When Decluttering Goes Too Far

Home Stager with www.rethinkhomeinteriors.com

I just stumbled across a great blog from Interior Designer, Christine Fife, which totally resonated with me.  I found myself acting like a little kid sneaking a book under the blankets as I tried to hide the light from my iPad while my husband loudly quietly snored away beside me.  I think what caught my interest and kept me scrolling through her blog was her combination of humor, helpful and, when needed, blunt design advice, and strong design philosophy.  By 2 am, I found myself with yet another blogger crush....

One thing that I thought was particularly helpful to her audience was her willingness to review their personal pictures with their design dilemmas and questions.  I thought how cool would that be for our Rethink family to be able to do the same thing!  I would LOVE to help you, your families, clients or colleagues answer staging questions right here through the blog to get you on track for a super successful home sale.

So, with that, I am sending out an open offer to you to send me your photos with your staging dilemmas and questions.  

To give you a hint at what it might look like for us to do that, I am going to walk you through a previous client's project and show you what my thought process, inspiration, and what their sales result.  Here is their story...

I was contacted by a woman who's son-in-law had recommended she reach out to me (how daring was he!).  She was a lovely woman and we immediately connected over the phone.  Her house had been on the market 3 times over the course of a few years without offers.  She was obviously frustrated by their past failures and really wanted to be able to downsize but felt incredibly stuck by their situation.  We set up a Staging Appraisal session but I have to say that I was concerned about being able to help them before I even stepped in the door.  I checked out their listing online and saw a lovely home--with some gorgeous, high end details that had last been decorated in the early 80's...and it looked every bit the 80's.  Polished brass was everywhere, including on the face of the kitchen cabinets.  Yikes!  What was I getting into!

The first rooms likely to be seen at a showing...decluttered and depersonalized way too far.



outdated furniture and it's low profile in a room with soaring ceilings felt crowded and uninspired.

My first thought was, "awesome--no decluttering needed!  woo hoo!"  This view has a strong focal point already so we just need to enhance the floor plan of the room in the foreground--lots of furniture and not a great way to walk through it to the dining room--and add some updated personality back into the space.  Here is what I recommended:

  • add window panels to disguise the verticle blinds in both the dining room and the sitting room
  • add chairs and a colorful centerpiece to the dining room table
  • remove the round table and chairs in the sitting room (lower right of the top photo)
  • add larger scale art to the left of the dining room enterance and place the chaise (not in view in the top photo) below to create a reading nook that feels like it is scaled better for the height of the room
  • break apart the odd shaped sectional to place a love seat below the large front window
  • add height to the furniture arrangement under the soaring front window by placing the tropical plant on one side of the sofa and a floor lamp on the other side with art behind it
  • center the coffee table in front of the love seat but just off center of the room to allow for better traffic flow
  • add updated throw pillows, accessories and occasional tables to update the look and feel of the existing furniture
The Result....bidding war in under 3 weeks on the market!
Ah, much better! Adding shades of blue, silver and plum livened up the space. Large scale art now showcases the soaring ceiling rather than making the room feel cold and out of proportion. A new floorplan in the sitting room makes it much easier to pass through the room and is a lovely companion to the newly enhanced dining room.

What would you have done to this room?  Send me pictures with your questions so I can help you sell smarter and FASTER!

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lori fischer


Rethink Home Interiors                                                

Moving can be stressful.  If you live in the Philadelphia Suburbs and need to get organized to sell, let Home Staging expert and Moving Concierge, Lori Fischer of Rethink Home Interiors help you get your project started + give you peace of mind.                                                                    

www.rethinkhomeinteriors.com                                                               lori@rethinkhomeinteriors.com                                                                  610.724.1108

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