Affordable, beautiful solutions to prep your home for the market

The art of home staging is designed to create a lasting first impression of your residence for potential buyers. That means de-cluttering so that your home isn’t so much about you, but more about helping a future homeowner envision possibilities.

For the current homeowner, though, packing away the knickknacks erases some of the life that filled the house and can make every room seem a little cold.

Fortunately, there are plants – a large selection of them, in fact. Through careful consideration, some creative imagination, and smart choices, plants are an easy and affordable way to add life and color to a home while increasing its appeal for potential buyers.

Look around you

Before running out to the nearest box store or nursery, take a look around your own property. Is there anything out there that can be incorporated into your staging efforts? You may want to consider some fresh pinecones and pine boughs in a bowl on the coffee table, or some acorns in a small dish. Also, keep your eye open for branches with the strong structural appeal or interesting bark – these can be placed in a large vase in the corner of a room.

While you’re outside, take a look at the landscaping as well. Staging the outside for curb appeal is just as important as staging the inside. While flowerbeds don’t have to be overflowing with flowers, they should be weeded and given a fresh layer of mulch. Shrubs and hedges should be trimmed. If you need a burst of color, consider a large pot of flowers or a hanging pot near the front door.

Cut and color

Thanks to small flower shops in most supermarkets, bouquets are affordable and readily available. Consider well-placed and appropriate-sized vases in various locations, and place cut flowers in them. A bathroom, for example, comes to life with a small bouquet of tulips. And rather than a massive, formal vase on the dining room table, try three smaller vases filled with hydrangeas.

Fifty shades of green

Of course, there’s nothing like living plants to make a room come to life. Besides, a house provides thousands of places to put a plant: kitchen counter, nightstand, end table, mantle, bookshelves, and a neglected corner.

Here are a few choice plants, all of which require low light or bright (not direct) light. Some are small, some are big, but they’re all easy to maintain and affordable:

  • Aloe. Known for its medicinal properties, aloe also has a strong structure. Think of using it in a room that makes sense, such as the kitchen.
  • Snake Plant. Often considered a rampant plant in south Florida gardens, snake plant is much friendlier as an indoor plant, where the pot helps keeps the sword-like foliage within bounds.
  • English Ivy. No matter if it’s green or variegated, English ivy has been known for centuries as a strong indoor plant. It can spill over the edges of a pot or be trimmed to maintain a bushier form.
  • ZZ Plant. The “ZZ” is short for Zamioculcas Zamifolia.  With its strong structure and tropical appearance, the plant can work well with either contemporary or traditional décor.
  • Fiddle Leaf Fig. This is the plant of the moment. Tall and with large leaves, fiddle leaf fig is a plant built for a lost corner or to fill in some space beside a window or armchair.
  • Peace Lily. Also on the large size, peace lily is one of the few flowering indoor plants. It’s large green leaves and white flowers lend a tropical feel to any room.

No green thumb, no excuse

If you’re afraid your thumb will destroy your efforts, there are more options available:

  • Succulents come in all shapes and sizes. They require very little care since they hold onto water in their leaves.
  • Don’t forget about dried flowers. In the right setting, they can do wonders.
  • Still worried you may not be able to maintain a living plant? Then try Tillandsia, an air plant – plants that gather moisture from the air.
  • The idea behind plants is to bring something natural and colorful into your staged home. If plants are still intimidating, a bowl of apples or oranges can also be used.

Now that the stage is set

Now that you’ve added something living to your home, there are some steps you’ll have to take to maintain them.

  • Clean leaves with a damp cloth. Even living things can be dust collectors.
  • Watering. Feel the soil before you water. Too much water is just as deadly as too little.
  • Consider placing your plants – plastic pot and all – into decorative ceramic pots. If the plant dies, it’s easier to replace. Also, make sure the ceramic pot has a drainage hole. Plants tend to not like sitting in water.
  • Speaking of water, remember to protect your furniture. Pots can be placed in plastic trays or simply do the watering in the sink. You don’t want to damage your furniture with water rings now that you’ve set your stage.

Dante Disabato understands the art of staging a home. With years of experience in Southwest Florida, he can offer suggestions on how best to prep your home for sale. Contact us today for more tips or to discuss putting your property on the market.

This material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, prior sales, changes, including but not restricted to, price or withdrawal without notice. A buyer should be represented by legal counsel and have a professional inspection and a survey of the property certified to the buyer to verify information contained herein and all other information upon which a buyer may intend to rely. William Raveis Real Estate.