Friday, March 18, 2011

Vignettes that SELL!

My goal with this post is to help you understand how to create a pleasing focal point, and why it's important.

Remember earlier in this series when I told you to walk through your home like a buyer? Do it again now. When you talk into a room, where do your eyes go? Is that REALLY where you want the buyers eyes to go?

A home is nothing more than shelter, right?  If a home's only purpose is to protect you from the elements then why are they so expensive? Our homes have evolved to be much more than shelter.  They are filled with various features, each one of which has its own benefits....and THAT is where the money is. 

Our goal with staging is to sell those features and benefits.  Here's an example:

Feature: Window/View
Benefit: Sit by the window and read or bird watch.
How to sell that story: The window is clean, has no screens, may (or may not) be framed by sheers on the side. Beside the window sits a comfy chair (turned to welcome the buyer to the room). Beside the chair, sort of behind it but still visible, is a floor lamp and off to the same side is a small footstool with a book, as if someone was reading it and has just walked away - the book is open and upside down. Ah! Maybe it is a book on identifying birds.
When you look at that picture (Chair, lamp, footstool), it's sort of a triangle, and sits beside the feature you're highlighting. Ta-da! You’ve created a “vignette”( a staged focal point).  There is NO WAY someone is going to walk in that room and not notice that window and that view.  No Way!

Every room should have a strategically placed focal point.
  • It could be (as in the example above) to highlight a feature and sell a benefit. These would be focal points near fireplaces, windows, etc.
  • Or, you do the exact opposite, using a focal point to divert attention. For example…a radiator may keep you warm at night, but they aren’t really “pretty”… so you might want to have a staged focal point opposite the radiator so as to detract attention.
  • You could just be “naming the space” (Often we see areas of a home that people say “what is this room”? Staging eliminates that question.)
  • By default what you’re highlighting is the space. In that case, the focal point should be the point furthest from where the buyer will enter the room.
  • You can even stage outside~ Is there a fabulous tree outside where you can create a focal point, perhaps a bird bath and feeder? (Be careful attracting wildlife, though - it's not everyone's cup of tea and no one likes bird poop too close to the house.)
Once you know where your focal point should be in each room, and you know how you're going to create it, then stage the rest of the room around it. Accessories should be in odd numbers - 1, 3, or 5 - and should be varying shapes and sizes but a similar color palette with the exception of your focal point which may be brighter. When you step back and blur your eyes, each "display" will look sort of like a triangle, just like the above picture.

Once stage 3 is complete, you're probably starting to see pieces of this madness come together. The end is in sight!

Our next post is: Creating the Not So Lived In Look!  Don't miss it.
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