Open shelving is really tricky to style nicely! It can take a lot of trial and error to get shelving to look good. And when you’re staging your home, it’s critical that you get it looking great. So here are some simple home staging tips to getting your shelves looking great before you put your home on the market.
Step #1: Declutter!
It’s important to start by decluttering your open shelving. Of all the places in your home to declutter when staging, it’s right up there at the top! People are often shocked at how bad their shelving can look in online photos.
Even shelves that are kept neat and organized can look messy in a photo. Home staging requires an extra amount of decluttering compared to how you would normally declutter if you were just living in a home.
Here’s what you need to remove:
First, declutter these items when you stage your home.
- Remove 50% of what you have on your shelves – minimum!
It’s even better if you remove ALMOST everything, leaving only a few decorative items. Even shelves that are fairly neat like these ones would still look better with some decluttering.
- Remove almost all your books.
Remove tattered paperbacks, books with faded or broken spines, photo albums and scrapbooks.
- Remove all papers.
Shelving often accumulates stacks of random papers, notebooks, workbooks. Remove them all before you stage your house for sale.
- Remove small decorative items
Medium to large sized items work best for staging. A bunch of small items look like clutter from a distance and in photos–no matter how beautiful they are up close. On this shelf, only the tall vase would be kept when staging.
- All items sitting on the top of a shelf.
Items placed on tops of shelves make the room feel smaller and more cluttered.
Step #2: Style
When you’re staging your home, arrange things on your shelves in a way that looks really pleasing.
Want some more home staging tips? Here are some dos and don’ts to help you get a great look.
- Treat your open shelving as display areas rather than storage spaces. Think if them as an opportunity to make a room look gorgeous, rather than a place to keep things you use.
- Fill the largest spaces first, and then go from there.
- Strive for balance of weight, texture, and color.
- Place items that contrast the color of the shelving so that items pop.
- Add plants to your shelving.
- Try adding baskets for warmth and texture.
- Arrange books visually by color and size rather than by subject or author.
- Don’t feel like you need to fill every shelf. It’s okay to leave some empty.
- Avoid small accessories and knickknacks. They will make the shelves feel cluttered.
- Try not to use a lot of dark items on dark shelving; add light and reflective items as well plants to brighten the shelves
- Don’t leave papers, maps, coil bound books, notebooks, faded dust jackets and beat up paperbacks on these shelves.
Want some more home staging tips? Check out my complete guide to home staging: Secrets of Home Staging: The Essential Guide to Getting Higher Offers Faster! https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Home-Staging-Essential-Getting/dp/1642505544/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=secrets+of+home+staging&qid=1613606776&sr=8-1
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