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Portland Home Staging Tip #1: A Room With a View

Welcome to the first in a series of tips, advice and secrets that professional Home Stagers use.

Home Staging Tip #1:

Clear Those Windowsills!

I often go into homes that have lofty, vaulted ceilings and lovely high clerestory windows that follow the angled lines of the ceiling ... only to see the view of the sky cluttered up with lines of sporting trophies, glass bottles filled with colored water, collections of ceramic tchotchkes ... you name it. Then I move to the kitchen and see that windowsills are dotted with tiny potted plants, jars, candles and so on. Bathroom windowsills sprout a tacky little row of roll-on deoderants, lotions & tiny air fresheners. In fact, I have been in homes where it seems that every window in the house has something sitting on the sill, or if not on the sill, then one of those little (or giant) light catchers applied to the window with a rubber suction cup. Oh, yeah! Gorgeous!

I do get the magnetic attraction of the horizontal surface. My husband and I cannot seem to keep any table, counter, or flat railing wider than 4 inches free of objects for a period of 24 hours. But considering how much we want light, I cannot understand this penchant for sitting things on windowsills. Any objects sitting in your windows are going to reduce the light. Little objects in the windows stop your eye, therefore interfering with the view. It is clutter!

I have exactly one exception to the "nothing-on-the-windowsill-rule", and that is a LIVE CAT. No matter how many times you remove a cat from the windowsill, it will sneak right back up there ... hopefully knocking all the other little tchotchkes to the floor.

So, be brave ... repeat after me ... "A windowsill is not a display shelf" ... and put all that stuff away or in packing boxes. It may seem empty for a day or two, but soon you'll look at the window and suddenly see ...    THE VIEW!

Cat Sees Other Cat Through Window

Comments (8)

Richard Mielke
RE/MAX Results - Gettysburg, PA
REALTOR, Gettysburg Pennsylvania Real Estate

I agree. Windows are for light, air and a view when selling a home.

Dec 03, 2009 08:54 AM
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

Love it! Especially the photo! Great way to start this Friday

Dec 03, 2009 09:09 PM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Richard - Absolutely. I also believe in this for my interior design clients though. Lots of times people whose house is "tidy" and clean, don't even realize why it doesn't feel right. They don't realize this subconsciously is reading as clutter.

Janice - I loved the photo too. More fun than pix of windows with plants & candles.

Dec 04, 2009 02:53 AM

Good points!   Mind you Gracie goes directly for the screen, ignoring the windowsills.   It's quite a sight!

I think i may have read this on A/R?, not sure, however to confirm whether or not we have too much on display on counters, windowsills etc, I let my camera tell me.   If the picture looks cluttered, I know that more things have to be put away.

Dec 06, 2009 04:42 AM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Sharon - Excellent point. Photos are an excellent way to see clutter where you didn't notice it before. I use them all the time to help clients see what I am seeing. -- Sorry to hear about your window screens! I have six cats and gave up on screens long ago.

Dec 06, 2009 05:58 AM
Welcome Home Staging & Furniture Rental
Valesca Bogard - Roseville, CA

LOL at the picture ! -- to say nothing of the "horizontal surface" challenge that our household shares.

Dec 19, 2009 08:55 AM
Diane Williams
Pell City, AL

Sharon you make some great points , I am guilty as charged.  It opens a room up when you start removing the clutter from the light sources.

Jan 21, 2010 12:36 AM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Valesca & Diane - Aha! It looks like we're getting some "true confessions" here. LOL

Jan 21, 2010 02:20 PM