Shelter and Stage with KLH: Entryways!
It's just day one of our 14 days of home staging tips! #ShelterandStagewithKLH
Today’s focus: Entryways!
First impressions are so important.
The entryway – or foyer – is quite literally the first impression of your home. (The inside of your home, that is… We’ll talk curb appeal another day!) Your entryway must be appealing. It is the first step to help potential buyers establish a positive and emotional connection to your home.
In just a matter of seconds, potential buyers will form an opinion about your home… Let’s make sure it’s a positive one! Buyers will then walk the rest of your home in hopes to further support the view they have already formed! If they formed a positive opinion, they’ll continue to look for positive attributes to support those initial feelings.
So, how does one stage an entryway to sell?
This is much more challenging than it sounds! It’s hard to be objective in your own home. Enlist the help of professionals – such as your agent or a professional home stager! Even a fresh pair of eyes from an honest friend is helpful. (But, perhaps just stick with the professionals...)
Take a good look at your space.
Is it inviting? Easily accessible? Are there shoes everywhere? How many sets of keys are hanging? Is there a tangle of dog leashes? A few too many coats? Bags? Scarves? Hats? How many entryways do you have? Do you even have an entryway? Do you need to create one?
Identify strengths and weaknesses.
Do you have high ceilings? Original hardwood floors? Do you have a cracked tile? An outdated light fixture? Are your walls damaged? How do your baseboards look? Is the paint pealing? Does the space need a good cleaning? Are there windows? Are the windows clean?
Identify pros and cons.
Think about ways to emphasize the positive features. We want those to stand out! How can we downplay negatives?
This area should be tidy – the tidiest it’s ever been! (Unrealistically tidy!)
When in doubt, remove it.
Remove coat racks, shoe racks, key holders, leashes, etc. We all have furniture pieces that are designed to collect, store or organize our daily clutter… But in the world of staging, there is no clutter. So, remove and store those pieces away for the time being.
(Our clients always ask: Where do I store my extra stuff? Well, there are a few options. If you have a garage or basement, storing items away in an organized fashion is always an option – they key is organized. Another option is to rent a storage unit! You already know you are moving; we advise you to start the packing process early as you begin to stage your home to sell!)
Pick-up any rugs or mats, especially for photos and during the open house. (Although, one mat outside for potential buyers to wipe their feet is acceptable. Make sure your realtor is also handing out shoe covers during the open house to keep the property clean!) While rugs and mats do have purpose, they are a distraction to potential buyers. Rugs and mats lead buyers to wonder what is hiding underneath… Damaged or stained floors? (But that is the exception: If your floors are damaged or stained, keep the rug or mat!)
Remove personal art and family photos… Any items that would lead the buyer to start profiling who lives there, such as religious items, plaques or trophies. These items are distracting. We want buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Your personal items actually make them feel like they are intruding on your space! (Not the goal!)
Consider replacing or updating any old or dated light fixtures or hardware. (If you’re handy, consider spray painting!)
Use a minimal number of accessories to encourage buyers to connect emotionally with the space. Send potential buyers a message: Life would be “just right” if they bought this house! Create a welcoming entryway they can envision themselves coming home to after a long day of work… And look! There’s already a spot ready for their keys, their heavy bag and that pile of mail they don't even want to open...
Consider adding a potted plant or a fresh bouquet of flowers – bring the outdoors in! But remember, it can be difficult to keep live plants or a fresh flower arrangement looking fresh, especially if you’re not living at the property. Consider a realistic faux plant in its place!
Now, for some examples…
We realize not all entryways are built the same. Some homes do not even have an entryway or foyer!
1. The Built-In
A lot of newer or updated homes now feature built-in mudroom “lockers” with benches. Consider accessorizing with baskets, throw pillows and blankets and perhaps a faux plant. They key is to make sure nothing is spilling out of the baskets if you’re using them to hide items like hats, mittens, dog leashes, etc.
2. The Small Boxed-In Foyer
You open the front door and you find yourself in a small boxed in room… Yes, this is the foyer! Make sure this already small room is not cluttered with too much or oversized furniture. A simple bench, a few throw pillows, greenery and a mirror is enough. Not only does the mirror help in making this small room feel larger and brighter, people like to check themselves before they head out the door!
3. The Porch
Many homes feature either a sunroom or porch with a lot of windows – allowing an abundance of natural light! These rooms are typically larger and require a bit more accessorizing. A bench and pillow might not be enough, and with the number of windows, there’s really no great space to hang a mirror. So consider a few additional accessories, such as a larger faux plant, a pair of rainboots or a watering can
4. The Long Hallway
You open your front door and your met with a long and narrow hallway. There’s no choice but to work with such a long and narrow space! Add a bench, a runner, a basket and some colorful artwork to make the space feel purposeful and inviting.
5. The Tiny Entryway
Even the smallest of entryways must look and feel inviting! Take this small corner nook by the front door, for example. A small bench, pillow and floor plant create an inviting space to sit down and take your shoes off as you get home. A decorative mirror is a must so you can check yourself on the way out!
6. The Console Table
While many homes don’t have a formal entryway or foyer – they do have wall space that allows for a console table near the front door. This creates a place to drop your keys or bag as soon as you walk in the door! Consider lightly accessorizing console tables with pops of white (so fresh and clean), decorative books, greenery or bowls to serve as a “catch” for keys or mail. Consider hanging a mirror or a neutral piece of art.
7. No Entryway
You open the front door and – boom – there’s the living room! Front and center! There’s literally no closet or even a table to drop your bag or keys… Well, unfortunately your house is just not going to sell. (Just kidding!) We just need to make sure the room potential buyers enter into is a showstopper! Take this property in Lexington, for example. You open the door and your greeted with a stunning fireplace, a mantel featuring an oversized mirror, making the room appear larger and brighter, greenery and two high back chairs turned just so invitingly… Wouldn’t you just want to collapse in one of these chairs by the fire as soon as you got home from a long day at work? (I know I would!) These chairs weren’t selected at random… Chairs on long legs allow you to see the floor, making the space look and feel larger.
Thank you for reading!
We'll be back tomorrow to talk kitchens!
Stay safe, stay home, stay healthy.
Project Manager, Home Stager
KLH Home Staging