You asked for it... You got it! Here is my secret list of favorite lifestyle staging tips. Don't tell anyone.
1. Create a theme and play up a focal point. For a coastal theme, use a framed navigational chart over the fireplace, for instance. The charts can also be rolled up and placed in a tall basket. Put some Coastal Living magazines in a tray with a starfish for the cocktail table.
2. Streamline the colors. Use no more than 2 primary colors and 1 accent color... like a spa blue color with khaki and a touch of kiwi green.
3. Add a great accessory or picture... a fabulous piece of driftwood on the coffee table with 3" pillar candles in white. Some fish netting would add drama.
4. Create a cozy conversation area. Bring the furniture into the middle of the room. No "wallflowers."
5. If the space allows, angle the dining room table and remove any tall, traditional florals. Instead use a low accessory, such as, a collection of wood-carved sea turtles or an oblong dish of unique shells.
6. Place some wine corks in a container on the bar area. Add some wine glasses and a pretty wine bottle on a tray. If you don't have a tray, use a mirror. Remove any hooks that might scratch the table.
7. Place a telescope or binoculars on the table near a lake or waterfront view. Place a display of sharks teeth on the coffee table in an oceanfront home. This is subliminal staging.
8. Create a party atmosphere with a tray of iced tea glasses and a pitcher on a tray. Add some colorful napkins and a few lemons.
9. Use greenery from the backyard to create a natural setting and add dimension. My favorites are philodendron leaves and palmetto branches. Bamboo cuttings in a tall vase add a Zen-like atmosphere to a room, for instance. Use bamboo tomato stakes in a container to add height.
!0. Yes, we do decorate for the various seasons. In the fall, place a few pumpkins and some mums outside the front door, for instance. For the holidays, keep it subtle and use natural items. Real cranberries in a hurricane candleholder with a white pillar candle on top can be lovely. Evergreen cuttings from the woods smell great and can be combined with clippings of natural berries for a beautiful display.
There you have it! My favorite tricks-of-the-trade designer tips for you. Enjoy!
What is your favorite tip?