From blank canvas to home: how to stage a house for sale - Lifestyle NZ
From blank canvas to home: how to stage a house for sale

From blank canvas to home: how to stage a house for sale

We spoke to Città about the top tips to stage a home for sale.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

A new build or vacant property may not always appeal to the desired target market if it is marketed devoid of furniture. Often, people struggle to see the potential of empty dwellings and it’s for this reason staging is critical. We spoke to Città about the top tips to stage a home for sale.

For developers especially, home staging is a central and vital part of the successful sale of new properties. For those properties that are sited within a new or master planned community, the staging process can be even more vital than for dwellings in an existing and established neighbourhood.

Home staging tips: before and after

Even in those properties that offer distinctive architectural or design elements, for many this isn’t enough. “Walking into a new home that is a complete blank canvas can be really confronting for people looking for a new home. In contrast, if a home is staged the space becomes personalised. It’s brought to life and evokes a sense of comfort and homeliness. It’s these emotive feelings that lead people to fall in love with a property,” Città’s interior design account manager Eve Penny says.

When a house feels lived in, people are often able to visualise themselves living in the space more easily – they may aspire to certain feelings, values or emotions that the interior staging evokes for them. 

In contrast to the vacuous spaces of properties that aren’t staged, the difference is significant. Empty spaces are unlikely to drum up the same emotions as a staged property, no matter how well designed or beautiful the rooms may be.

Purchasing furniture, rather than renting it, for home staging can be the most cost effective option for developers.

Creating different aesthetics: how to appeal to different target markets

The beauty of staging a home is that the final effect can be tailored to appeal to different target markets. For example, a one-bedroom apartment would likely be staged completely differently to a three-bedroom family home. “While they may share some similarities, the design schemes and styling treatment for these two properties would be approached in an entirely different way,” Eve says.

“The underlying aim for the staging of any property is to create an emotive space that feels lived in. Even the smallest details can create emotive rooms. Giving a new home a lived-in look can be as simple as softening cushions with your hands, tossing a throw casually over the corner of a sofa or folding the duvet down and keeping the top sheet untucked and draping. These small things are important as they add a sense of softness that equates to a lived-in feeling.”

Designing spaces that appeal to vastly different target markets starts with ascertaining clarity on exactly who the target might is for each property, Eve says. “From there, it’s about designing interior schemes that are alluring and appeal to the values and emotions of those who come through the property. For example, a one-bedroom apartment at a certain price point may appeal to a single person in their forties or a couple in their thirties or forties. This cohort may be swayed by ease of living, the ability to lock up and leave for the weekend, or elements of luxury. With that in mind, putting together pieces that allow people to get a sense of how their life might be if they lived in that property is important. Perhaps it’s in the elegant luxury of the lounge suite and rugs. Maybe it’s the details in the kitchen. 

“Conversely, a family home may be staged to accentuate a sense of space, a division between areas for adults and children, for example. The soft furnishings in a family home will be dramatically different to those in a home designed for different living situations. It’s about carefully considering what would appeal to different people and creating an alluring vision and sense of home allowing people to imagine and see the benefits of a property.”



Creating a lived in feel is one of Citta's top tips for home staging.

Purchasing vs. renting staging furniture: how much does it cost to stage a house?

Home staging has become big business in New Zealand, but for many, the concept of home staging involves renting furniture and furnishings that are then returned to the home staging company when the property is sold. “This can be expensive and represent a significant investment,” Eve says.  

“Another option - which we specialise in at Città - is offering home staging packages at special rates. This way, developers and agents can purchase furniture and homeware and sell a property with it all included if required. Alternatively, the pieces can be repurposed and used again in other properties if the home is sold unfurnished. We’re able to achieve this because our pieces are purposeful, functional and long-lasting, creating a cohesive and timeless aesthetic.”

Città offers a complete home staging and design service, working closely with developers and agents to deliver unique and targeted design schemes. 
If you’re about to put a property on the market, make sure you have a chat to Città about how to stage your home for the best sale outcome.

Soft furnishings can be used to create a feeling of homeliness.
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