As a property stylist, I am the biggest believer in the power of styling to sell. Yet, I will also admit that not all homes need property styling. I visit many incredible homes with great furniture and accessories already in place. The ingredients to create an appealing home are there, yet, the layout and utilisation of space may leave it a little underwhelming. Rearrangement of room layout can make all the difference when listing a home for sale. I see the successful change that fresh eyes and expert advice creates. An expert property stylist will guide the best layout to showcase a room and the entire home. So I’m sharing some helpful advice to achieve successful layouts when styling to sell.

Living Room

We say this time and time again when consulting with clients. The way you live in the home is often not the best way to showcase the home come time to sell. Let’s start with a living room.

Often there is one suitable location for the entertainment unit and TV. From this, the location of the sofa is set smack bang in front of the TV for optimal viewing. This might be a practical layout for living in the home, yet, it may not work for the room when styling to sell. We recommend opening up the room up as much as possible. The back of the sofa should not be the first sight when entering the living space. Re-position the sofa. It’s a must to enhance flow and open space. Instead of placing the sofa parallel to the entertainment unit, try placing it along a wall or window next to it. Where possible, balance the room by mirroring two sofas opposite each other. If there is insufficient space for sofas, avoid crowding the room. Armchairs can achieve the same effect and maintain spaciousness.

Clever tip: Don’t let the location of the aerial point dictate the room. Even though it may suggest the TV location, ignore it and set up the room in its best layout. Place your entertainment unit where it creates the most space and work around that. It may not be functional, but this is for a limited period. No TV for a 5-week sale campaign won’t kill you! Cover the aerial point with a side table, side of the sofa or a floor plant. The lounge is the most lived in space, effort here makes an impact come auction day.

Queen bedroom styled with layers of grey, blush, white and charcoal linen.

Bedroom

Everyone has their preference on where the head of the bed sits in the bedroom. The outlook you wake to can set the tone for your day. It may be a particular wall or window that sets the tone right. Again, what is practical or preferable when living in a home does not always present the space in its best light. When styling to sell there is only one location for the bed. It is the wall you see directly as you enter the room. Placing the bed on an adjacent wall to the door, leaves buyers walking into the side of a bed. This disrupts the flow of the room. It can also make the room feel smaller than it actually is. Visually, it is better to have buyers looking at a bed from front on. This provides the best perspective of artwork, beautiful linen and accessories.

Apartment dining with glass table, timber and leather dining chairs. Glass sliding doors to patio with timber outdoor setting.

Dining Room

Outdoor living in Melbourne is not suitable for a large part of the year. Winter is a write off. Autumn and Spring are hit and miss. This makes the dining space of Melbourne homes all the more important. An important goal is to feature a dining table that is an adequate size to cater to the number of bedrooms. Who would have a four seat dining table in a four bedroom home? This is easier in some properties than others. Do the best with the size you have. Don’t crowd the dining space. If it is looking tight, ensure there is still flow. Achieve this by aiming for a one-meter border of clear space around the dining table.

Clever Tip: Struggling for space? Seek a glass topped table. Glass topped tables give an illusion of more space. Here’s an example in one of our luxe staged homes. Another trick is to select chairs that tuck snug under the table. This reduces the footprint of the table setting.

The Wrap

Potential buyers are often upgrading to a larger home. So show them the space in your home. Ensure the rooms have flow, feel spacious and are aesthetically pleasing. When styling to sell, forget about practicality, function or personalisation. Because you can save these thoughts for the layout of your next home. When selling homes, it’s all about presenting the property in its best light. Show buyers the best-case scenario for living in these spaces.
To recap, ensure entryways are not blocked by furniture. Place furniture to the back and sides of a room. Avoid running furniture through the middle. Finally, place of furniture so that there is an immediate space to draw buyers into the room.

Emma Tobin, Lead Stylist and Director at The Urbane Property Stylist.

Emma Tobin, Director and Lead Stylist at The Urbane Property Stylist, holds a B.D. (Interior Design). With over ten years of experience in Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Property Styling, Emma has earned a reputation for her attention to detail and ability to deliver.

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