Mixing Old With New

Older items have different lines, materials, features and uses than modern goods. When staging, consider the design more than feelings of nostalgia, which buyers may not share. To avoid making a house look dated (like "grandma's house"), don't feature items from the same time period when the house was built if it is several years old. (For example, shag carpet in a house built before the 1970's could look outdated, even if it was new). However, quaint features in an older home (such as glass doorknobs) can be appreciated if the furniture and decor is modern and appealing, so buyers can see it is by choice that the features are preserved. Similarly, an antique item showcased in a brand new home can add depth and interest to a room because it is unexpected.
An antique lamp displayed with some newer items.
Jewelry from the past (a lady bowling in a dress) on a new sweater.
Blonded wood, an eye catching stain technique from the 1950's.


Torn But Not Forlorn

When staging, you might encounter small tears in fabric or seams in need of repair. Although the example shown is clothing, this could happen on drapery or a cushion. When you don't have the supplies or time to mend a seam by re-stitching it, fabric glue can be used to make the repair. Just apply the product lightly and hold the fabric together for about 3 minutes until the glue begins to set, then allow it to dry. (Test first on an inconspicuous area if you are uncertain whether the glue will work on the fabric).
Before: torn seam

After: seam is repaired without stitching 
Example of fabric glue. 


De-Coat That Entrance!

As seasons change in Canada, entryways get filled with a mix of summer and winter clothing. To keep things tidy and entryways functional, it helps to move clothing you will not use for the upcoming season into a separate closet or storage area. Reduce the amount of clothing so there is adequate space for everything you use.
Before: Many coats clutter an entryway as winter approaches.
After: Not "staged", but organized storage areas are more attractive to buyers, and more functional for homeowners.

Old Furniture May Not Be Vintage

Furniture can really influence the look of a room. Outdated furniture can draw attention to the age of an older home, and a vacant home is difficult for buyers to envision furnished. Empty rooms can also seem stark and uninviting. A quick way to bring modern furniture into a home temporarily is to rent it. Furniture rental companies look after delivery, set up and removal, and the opportunity to rent on a weekly basis makes this choice affordable. You also have the option to purchase the furniture if you like using it.
A living room can receive an updated or more upscale look with rented furniture.
Nice furnishings make vacant rooms more appealing.


Underpainting: It's Like Underwear for Art

This painting involved a technique called underpainting. Some benefits of underpainting are:

  • base colors can peak through the brushstrokes of the upper coat, providing visual interest or enhancement of the top color.
  • colors beneath can create visual shades and highlights in the top color.

Essentially, paint is applied as a ground, before the final product is applied over it.

This often occurs inadvertently when painting walls. Shades of paint on a wall beneath make brush or roller strokes more visible, and may reflect a different color through the topcoat. Unless you want to feature the brushstrokes and the color beneath, as some finishes do, most people use primer or extra coats of paint to make them less visible.
The underpainting in this picture was yellow beneath the green, green beneath the red, and orange beneath the blue.

Switch It Up

Often the light switch is the first thing you reach for when you enter a room. Most rooms have other focal points, and light switches just blend into the background. A bathroom may be one area where you feature a unique switchplate, because the room is small and fixtures are noticeable. For staging, however, remember that the contents of rooms leave when you move. So if the switchplate matches the decor/contents, consider replacing it with one that suits the room itself.

Before: Decor switchplates tend to match the current owners' belongings and taste.
After: A new one was chosen to match fixtures in the bathroom.

Old Lights, New Lights

It's easy to overlook light fixtures that we see everyday. However a potential buyer is likely to notice them because they are usually sold with the property. A new light fixture can reduce the ability of insects and dust to accumulate in the glass, and give the room an updated look. Older fixtures, such as the one pictured, are often replaced with affordable flush mount lighting.
Older fixtures tend to swivel, and collect dirt.
A new light updates the room.


'Hard To Get Rid Of' Water Stains

Hard water stains make a bathroom look grungy. Once they build up, many people use muscle and gritty cleaners to remove them, however there is an easier way. Acids break down hard water stains, and given a little time the stains will simply dissolve. Vinegar is a popular choice to use, but another green alternative is lemon juice which smells nice and works well. 
Simply saturate paper towel with lemon juice and place it over the stain. This helps it to cling, and keeps it wet longer. Let it dry, check the stain, and rewet again if necessary until the stain dissolves or loosens sufficiently to easily remove it. Although it requires time, it is easy and effective.
1. Before - a hard water stain.
2. Cover with paper towel, saturate with lemon juice overnight.
3. After - stain is removed, silicone remains.