Mistakes to avoid when styling a home for sale

When styling a home for sale, there are several common mistakes to avoid to ensure that the installation goes smoothly and that the space is cohesive, appealing and functional.

  1. Not measuring up: There’s nothing worse than curating a beautiful furniture scheme only to have the truck arrive and the sofa not fit through the doorway. This will cost in both time and money. Be sure to measure access points (including doorways, stairwells and lifts), as well as internal spaces so that furniture fits and is to scale. Proportion is incredibly important when styling a home for sale so measuring up is key. Always have a tape measure handy!
  2. Styling on the same day as the photo shoot: It is crucial to find out when the real estate agent has arranged the photo shoot for. It’s recommended to avoid taking photos the same day as the styling, as this creates too much time pressure and can result in a job being too rushed or incomplete. It is best to style 1-2 days prior to the photoshoot where possible and allow a buffer so that the agent can ensure they are happy with the job prior to arriving for the shoot.
  3. Not considering the agents likes/dislikes: While a property is styled for a buyer, not for the agent, agents are often a stylist main source of referral business, and it is important to get to know their likes and dislikes. This is best done at quoting stage. Simply ask the agent if they have any likes or dislikes. It’s often worth asking the vendor too.
  4. Ignoring the target market: Different properties will appeal to different people. For example, a four-bedroom home by the beach will appeal to a different target market altogether, than would a one-bedroom inner city apartment. Before styling a property for sale, find out who the likely demographic of the buyer is and style the property accordingly. The selling agent is the best person to ask.
  5. Overdoing it: While it’s important to create a warm and inviting space, it’s just as important not to overdo it. Avoid using too many accessories, as this can clutter the space and distract potential buyers from seeing the full potential of the home. Less is more!
  6. Forgetting the importance of flow: Flow is the way in which people move through a property. Ensure that the furniture and accessories create a natural flow that makes it easy to move around and explore the property. Just because the owner of the home positioned their dining table a certain way, it doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Play with positioning to maximise flow and best showcase the property’s highlights.
  7. Focusing too much on trends: While it’s important to stay up to date with design trends, it’s also important to focus on creating a look suits the space and that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. The art of property styling is in the ability to appeal to the widest possible market.
  8. Neglecting the property’s unique features: Every property has unique features that can be highlighted to create a more appealing space. Whether creating a study in a hallway nook or emphasising a great view with a clever mirror placement, consider these when styling a property for sale. It may be the thing that sets the property apart from the rest.
  9. Poorly hung wall art: When it comes to hanging wall art, excuse the pun but there is indeed an art to it. Hanging art too high, or too low, can make a space feel awkward. As a general rule of thumb, art should be hung with the centre of the artwork at eye level and pairs should be hung anywhere between 5 to 15cm apart, depending on the size of the piece and the wall. Adhesive hooks don’t always hold and if they come off the wall, both the art and the property could be damaged, so they are best to be avoided. It’s also important to get the scale of the piece correct for the space. Be sure to look around the room and understand what else is going in the space when considering wall art.
  10. Choosing the wrong rug size: Rugs play an incredibly important role in property styling. They ground a space, connecting individual pieces of furniture together and they help to create zones in a home. When it comes to choosing the right rug for a space, size does matter. In general, bigger is better. A rug that is large enough to fit some of the way under the furniture while still seeing some flooring around the perimeter of the zone will give a grounded feel and elevate the space
  11. Not giving enough thought to light: Pay attention to the amount of natural light in the property or lack thereof. Also take note of what other forms of light are available. Dark spaces are uninviting and can be a deterrent no matter how beautiful the styling. There are many ways to lighten up a space, from introducing floor and table lamps, to using mirrors to reflect the outdoors, to white bed linen, to lightening the window dressings, to painting the room a lighter colour. Overlooking this important detail is one mistake that can be easily avoided.
  12. No life: A room can feel flat if there is nothing living in it – and by that we mean greenery, foliage or flowers. By adding these to a room, even if they are faux, it will give the impression of life and instantly improve the feel and energy of a space.

Whether you’re styling your own home for sale, or a client’s, avoiding these common mistakes will help to ensure a smooth and successful install.


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