By: Ricardo Medeiros
Master Bedroom Staging
Tags: Bedroom, Staging, Homes, Real Estate, Tips, Improvements,
When staging your master bedroom, there are a number of factors to take into consideration when making your house attractive to the potential homebuyer.
A well-staged master bedroom creates a feeling of sanctuary, refuge, and relaxation that is representative of your entire home’s emphasis.
After all, you spend a great deal of your life by your bedside. While this includes the master bedroom, the master bedroom’s closet is equally important.
First, let’s cover the basics for staging a master bedroom:
#1. Identify the Master Bedroom
No two houses are the same, nor are the uses of the homes.
You’ll notice that a certain room takes predominance over the others, whether it offers more in square footage, natural lighting opportunities, or contains a feature (i.e. an attached private bathroom) that was intended by the home’s architect.
Of course, some families have chosen to tailor these rooms to different purposes other than a place to sleep (like a home office), but when staging your master bedroom, you’ll want to find the most obvious room and put your attention to detail in action there.
#2. Cleanup Beforehand
This might seem like it goes without saying, but you should clean up all messes before homebuyers view the master bedroom.
While it’s a pain to be living in the same home that you’re selling, take the necessary measures to hide the traces that someone is actively living in the bedroom.
- Get Rid of the Miscellaneous: Having scattered stuff from your purse and pockets on a nightstand looks messy and reflects on your lack of attention to detail.
- Even uncapped perfume/cologne bottles and hair ties in a “miscellaneous” bowl appear dirty. Be sure to vacuum and change the bed coverings.
- Laundry: As for laundry, get into the habit of keeping all laundry baskets out of the bedroom.
It may be convenient for you to have it for your daily convenience, but no one likes to see another person’s dirty laundry (literally and figuratively).
- Smells Matter: And as much as we try to keep ourselves odor-free, we can sometimes forget that human beings (and their accumulated clothes) can develop a lingering musk.
Sure, it may be pleasing with an intimate spouse, but others may find it off-putting or rank.
Don’t forget the power of morning breath accumulated in your master bedroom while sleeping for hours!
Having fresh air throughout the master bedroom is wise, though it helps to disinfect and purify the air if possible with aerosol sprays hours before guests arrive.
Smell does matter, so a light potpourri can work. Avoid heavy scents like incense or wall plugins with “bright” or food-related scents.
To sell your home, you have to declutter your master bedroom. As much as you’ve enjoyed the proximity of your slippers and damp robe on the door, it’s time to take out anything within the master bedroom that seems “extra”.
One method that makes this simple is to remove everything from the bedroom.
From there, focus on rearranging your furniture in the best light, so to speak. Avoid wasted space and try to attain a sort of Feng Shui about the arrangement.
Your goal is to subconsciously calm the buyer's mind with perfectly folded bed covers, decorations symmetrically aligned, and pillows arranged like a hotel.
Once you’ve decided on the bare minimum of furniture, begin adding little touches that can fill out a room. If you have a rug, make sure that it matches the bedding.
- For nightstands and lamps, make sure that they match and compliment your bedding and furniture.
While you may think a lava lamp or other kitschy lamp lends personality to your home, think again. Remove stacks of magazines and books piled there.
- Exercise Machines: Despite the convenience of having an exercise machine in the master bedroom, their appearance can be jarring when coupled with the serene and relaxing bedding just nearby.
These items (i.e. treadmill, loose weights) also collect dust and loose laundry, so removing them entirely stages your master bedroom with as little headache as possible.
- Electronic Devices: Televisions, stereos, laptops, music collections—anything that can be related to work or entertainment should not be staged in the master bedroom.
- Save those for your living room or den staging.
Large racks of CD’s and DVD’s tend to be distracting and do little more than show your taste in audio and film—which isn’t the purpose of staging your master bedroom or selling your home.
#4. Paint It Like a Spa
As we mentioned, there are advantages to taking everything out of the master bedroom before restaging. One reason is that it gives you an opportunity to repaint the home. A fresh coat of paint is an attractive way to draw in potential homebuyers.
Of course, you’ll want to stick to neutral or earthy tones.
It’s best to think of creating a spa environment with the color your choose, with no jarring paint schemes or colors that dominate at the expense of another (ex. a bright yellow).
The focal point of your master bedroom is obviously the bed. While your functional bed may be comprised of certainly less pieces, your bed during staging to sell your home should be a work of art. Let’s look at a few things to consider for the most important part of your master bedroom staging:
- Use coordinated and matching bed coverings. It’s helpful that companies tend to group entire bedroom sets in that correspond to colored themes, but make sure that these match your furniture like your chest of drawers or dresser, as well.
- If you have belongings stashed beneath your bed, consider having a bed skirt to mask your storage scheme. You’ll have to put these on first, as lifting the mattress is usually a requirement.
- Choose your pillows wisely. “Jewel” pillows are useful for matching your other decorations, but don’t put an excess number of pillows that looks more like a teenager’s bed than a spa-like environment.
Cover every pillow in matching pillow case and try to have each side of the bed symmetrically-matched. Disregard the preferences of your spouse and simply match the colors.
- Throw blankets are a good way of accenting your master bedroom.
You can use this as a way to bridge the local customs and patterns of the regions where you’re selling your home.
For instance, a vaguely nautical theme for a house in New England can help sell your home in the same way that a Southwestern-themed pattern design can in that region of the U.S.
- A duvet cover should be in relatively good condition. Because of the materials (ex. goose feather), your duvet may be clean but look “lumpy” and non-uniform.
While it may be a large expense, consider it part of a housewarming gift for your new home once you sell the current house.
#6. Check Your Drawers
Just about every home has a chest of drawers (or dresser) in their bedroom. You’ll want to take any stray paraphernalia from your daily rituals and stick it in the drawers.
Homebuyers won’t go through the drawers for the sake of privacy, but they want to see what type of scene your chest of drawers plays in the part of waking and sleeping.
It’s purely subconscious, as most homes aren’t sold fully furnished, but you by positioning the chest of drawers, say, with a chair for getting dressed or an elegant Japanese shoji blinds.
#7. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…
Mirrors can be your secret weapon to persuading homebuyers to give you an offer on your home.
By hanging a mirror in your bedroom, you create the illusion of a larger space and emphasize the vanity of homebuyers. They literally can see themselves in your home.
If you have sources of natural lighting that can reflect in a pleasing way, creating a spa-like ambiance with an attention to detail. Those that purchase the home in the future will look to your example as a model for their bedroom.
#8. Aim for Upscale
Your intent should be to aim for an upscale feel of your master bedroom staging.
Cheap items reflect poorly on the seller’s personality and may be cause for lower offers when it comes time to close a deal.
While it is the most seldom seen part of a home, the master bedroom should reflect an elegance that their friends and family would be impressed with.
That being said, you should look at your master bedroom objectively and replace items that are substandard.
Adding a few pieces of tasteful art on the wall should show that the buyer can create a luxury atmosphere in their master bedroom-to-be.
Avoid kitsch or projecting the eccentric parts of your home design. A bedroom dedicated to a sports team may seem tainted to homebuyers, especially if the homebuyers are moving from out-of-state.
The color scheme and decorations for the master bedroom should be ultimately gender-neutral.
It can be off-putting to potential couples looking for a home to emphasize the dominance of a gender over another, and it subconsciously creates a negative impression for homebuyers.
Remember, it is your goal to appeal to as many homebuyers as possible, so leaning one way or the other based on gender can rub someone’s bias the wrong way.
Having teddy bears and other stuffed animals would create the same impression as sports items, so be sure to remove these decorations and designs of this nature in favor of more neutral items.
#10. Windows and Lighting
Pay particular attention to how your windows affect the visual ambiance of the master bedroom.
Sources of natural light are desirable and visually-appealing, so be sure to use the features of the bedroom (like a skylight) to emphasize this fact.
Drapes should match your carpeting/bedding, but they also should be open. No one likes to block out natural sunlight. Pay attention to when you’ll be having an open house and how the light will play a part.
Overly dark or overly bright master bedrooms are off-putting, showcasing the home’s handicaps (even if you’re not likely to nap during the afternoon).
Lastly, if the master bedroom has a great view, be sure to showcase this as a major selling point.
Place a live potted plant in the room, such as a flower on the dresser or a tree in a corner.
A floral arrangement is always a nice touch, especially if the colors are coordinated well, reflective of the local flora, or match the bedding and color schemes of the master bedroom.
For the sake of air quality, having popular plants like the mother-in-law’s tongue (snake plant) or a bamboo palm can really lend a spa-like quality to the master bedroom that emphasizes the room’s purpose, which is a type of retreat from the worries of daily life and a kind of sanctuary.
Master Bedroom Closet
Once you’ve tackled the master bedroom, don’t forget to arrange your master bedroom’s closet.
Potential homebuyers will most certainly be opening every door—having a messy or unsightly closet can disrupt any of the efforts you placed in the master bedroom.
#1. Give the Illusion of Space
Your goal for the closet is to reduce the number of items to the bare minimum, emphasizing space and order. The closet doesn’t have to be a realistic representation of your entire wardrobe.
Make sure to keep the floor clear and the walls of the closet visible to give the viewer. If your closet allows for it, adding a mirror can create more “visual” space.
#2. Subconscious Considerations
Your closet’s appearance does more than display your wardrobe and possessions tucked in shoeboxes.
Potential homebuyers can tell a lot about the seller of the home by the appearance of the master bedroom’s closet, making inferences about the type of person (you) that is offering their home for sale.
Take into consideration the following:
- Have both his and her clothing together in one closet: If your clothes are in separate bedroom closets (for whatever reason), it could show that your relationship is having problems and the homebuyer could use that as a way to infer about your financial status.
In other words, they might think you’re looking for a quick-sell before a divorce.
- Show that the closet is big enough to stand in: You should have a happy medium that suggests that the closet can fit the possessions of a person that can afford the home.
Too much stuff, and it implies the house is too small.
- Keep the stuff related to daily life: If you store things like luggage, holiday decorations, excess cardboard boxes for packing, and anything not related to getting dressed for the day, it implies that your home doesn’t have the necessary space to separate your daily life from stuff that should be stored elsewhere.
Worse, if you have boxes of financial documents (i.e. receipts, forms, taxes), it can suggest to a homebuyer that your finances are one house-fire/flooding away from peril.
Or, they might be able to see a past-due balance (even if it has been paid) that could shake the confidence of your financial situation.
Store those documents in another location or an unmarked, opaque box, instead.
#3. Organization Tips
- Matching Clothing:By grouping your clothing by type (i.e. casual vs. work clothes), your closet will automatically feel more organized.
Once you’ve sorted clothes this way, you can then organize it by color.
- Hangers: Hangers should be matching and not cheap. Get rid of the flimsy plastic ones or your collection of wire hangers from the dry cleaners.
- Box It: If your master bedroom closet has been used for storage, organize your belongings in boxes, not loose cardboard boxes.
An alternative option is to the use the vacuum bags for seasonal items, which saves space and offers an elegant
- Rack ‘Em Up: If you have a large collection of shoes, place a shoe rack on the floor and against the back wall.
Alternatively, if you purchase a hanging rack, you can leave for space to open up the closet even more.
#4. Get the Details Right
Repair any damage in the closet. This is best done with an empty closet, especially for repainting.
Change out the burnt-out lightbulbs, polish the door knows, and make sure that the door(s) (especially sliding doors) moves freely and easily.
#5. Smells Matter
Remember to keep your closet dry and freshly scented. This is especially true if you have pets that like to use your closet as a hiding place (or worse, their own private litterbox!) DampRid and other moisture-removing products can help your closet stay mold-free, but don’t leave these items in the closet during the showing.
“Open scents” that make one want to breathe deeply are encouraged. Think of fresh cedar chips or sandalwood – the odor should draw you inward. And it should most definitely not smell like mothballs, which not only suggests that the house has a pest problem, but also makes the home seem more intended for an aging relative.