5 ‘Affordable’ Ways to Make a Home Look Expensive


5010 Lake Forest Drive, Rowlett – Hip Pocket Listing

If you know me at all and know how I sell real estate, you have definitely heard me talk about how important staging a home for sale is. When selling a house, pricing and marketing go hand-in-hand to get you the highest price…when getting a house READY to sell, staging and photography go hand-in-hand to get you the highest price!  As part of the staging process, it’s vital to make a home look high fashion without paying the cost of high fashion. How do you get that look without spending a bunch of money on things for a home you’re about to sell?  Here Stephanie Decker of Staged Marin Homes describes her top 5 ways to achieve this look…

1. Use One Expensive Piece In Each Room. In order to make a room look high fashion, you have to believe that it is, even when it isn’t. The way to do this is to incorporate one expensive, well-positioned piece in each room.  It can be a piece of art, a table or piece of China. I will position it where the focal point is so that when the buyer first walks into the room, this is what they see first. Then, they just assume that everything else is expensive too.


5010 Lake Forest Drive, Rowlett – Hip Pocket Listing

2. Use White. White will always be a staple that home stagers use. It gives the look of light, cleanliness, and an open space. I love white moldings, cabinets, and doors. I also love white lamps, accessories, and linens.  White is easy to clean and can also be bought very cheaply but made to look expensive. One of my favorite stores to find great white accessories is Z Gallery.  Using inexpensive white pieces on an expensive table is my favorite trick! It highlights the table while filling the space.


5010 Lake Forest Drive, Rowlett – Hip Pocket Listing – The white vase makes the rich wood stand out!

3. Look At What Can Be Recycled. To bring fashion back into your home, you might see if you can re-cover your old upholstered furniture. Recently, I had a club chair that had just lost its will to live. The fabric was worn and the cushions no longer were able to hold their shape. To replace it would cost more than $4,000 for a comparable chair. But this old chair still had great lines, and I didn’t want to part with it so I decided to recover it instead. The cheapest way is to have it slip-covered. You can buy one at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or have one made.  I decided to have it re-upholstered. I needed 10 yards of fabric, and I found a local shop to do the work (driving the piece myself to and from the shop) for less than $1,500 total. The key is to buy a good chair. Then, it will only need a little maintenance over the years. Plus, remember: it’s better for the environment to recycle rather than throw away an old chair.

4. Rotate Color. Each season the design world changes the “IT” color. This spring is turquoise and champagne; last year it was lavender and fuchsia. A good way to make a home look in-style is to have that in-style color. This can be in a pillow, a throw, a candle, or a vase. Whatever your budget, you always can find something with the fashion “it” color. (Read: Add Some Punch With This Year’s Hot Hue or Pillow Power)  To stay abreast of the latest “in” colors you can look online at Web sites like Pantone.com or home sites like Williams Sonoma Home. I like to walk into a store to get the feel and touch. Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel are good places since they rotate their floor inventory so quickly that it’s easy to catch up on the new color.  Then, I go to Cost Plus or Pier One to find accent pieces cheaply. You don’t want to pay full price for these items since this year’s “it” color will be next year’s color.


5010 Lake Forest Drive, Rowlett – Hip Pocket Listing – Look at that punch of color on those chairs!

5. Buy One Month After the Season Starts. It’s important to not get lured into buying new things as soon as the new season starts. You can window-shop to get your plan for the season plan, but if you wait 4 to 6 weeks, it will likely go on sale. I know this can be difficult when you get that first beautiful summer day and you’re biting at the bit to set up your garden for that summer BBQ. But in reality, that summer BBQ won’t start for another month.

Adapted from an article by Stephanie Decker, Staged Marin Homes 

This is such great advice for getting your home ready to stage and sell!  As a realtor, I actually have a storage unit where I keep what I call “fluff” items, for homes that need a little something extra on the day of staging. Be sure to ask your real estate agent about these kinds of services when you choose an agent to help you sell your home! Or better yet, just call me. 😉




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