My husband & I just got back from Fort Worth, Texas. Had to go up there to stage a cottage we own , before putting it back on the market. The cottage was once used by our oldest son, Tiger, while he attended college at Texas Christian University (TCU). The older, established neighborhood is close to the University. The "hood" is a charming mix of alot of homes from the early 1900's. Tiger's house is your typical small cottage of the area, where it's pretty common for the home to be 2 bedrooms with just one bathroom. The cottage is located right next to a cute shopping village , making it very charming & quaint for a walk to restaurants & shops.
The average buyers in this area for this size of home are students , single young adults or young families. Keeping this in mind, we staged the home with a more vibrant, young feel.
When Tiger graduated, December '08 & we helped him move out, we briefly considered leaving some furniture & staging the house to sell. We ended up just moving everything out. We assumed that surely a smaller cottage style home, in our price point & close to the University would sell fast! We had updated the home alot and thought it would be so appealing. We also thought it was too cute the way it was, and didn't need staging. Hah! Being a Home Stager on occasion, I should know that sometimes you just have to work to sell a house, right? The only item we left in the house on moving day was his piano. You really need professional piano movers with alot of muscle, to move them correctly & delicately! We'll eventually move his piano out of there, for him to use. (he's the musician I've written about....in the meantime, he works on his keyboard)
Here's how the living room looked , after we moved his furnishings out:
After the staging, the wall looks a little bit more vibrant. We didn't do much, but a few changes helps this part of the room :
Love the yellow floral prints here. Found these at IKEA.
Drum floral lampshade from Target.
The real estate market has proven to be more of challenge there. We've had this house on the market awhile, then took it off. We're getting ready to list again in the Spring, and we'll sell or lease , whichever comes first. Normally a house with this look and price range would sell over a weekend in Austin! (even if it is a 2/1!)
Looks plain jane right now....but we're having our yard guys plant a ton of white petunias in the front window box, after they install some irrigation drip lines in the box this week . Probably will add some more pink petunias in front of the bushes too.
While we were in Fort Worth, the weather went from 80 degree days one day to a chilly 36 degrees, windy & rainy the next. Spring is not here completely. Therefore , we're waiting a week or two before the next flower plantings plus we need to add some pots by the front door with drip lines there too.
I would LOVE to paint the interior walls in new updated colors or just white. But we'll see if we can sell before doing extensive painting or more staging!
We had alot of fun hunting for staging items. Going in & out of stores, in Austin, Round Rock & Fort Worth, was like being on a scavenger hunt picking up things as we made our way up the highway to Fort Worth. Our kids were all on Spring Break trips, and so we had some fun adult time with no time constraints. My husband was a great "trooper" about all the shopping bags we had to tote! When staging or decorating a home, it takes several shopping bags of "stuff " to create a small area.....it can look overwhelming to see all the shopping bags, before it's all put together.
A few antiques in the photos we had in our storage, but most accessories were found in bargain places such as Marshalls, World Market, IKEA, JoAnn's, Target & Hobby Lobby. I thought you'd like for me to share where I found some of the items below, because alot of these stores carry the same merchandise in most states.
Living room, before:After staging:
In the photo above, I found the carved mirror at Westlake Furniture Brokers in Austin. They're a consignment store close to our house....and you can always find great bargains & treasures there. I find any consignment store to be a treasure!
Metal graphic iron candlesticks & small black table, Target.
Seagrass rug , IKEA.
Also, notice the plants in the basket in the fireplace insert above? Feng Shui says you should always have plants (artificial or real) in the fireplace when not using wood. OLD dried flowers are not recommended...like "dead" energy in a house.)
We found these cute, verdigris wall buckets (above) at JoAnn Fabrics . Target white cotton twill curtains. Lowe's wood blinds. (if you don't already know, Lowe's will cut your wood blinds to size, while you wait)
Below is a larger bucket that matches the trio hanging set.
(Hydrangeas from Target , book from Marshall's & other greenery from Michael's.)
Love some of the inexpensive finds in this Dining Room above :
graphic rug from World Market, graphic black & white wall plates from Target. One is too cute with a bird on it, but you really can't see it in this photo....daisy modern art from Hobby Lobby. (maybe you can see the bird detail, if you click on the photo?) Crystal chandelier came from Westlake Furniture Brokers too.
Cafe curtains in denim white twill from Target.
Green pottery from IKEA.
In the guestroom we created a coastal feel with serene colors, seashells , starfish, etc. We didn't have a twin bed frame, so we improvised with a daybed look on the floor. White matelasse coverlet , with matching Euro pillow & white boudoir pillow from Ikea. Green pillows , striped rug and cute industrial metal table from Marshalls. (click on the photo for an up close shot of the table....really liked this bargain...great industrial look) Wooden stars , nature art, wooden bed tray with sea shells , plants & turquoise coastal bird from JoAnn's. Seagrass lamp from Pier One Imports.
Armoire was my first antique I had bought when I graduated from college ( a million years ago). We forgot to bring the handles for the drawers , so we improvised with white nautical looking rope we had from a silk flower bunch! Thought the rope would work great with our "coastal" looking room....
Think the handles are kinda cute this way!:
Here's a shot of the Master Bedroom. We found these graphic curtains with a chandelier motif & black pillow , lamps and rectangular shades at Target. The green bedding & seagrass rug came from Marshall's. Furniture from IKEA.Lil bathroom with retro yellow tiles. Flooring is the original black & yellow retro tiles.
Small cottage style homes are like living on boats....you have to utilize wall space! Wall cubbies from Target.
Updated flower box in the sunroom, with green pots & fake plants from IKEA:Kitchen, unstaged:
Kitchen, staged:Bistro set from IKEA....seagrass table runner & yellow candle set from Target.
After:Being in a University area, the kitchens in this price range aren't always "urban" with the stainless steel gourmet appliances, granite counters, etc....
Click on the photo and you'll see this inexpensive butcher block cart we found at Target. Bistro art from World Market. Lil Chef pottery from Hobby Lobby.
I'll keep you posted and let you know if the staging paid off! If not, we'll just hang onto it awhile, rent to students and sell later. We feel that most areas close to Universities are always going to maintain their value.
Hope this inspires you to make small changes to your home if you're trying to sell.
If you need any help in the Austin or San Antonio area staging, then let us know. We'd love to help you!
Hey, and if you haven't read the last post (from last week) , check it out! We're giving a "Keep Austin Weird T-Shirt" away soon!!
I think my subscriber service is messed up....my sweet niece is looking at all my settings tomorrow to see what's goin' on.....cuz I've only gotten ONE comment on the giveaway! Or maybe no one wants to comment or win that Austin t-shirt! Oh no!!
Have a great week,