treat yourself to some beautiful bedding and you’ll want to make your bed everyday. Stick to a neutral palette and layer in some texture. Me? I love washed linen bedding. Favourite brands? Matteo, Restoration Hardware and H&M Home. Toss a chunky knit throw on the end of your bed, add a few throw pillows and you’ve dressed your bedroom.
Check the visual undoing of your beautifully made bed with a bedside table overflowing with lotions, books, devices and other bedside “must-haves”. If you’ve got stuff on your bedside table then it’s time to get a bedside table with drawers and use them to house your clutter.
I won’t get started on piles of clothes. If they’re clean they get put away. If they’re dirty they go into the laundry bin. End of story.
It is so easy for things to pile up – and just as easy to stop the piles. Clean your dishes every time you eat, wipe the counters and put away the food. Store your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, not the sink or kitchen counter. If you take something out, put it away as soon as you’re done with it. Make sure that everyone in your home takes five minutes to put it away, every day. Make sure you’ve got a home for everything. And make sure that everyone knows where everything goes. Because, “I don’t know where it goes,” is not a good excuse to let the piles build. A cluttered house will never look like a staged house. Ever.
Once everything is put away, make sure your space sparkles – windows, showers, faucets, mirrors, the fridge, the stove and the cabinet handles. Sound daunting? Not at all. Get yourself a selection of good microfibre cleaning cloths and give everything a wipe. Ok, not necessarily every day. Give your windows and shower doors a good wipe once a week to keep the layers of grime away. Wipe your kitchen faucets every time you finish washing your dishes and your bathroom faucets and mirror every night before you go to bed. Don’t underestimate the power of the sparkle. It makes a huge difference.
If you’ve got piles of mail, flyers and papers coming into your house everyday you might be doing something wrong. This is certainly not conducive to everyday staging. I’m not going to get all Marie Kondo because, let’s face it, piles of paper don’t spark joy, but this can be easily managed.
You’ll still get papers coming into your home, but it’s easy to create a manageable system to tame the mess.
It’s that easy. And if you commit to staying on top of the paper clutter, it’s easier to commit to everyday staging.
Everyday staging isn’t about how other people think you live. It’s about creating the best version of your home that tells your story and isn’t overwhelmed with too much stuff or clutter. I function best when my home is at its best everyday staging. And when we slip, because it happens, I feel unsettled until my house is back to its everyday staging state.
If this all sounds too overwhelming, FM Design Services offers a la carte design services. Let’s talk about everyday staging for your home!
This article is written by Kathy Mighton, Project Manager and Lead Designer here at Fox Marin Associates. She is FM Design’s creator of well-crafted spaces that inspire and impress! A true design enthusiast, there are not enough walls or surfaces in Kathy’s life to display all the art that she loves.