Any home on the market benefits from professional staging, but staging is not a one-size-fits-all process. Combining the art of interior design and strategic marketing, home staging requires a little more effort and forethought when luxury properties are involved.
Luxury staging is all about telling a lifestyle story. If you've been tasked with making a vacant luxury house look like an elegant, inviting home, here are 6 tips to help get you started:
Know your audience
Potential buyers of luxury homes might have income levels in common, but not much else, so it's important to conduct a little market research before staging. Check out neighborhood demographics, and consider the home's location. For example, luxury homes close to a good school district may attract families, so staging efforts should keep in mind positioning family-friendly touches. Luxury is often understated in many area demographics and the staging may need to reflect that for the potential buyer.
Let the luxury amenities be the star of the show
Most luxury homes feature unique amenities that make it stand out from similar homes on the market, and it's important to highlight those features appropriately. For example, if the home has an extravagant outdoor entertaining area, the positioning needs to evoke an elegant outdoor soiree. Or if the home has a media room, make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating and perhaps even a vintage popcorn maker on hand to help potential buyers visualize future movie nights at home. Buyers buy on emotion and evoking some of that is helpful. View some projects here.
Stage key areas and focal points
Many houses on the market get away with so called "light staging" or minimal staging, an art piece there or a lone area rug in a living room, a brown leather couch in the family. For the luxury buyer this reduces the perceived value and price for the home!. Its important to ensure all key living areas, dining areas, key bedrooms, study, kitchens are covered in the staging plan. As per the NAR Home Staging profile the common rooms that were staged included the living room (93%), kitchen (84%), master bedroom (78%) and dining area (72%).
Maintaining consistent design across the rooms helps. Potential buyers for luxury homes have higher expectations during showings? they must be able to envision the home's full potential, so pay the same amount of care to essential architectural highlights, reading nooks, as you would to kitchens, master bedrooms, and living rooms.
Maintain a neutral palette in a range of textures
Staging helps potential buyers visualize themselves in the home, so you want to provide as much of a blank slate for their imagination as possible - but without leaving the home literally blank. Maintaining a neutral color palette throughout will help achieve this effect, so opt for whites, creams, beiges, and muted natural hues when selecting furniture, linens, dishware, and other accessories for a luxury home. Let the art, rugs and accents add a color story with a well designed color palette. Accessories with luxurious textures, such as a cashmere throw in the bedroom, a leather blotter on the desk in the office and other such ideas.
Choose artwork carefully
Artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and other decor, can usually bypass the "neutral palette" rule, but you'll still want to choose art that fits in the home you're staging. Classic art works well with traditional luxury home designs, while modern artwork is a better bet in a luxury home with cutting-edge architecture or "smart home" technology. Local art galleries and local artists are often amenable to leasing out certain pieces - a win-win, as it's great exposure for the gallery and provides authenticity to your staging efforts.
Banish distinctive scents
One trick many realtors and stagers use for showings is to bake a batch of cookies or light scented candles around the home. However, luxury homebuyers are not as responsive to such "homey" scents, so it's better to stick with a fresh, clean linen scent throughout the home. At the least make sure there is no strong scent or odors.
Expensive but dated furniture may not work
When selling to today's buyer often heavy dated furniture does not appeal. Vintage, antique and interesting pieces may work in some doses and can often be blended in for interest. However a home full of specific taste does not appeal to the varied buyers who walk in. At the very least the staging should complement the home with on-trend influence. The style could complement the home architecture, but the higher priced the home, the more are the chances dated inventory may bring down the perceived value for the luxury segment.
Staging for luxury homes in San Diego
At BlueGrape Staging, our designers are experts at staging luxury homes in the San Diego area. We know the homes, the buyers, and the design strategies that will help bring the two together. We also have an exhaustive inventory from vendors around the world, so we can get each job done quickly and efficiently. If you're a realtor or developer looking to entice buyers and turn luxury home showings into luxury home sales, we can help. Call us or fill out our contact form to request an appointment today.
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