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Supplement to “To sell your house: STAGE IT”

Barb Schwarz, CEO and founder of, believes the key to successfully staging a house for selling is making a room feel comfortable, inviting, and balanced. “Presentation is everything,” she says.

First, put yourself in the shoes of the potential buyer and view the room from the doorway. “All decisions have to be made from the doorway because that’s where buyers decide whether or not to enter a room,” Schwarz says. “Too many of them lean in on one leg and just go ‘hunh.’ They grunt their way through the house. We want to get them into the room.

“Ask yourself, ‘How much furniture is in the room?’ ‘How is it arranged?’ ‘How much space is visible?’ ‘How much is on the walls?’ And remember that less is more,” she says.

In terms of color, consider adding a little black and white into each room and green for balance, she suggests. Greenery can be brought in from outside plants or through silk arrangements.

For continued balance, aim for a blending of different elements—including wood, glass, and stone—that are present in the room’s furniture and accessories.

For visual appeal, create vignettes, a setting of three things—such as candles, plant arrangements, books, etc.—with varying heights of high, medium, and low, throughout the room.

To take the coldness off a room, throw an afghan over the arm of a chair. Place a copy of Architectural Digest or other attractive magazines on the coffee table. Put a mirror on the fireplace mantle and add a little cup of ivy there, too, she suggests.

In the end, it’s “always the feeling” of the room that’s important, Schwarz says. “Does it feel crowded? Does it feel empty? If so, we need to do something to help balance that.”

To read the Kentucky Living May 2007 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: To sell your house: STAGE IT

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