Home Staging on a Budget

Earlier this summer, a friend contacted us about listing his home for sale. It had been the perfect space for his family's many art and carpentry projects -- but it was going to need some serious home staging in order to entice its next owner. Here is what the home looked like before going on the market:

Living room, before staging

Kitchen, before being staged for sale

Bathroom, before being staged for sale

Master bedroom, before being staged for sale

The home had great bones, with a family-friendly floor-plan and some major behind-the-scenes upgrades already done -- but it was going to be difficult to convince buyers to look past some of its cosmetic needs to see the home's true potential, especially when the bath, kitchen, and windows needed updates, too.

Our friend and his family knew the home needed work, but they didn't have a lot of money (or a lot time) to spend. That's when Team ROOST came to the rescue. We swept in with our paint samples and priority lists, and before long we had a plan for how to stage their home on a budget. Then, we all got to work.

Because of the family's budget and timeframe, we decided to focus on the most important cosmetic fixes. For example, we decided to use a pale, cool, neutral paint color throughout the entire home, to unify the space and to emphasize the openness of the floor plan; a can of chrome spray paint quickly and inexpensively transformed the outdated, mismatched bath hardware; and some simple updates to the exterior increased the curb appeal while staying true to the home's quirky charm.

Several cans of paint, a quick shopping trip, and a week or two later, this is what the home looked like:

Living and dining spaces, after being staged for sale

Kitchen, after being staged for sale

Bathroom, after being staged for sale

Master bedroom, after staging (no furniture, but huge improvement in the fresh paint!)

Unfortunately we didn't take a before picture of the front entrance, because the owners were having a pre-moving yard sale that day. But here is an after shot -- simple updates like painting the front door and adding a new light fixture and house numbers really went a long way:

Newly painted front door and new outdoor light

It's a pretty amazing transformation, right? Not surprisingly, the home got a lot of foot traffic during the open house, and now it's sold!

To break it down, this was our staging to-do list:

  • Remove all existing furniture
  • Paint every room, walls and trim
  • Re-paint the masonite floor (with paint the owner already had)
  • Update the rugs/towels/linens in bathroom and kitchen (purchased on sale at a discount store)
  • Spray-paint the bath hardware (a huge cost-saver compared to replacing everything with new chrome hardware)
  • Paint the front door, to add a bright pop of color and improve curb appeal
  • Replace the outdoor lights and house numbers, to increase the home's exterior charm
  • Add a few flowers and plants along the foundation, generously transplanted from the neighbor's gorgeous garden
  • Add furnishings and decor to the living/dining areas (from ROOST's staging furniture stash, and from the owner's art collection)

The total cost of this staging project was less than $400 (plus the owners' sweat equity, since they did all the painting and installed the new hardware). And the transformation? Priceless. Working closely with the homeowners, we were able to create a space that honored the home's unique character, made people smile when they walked in, and didn't cost a fortune. All in all, a good day's work!