DIY: Home staging & property styling, complete with before and after pictures

A few weeks back I wrote about styling my little cottage for sale.  After the agent appraised it, I had an interior stylist come through to give me a quote with respect to styling and hiring stage furniture.  The quote was in excess of $2,000 for a very small 2 bedder for a hire period of 4 weeks and then $200 per week for each week thereafter.  Having just bought our new home, paying $2,000 plus for something I could not keep was out of the question, so my boyfriend and I opted to style the property ourselves.

While it's been on the market, I’ve gone back on multiple occasions to check the state of the fresh flowers and to empty the junk mail from the letter box – but only the other week did I finally remember to take my camera.

Of course a post like this is not complete without the before pictures. In this case the pictures are of the property when I first inspected it prior to purchasing (and also a few just after settlement).  Also let me set the scene for you...

It was the first weekend of opens for my little cottage, this was what seemed like the millionth property that I was inspecting and as per usual there were hoards of interested people inspecting it also.  My parents were too busy that weekend to have look and to give me their honest assessment and my boyfriend was interstate.  I had a good feeling about it and although it was clear that whoever resided there adored it in all its purple glory, it was a far cry from what I imagined it could be.  I left the inspection excited by what I had just seen but a little hesitant about making a big purchasing decision all by myself. 

The agent rang me on Monday morning to tell me that 3 offers had been submitted and unless I put one in by COB I would miss out on securing the property.  I put my offer in regardless of the fact that neither of my parents nor my boyfriend had seen it... Of course I secured it.  My boyfriend's comment when he saw for the first time was “it has potential” but on the inside he was thinking – what have you done!?

The BEFORE pictures







The main bedroom.

The dark purple feature wall, was in reality much darker...












The lounge room.

The vendor assured me that I would get used to the purple...















The kitchen.

Believe it or not, the kitchen cabinets were originally pink - the vendor had opted to paint them cream and burgundy.







Second bedroom
I found the wall colour in this room very unappealing.  Because the only natural light source was a skylight, the murky pink tinged grey just wasn't doing anything for the room!

Hallway & Bathroom
The hallway in it's original condition was dark and dingy due to the burgundy feature wall (again much darker in reality).  Also not only were the hallway light fittings ugly, but they were not centred!

I should point out that I put up with that horrible pink basin and pink tap ware the entire time I lived in my little place... In the end it was so cheap and easy to update the bathroom that I regret not doing it whilst I lived there!

During renovations

Main bedroom
Unfortunately the floorboards were mostly knackered when we ripped up the carpets, so all new floors had to be put in.

Selecting a white for the lounge room, ripping up the carpets and priming walls before painting.
We lived with concrete floors in the lounge room for 7 months before we had the time and money to install floating floors. I found the concrete to be more pleasant than the crusty old carpet.  Looking back at these photos makes me feel very relieved that the house we just bought has freshly polished floors and has been recently re-painted white.  Thank goodness!  It now means we can concentrate on the fun stuff!

How my little cottage looks now – staged for sale


Hallway
After primer, paint and new floorboards, new light fittings for the hallway were one of my first purchases for my new home.  Hallway light fittings help set the scene as you enter a home and in my case they helped modernise my 1900s cottage.
 

Main bedroom
I styled each room using the wall art as the focal point and as the inspiration for the room's colour scheme.  In this room I picked up on the the teals and blues in the painting above the bed.  I bought cushions in that colour from IKEA ($4.95 each) and just happened to own the Glasshouse 'Coney Island' candle which comes packaged in a vibrant teal coloured jar (on the bedside table, which I freshly painted high gloss white).

My Country Road striped bedlinen has also gotten a work out.  I can't wait to actually sleep in it!

Second bedroom
The idea behind the second bedroom was to show off its size and hence versatility. 

Believe it or not, but apparently unless a potential purchaser sees a double bed in a bedroom (especially in a second/spare bedroom), they will assume it does not fit.  We do own a spare queen ensemble, but hiring a truck or removalist to move it into there did not fill us with joy, so we instead purchased cheap IKEA bed frames ($80 each) and placed blow up mattresses inside ($30 each).

With this particular room I also created a little study nook in the corner of the room.  My IKEA Billy (which I already owned) was meant to show where one could put robes.

Incidentally, when we lived in this house, this room was utilised as our lounge/TV room.

Lounge & Eat-in Kitchen
The stylist mentioned that because the property did not have a dedicated dining room, an eating area had to be created, otherwise potential purchasers would be asking "but where do I eat".  We did not own a little table setting, nor did we really need one for inside, but we were delighted when we found this cute 'ROXÖ' white powder-coated steel outdoor setting in IKEA ($129 for the set).  This little beauty will soon take pride of place under our lemon tree in the back yard of our new place...

IKEA 'ROXÖ' outdoor table and chairs


Fresh flowers breathe life into a vacant property... Had I had more time, the IKEA 'Lack' coffee table would have been painted high gloss white.


Updating the kitchen was one of my holiday projects when first moved into the property.  I sanded back the cabinets and then used a roller with a short nap, primer and Dulux Aqua Enamel in Vivid White to paint the cabinets. The new handles are from IKEA.  I had also planned to paint the tiles white with tile paint, but ran out of time.

I can't wait to have back my Le Creuset pot...



In the bathroom all wooden accessories were removed, walls white white, pink fixtures replaced with stainless steel and a shiny new white basin to replace the old pink one.  I also painted the cabinet high gloss white.  I had planned to paint the mirror frame white, but unfortunately ran out of time.  All up, updating the bathroom cost a few hundred dollars.

So there you have it! We spent a fraction of the money on bits and pieces than it would have cost to have the property professionally styled.  Although it took an entire weekend to set up, I'm very pleased with the results!

In case you are wondering, all paintings photographed are originals painted by my Mother.  Some have recently even been exhibited and are for sale (contact me for details).  We had a great old time flicking through her collection to select the appropriate art works!

25 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! I love the colours you've used. The white painting of the girl in your lounge is lovely, your mother is a fantastic artist.

    I bet it's a much better feeling knowing you've done it all yourself rather than spending $2000!

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    1. Yes I feel better - especially since my place has not sold yet, so had I invested a further $2k into selling it... it would be a lot more painful!
      I'll pass on your comments to my mum.

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  2. That looks so much better! You did an amazing job.

    When I was selling, my agent tried to convince me to hire a bed from their preferred supplier for our 3rd bedroom which just had a couch and bookshelves in it. He quoted $500 rental for 3 weeks! I told him I could buy it cheaper at IKEA!

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    1. Yeah, I was told that it's the removalists that are what makes hiring furniture so exxy. The quote I got was for 2 beds, 4 bedside tables, a couch, coffee table, rug, dining setting and accessories.

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  3. It turned out so well! I can't believe that this was the result of your own hard work, amazing girl. I like that you kept the walls white and crisp as opposed to the previous purple, it really brightened the place up!

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    1. Thanks jamie-lee for your comments. I really enjoyed styling it. I should mention though that my boyfriend helped the whole weekend and my dad lent a hand to help me fix up the bathroom.
      The purple was horrendous. It made my little place feel even smaller. Also being a row cottage, not much natural light! It needed to be white.

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  4. You did a super job, and I love it all! :)

    Arrielle Pascua

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  5. wow, your place looks fantastic after you were finished with it! so much better than all that purple, it makes it look so much lighter and brighter x

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    1. Thanks rachel... it's amazing what white paint can do!

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  6. That looks so professional! Maybe you can moonlight as an interior stylist if you ever need some spare cash!

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    1. Thanks kittylove... haha yes I need the extra cash, but I would need to have access to a truck to make the whole thing worth while... there is only so much you can fit into a hatchback I have discovered...

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  7. Wow. I love the hallway with the lights - they make such a statement when you go in. And your mother is a very talented artist - I love the pictures in the main bedroom - the colours are lovely. The Orla Kiely bedlinen - I did a little squeal (I'm sad like that) but I've been hunting it down on Ebay for the longest time for the boys' bedroom. I can find the orange colourway but I really wanted the green which you have. I wanted something really funky and that fitted the bill exactly - I will keep searching. I can't believe you have to do all this staging stuff to sell a house over there. You did a fantastic job.

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    1. Thank you and I will pass on your comments to my mum!
      Haha at the Orla Kiely bedlinen. I got it on sale for a steal years ago :)

      Regarding property staging - The agents recommend it over here, but it's not 100% necessary. Because my place was so small and vacant, the stylist said it would actually look bigger furnished. I was sceptical, but now having done what I did I agree with her.

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  8. Wow you have really breathed new life into that place, I love it! So creative! I would have no idea where to start if that was me!! haha. Good job :)

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  9. You did a brilliant job with the styling and renovation. I can't believe how different it looked after giving a nice coat of paint. What was the previous owner thinking??!! Pink, purple??! I love the open spaces. It looks so spacious for a 2 bedroom place.

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  10. Looks fab! I really love the bedroom paintings

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  11. Wowzaaa you've done an incredible job!!! Haha, I love purple but god the initial shade was gross.

    Looks great!

    K xx

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  13. The transformation was remarkable! It was a good idea to do the renovation or refurbishment yourself. Hiring a professional to do it for you could’ve costing you a lot more. Anyway, I can see that you did a great job! I hope you get to sell your house as soon as possible. Good luck!

    -Ofelia Bertrand

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I have not sold my house yet. In the end I had to find a tenant. The real estate market is not what it used to be. It has bottomed out I think.

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  14. Well, if you can renovate your house by yourself, then go ahead. It would save you a lot of money and what’s great is that you are in full control of the creative process in getting the design that you want for your home. Isn’t it nice that you were personally the one who made all these tremendous transformations? It’s -- indeed -- a wonderful job! :D

    Abdul Jackson

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for comment. I saved a lot of money indeed. In the end it was not difficult just time consuming.

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  16. I liked your new house more than the one before. Before, it’s walls had a purple accent on it. There's nothing wrong with purple, but you have to choose the right one to make it work. Congratulations on your newly renovated house! I hope you had it appraised and got the price that you wanted. :)

    Kristopher Washington

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