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Advanced Home Staging Technique: Better with Books

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By Leslie Eskildsen

If you’ve already mastered the home staging fundamentals, including de-cluttering, de-personalizing, de-zooitizing, and de-odorizing, you are ready to move on to a home staging power move: books.

One of your de-cluttering strategies includes packing up your books. School books, cook books, book club books from the last 14 years, photo books.  You get it – if it’s too personal, it’s time to move it. All of your books are packed up to move on to the next repository.  Now your book cases, night stands, coffee tables, couch tables, end tables, but not TV trays, are ready to be staged with books. Crazy, right?  You just packed them all up, now I’m suggesting you add them back into the environment.  What?  Hang in there – here’s how it works.

Much like the pillow staging principle which is founded on the number of pillows, the color of pillows and the placement of pillows, the staging with book principle follows suit.  The color of the books, the number of books and the placement of books is the key to effective staging with books.  Let’s break it down.

The color of books.  Reflecting on your simple color palette for each room, choose hard bound books with cover colors that fit into your scheme. It doesn’t matter if they are hard bound novels, autobiographies, or science books as long as they fit the color palette.  Since you’ve already packed all of the books you care enough about to move to the next house, you’ll need to take your color palette in hand to your local Friends of the Library shop, local thrift shop, and discount bin at Borders or Barnes and Noble and stock up on color-correct tomes.  Green, black, and gray. Pink, brown, and white. Blue, black, and white.  You get the picture.

The number of books.  Just as in pillows, odd numbers only are suitable for home staging with books.  One, three, or five is as far as you need to go to stage appropriate spaces in your home with books.  If you find a fabulous “coffee table book” – meaning it is a very large, heavy book with a colorful cover — you may only want one of these books on the coffee table.  In the bedroom, on the bedside table, you may want a group of three books. Of the size that a human being could actually hold in one hand would be the appropriate staging device for this space.

The placement of the books.  For the large, coffee table book, flat on the coffee table, couch table, side board, or kitchen counter would be the appropriate position.  For those human-hand-holdable books on the bedside table, a vertical position is proper.  In the kitchen and in the bath tub, it can be very provocative to pose the book open, as if you’re inviting the buyers to come cook in your kitchen (choose a mouth-watering recipe for a dish like Chocolate Lava Cake or Coc au Vin) or soak in the tub with a real page turner.

And if you need all white books to accent your area, simply turn the book covers inside out. Professional model home decorators and home stagers do it all the time.

For more information, visit www.realtyonegroup.com.

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