Is Your Home Overdressed? Maybe it needs a "Make Under"

Home Stager with Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign

Happened to be home when Oprah was on this afternoon. The topic was Makeunders. Women who needed less not more. But this also applies to homes. Nate Berkus did a room Makeunder and it inspired me!

Every home that goes on sale needs a makeunder. The less of you, the quicker your home will sell. The bigger and more spacious your home looks the higher it's perceived value.

Simple room design
This means it's really important to edit your stuff so what's really important greets you (and your buyers) when you walk in the door. You want your homes' features to shine, you want buyers to say AH!

The trouble is we tend to keep adding stuff to our homes and don't stop to edit.
I compare it to getting dressed. You've got a great look going but then you keep adding accessories to your outfit. A scarf or two. All of a sudden your great look gets lost. No one will be able to focus on that perfect necklace or pair of shoes because there's too much to look at.

The best outfits are the ones with a simple color palette. A nice pair of jeans, a contrasting top and jacket and some great accent jewelry and shoes.

Your home is no different. It's an extension of who you are but it shouldn't be the catchall for everything you've ever wanted to bring home. Layering is wonderful but you have to know when to stop before your look gets lost.

Start with one room. Treat it like an extension of yourself. How would you dress it?

10 Easy Tips to "Make Under" Your Home

1. Keep in simple, Pick one or two main colors for your walls and floor. The fewer colors the more spacious your home will look.

2. Pick a third and fourth (if desired) accent color . Use these colors sparingly.

3. Keep your surfaces consistent.  Walls should be the same material if possible and painted or finished in the same color on all walls. Floors also. Keep flooring consistent throughout the house.

4. Group your family photos on one wall and use similar frames and mats to keep a unified look. Edit your photos first and keep only the ones you love.Clean simple room

5.  Group your plants also. Your plants will thrive and it reduces watering time. Toss out any that are unhealthy or dying.

6. If a room has more than one use make sure there's a dedicated space for each use. Screens or dividers can help separate living from office or exercise space.

7. Keep your window treatments clean and simple. Heavy window treatments that cut down on light can overpower a room. Invest in some light colored curtain panels instead hung on a simple pole. These look great over inexpensive 2" blinds.

8. Remove area rugs on carpet.  Visually they cut up the floor space and make the room feel smaller.

9. Edit your collections. Keep only pieces you love on display. Again grouping them will create impact and reduce visual busy-ness.

10. Keep it to 5. When in doubt, keep no more than 5 toys or 5 plants or 5 pillows or 5 frames or 5 lamps for example in a room at one time. If you want to add a new piece, take out an old one.

Remember keep it simple. Whether you are getting ready to sell your home or just want to live lighter, a professional home staging consultation can help you with your "makeunder".

Photos are not samples of Hampton Redesign staging but chosen to represent how a simplified color palette can makeunder a room.

Posted by

Tessa Skeens

Interior Design, Real Estate Staging and Marketing Support 

M 817-891-9563  







Comments (127)

Mari Armstrong
DiSalle Real Estate Co. - Toledo, OH

Personally, keeping it to "5" seems like a lot to me... I'm looking around my own home and I seem to have things in threes. Five would be overwhelming for me.

Aug 26, 2010 12:08 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Hi Sandi - yes Nate always seems to come up with a nice clean look.

Sometimes decorating is more deleting than adding. Using the clothing analogy again, we buy stuff and wear it and it goes into our closet. Then as styles change, we tend to hang on to those pieces that may not still work for us. With our homes it's even more difficult to cull, because there's an even blurrier (is that a word?) line between what's in style and what's not. So we never throw anything out but we keep adding to it. Thanks for the comment and re-blog!

Mari - you're exactly right. As I said, "no more than 5" is a guideline. For a family with several kids, 5 toys may seem deprivational! But if its one person, then it's probably more than you need. The 3 rule is group "like" objects in 3s or odd numbers rather than 2s or even numbers. It just looks better! Sounds like you know what you're doing. Appreciate your commenting.

Aug 26, 2010 03:47 AM
Coleen DeGroff
Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Tessa - what helpful info! I'm definitely re-blogging this!  Less really is more!  I love your idea about grouping plants together (the easier to water part really appeals to me)!

Aug 26, 2010 04:02 AM
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

This home looks well staged and clean. I need t go home and declutter my home.

Aug 26, 2010 04:04 PM
Rosalinda Morgan
Brookville, NY
"The Rose Lady"

Tessa - Great posts.  I like the idea to keep it simple and less is absolutely more.  I learned that tips also while doing flower arrangements. 

Aug 26, 2010 04:33 PM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Coleen I have gradually weaned out all my small plants - except for an orchid that has yet to bloom but that's another story! - and now just have 4 large plants. I refuse to do the artifical (although they're great for staging) but I like having the greenery. I think a house without plants is missing something. Glad you liked the idea!

Kay, I think the homes in the photos are like models in a magazine. Perfect but not true to life? But yes we can aspire to a life less cluttered! Thanks for commenting.

Hi Rosalinda - absolutely! I love an arrangement of just one flower and roses happen to be my favorite :)


Aug 27, 2010 03:59 AM
Monica Atherton
eXp Realty - Georgetown, TX
Your Georgetown Real Estate Gal

I agree Tessa.  Let the buyer see the house not all your stuff! 

Aug 27, 2010 03:42 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Excellent post.  I was brought here by a reblog (and now subscribed to your blog).  You're right, less is more.  I can use some of these tips when I'm helping my customers. (I design/install floors).  And, yes, I hate area rugs on top of carpets.  I know some people do it to cover stains, but it does make the space look smaller and I tell them that.  Interesting concept w/ the #5.  Thanks again.

Aug 28, 2010 12:15 AM
Lisa Roy
SPACELiFT HOME STAGING, Greater Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

What a great term! Makeunder....... it's perfect for staging.

Aug 28, 2010 04:06 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Hi Monica - the house stays ...the stuff doesn't. It's not personal, it's professional, to clear your house of your personal preferences and let buyers see your home as an investment in their future. Thank you for commenting!

Glad you found us Debbie. More than any other surface I think floors need to be the blank canvas. Doesn't mean they have to be boring but they are the foundation of any room design. I love going to my professional flooring resource! There are so many fabulous tile and wood options now I don't know why anyone would choose carpet - except perhaps in the bedrooms.

Thanks Lisa!

Aug 29, 2010 02:41 AM
Joyce Marie Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Ormond Beach, FL
Luxury & Ocean Homes in Central Florida

Definitely worth reblogging!  Thanks Tessa

Aug 29, 2010 02:43 AM
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

hey there Tessa!  I always tell my clients I am a undecorator.  :-)  good post and congrats on the feature!

Aug 29, 2010 04:08 AM
Ceci Burklow
Pride of Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Perfectly written!  I'm going to re-blog.  Congrats on the feature!

Aug 29, 2010 12:06 PM
Jayne Williamson, REALTOR, Broker, GRI
Keller Williams Realty Mountain Partners, Hendersonville, NC - Hendersonville, NC

I couldn't agree more and since it is so well-written, I am also re-blogging!  Great post, Tessa!

Aug 30, 2010 08:48 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Joyce thank you so much - glad you liked enough to re-blog!

Thank you Karen - I like that... and now here she is to save your home (sale ).....The Undecorator! Sounds like a super hero to me! ;)

Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment Cecilia - hope all is well in Austin :)

Hi Jayne! Thank you for the re-blog and glad you stopped by. Its wonderful to see comments from agents all over!!

Aug 30, 2010 01:42 PM
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

Make unders!  I love it!  I always remind my clients and myself.....LESS IS MORE! :) Congrat's on your well deserved AR Feature!

Sep 09, 2010 09:55 AM
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

Love it!  Saw it via another's post.  I'm definitely re-blogging.  I've been in so many over-whelming homes lately that just were totally sensory overload for the poor buyers (and me!).  Great article!

Sep 10, 2010 08:14 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Thanks for Sheree's re-blog.  And less is more, fer sure, fer sure!!

Sep 10, 2010 08:16 AM
Barbara Heil-Sonneck
Design2Sell - Atlanta, GA
Home Staging Atlanta

Hi Tessa, very informative and creative blog, great marketing with excellent results! Congratulations

Sep 10, 2010 09:01 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Hi Janice - I'm so sorry its taken me so long to respond! Thought I had. Thank you SO much for taking the time to let me know you liked my blog. :)

Sheree, Carla... Glad it "spoke" to you! I think the more we have the less we appreciate it. You almost never hear people saying "hmmm I think I need to add some clutter"! it's always the reverse.

Thanks so much Barbara!

Sep 13, 2010 01:52 PM