By Karen Schaefer
RISMEDIA, April 14, 2009-What is the first thing that you always want your potential buyers to see when they first walk into your home that is for sale? Kitchen? Bathroom? Multi-Level Deck? The correct answer is “themselves.” One of the best staging techniques is the use of mirrors, although most people don’t know how to effectively use them. The first place that you should have a mirror is directly on the wall in front of someone when they open and walk through the front door.
I love having a small mirror right there with a little key hook next to it, holding the house keys. Just above or below the mirror, I do a stencil that says very simply “Welcome Home.”
What if you don’t have a wall that is facing the front door, hence, no place to hang your mirror? The next best area in which to hang a mirror is in a location where the person entering the home will first walk. One of the most important things to remember is that while staging your home, you are creating the flow at which you want visitors to move through the home.
If you are doing an open house event, you can even hang a mirror in the center of a wreath with a small “welcome home” sign suspended from the wreath. You can also put a small mirror just above the doorbell with a stencil that says: “Just use your key” and tie a small key on a ribbon and fix it to the mirror. These are great ways to get people to fall in love with your home before they ever even come through the front door.
My next favorite place to put a mirror is in the bathroom. Of course, you will have one above the vanity or lining the wall above the sinks, but have you thought about putting a small mirror in the bathtub or shower?
A mirror can always be used to expand the size of a room or make a narrow room look wider. Don’t be afraid to have mirrored closet doors in the right environment, or do a mirrored wall. What you don’t want are mirrored tiles.
A great look is large wardrobe mirrors, fixed to a wall centered, top to bottom. Space them about 2-4 mirror widths apart and paint a “frame” around each one. Now you have added a great decorative and interesting element to the room, while still giving it the benefit of “expansion.”
Lastly, I love a wall of mirrors. Not the panel mirrors that we have been talking about, but rather, all different shapes and sizes, framed, etched, big, small, round, square…you get the idea.
The key to success to creating a wall of mirrors is balance. You have to make sure that you end up with a sense of flow and even distribution. You can couple wood frames with frameless, round with square and etched glass with metal accents. If you have something heavy, then put something light next to it, and try to keep the same shapes from being next to one another and feel free to keep the entire wall neutral or add one or two really bold splashes of color with frames. All neutral works well for an elegant look, but to modernize the scene, throw in one or two bright colors like orange, red or yellow.
However you decide to use mirrors while staging your home, make sure that you use them effectively so that you get the greatest impact.
Karen Schaefer is the Founder of Simple Appeal, Inc. and APSDTM, The Association of Property Scene Designers. She is widely recognized as the Premier Staging Designer for Investment Properties in the Country. For more information, visit www.SimpleAppeal.com.
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