Expert Q & A:

Home staging can do wonders for a house that’s been on the real estate market for a while. But just what is this new trend? Here, interior designer Mary Nolte, of Kaleidoscope Color Consulting, explains how she and her design pals make homes ready-to-sell.

LI Pulse (LIP): What is the best way to describe home staging?
Mary Nolte (MN): Basically, home staging is all about getting your house in shape to sell. A homeowner will ask us to come in and “stage” an appealing layout to help potential homebuyers visualize living in the home.

LIP: How clever! Can you give us an example?
MN: Say a homeowner has already moved out. The house often feels empty and has no personality. We’ll come in and bring it back to life by adding rented furniture, artwork and maybe a few house plants too.

LIP: Do you also help homeowners that are still living in the house?
MN: Absolutely! In those cases, there is often too much personality. When a home is filled with too many personal items (such as family photos or collectibles) it can turn homebuyers off because they can’t visualize living there. That’s where we come in.

LIP: How so?
MN: The goal of home staging is to make the house as clean, clutter-free as possible. It should be a neutral palette, a clean slate. To get there, we’ll help the homeowners with everything from de-cluttering and painting to swapping too-big furniture for smaller, rented pieces.

LIP: Aside from major repairs, what are three simple things anyone could do to give their home added value?
MN: Always replace worn-out or damaged rugs, update any outdated lighting fixtures and always display fresh flowers when showing your home.

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.