Hi All! With each year that I've been refinishing furniture, I learn something big. Early on, it was basic refinishing techniques. Then I started to discover my own style, and began applying technique to a particular look. This past year what I learned had less to do with the process of refinishing a piece of furniture, and more to do with the community of those sharing the same passion.
Cate and I are still in the process of building StyleMutt and are in no rush to achieve every last one of our hopes and dreams for this small business. It's a brick-by-brick process and we are OK with that. But, the first thing we wanted to accomplish together was defining what StyleMutt would be. We desire for StyleMutt to be a helpful resource to its readers; a welcoming place to find inspiration, tips & tricks, and enjoy being a part of a community with similar interest.
With the furniture refinishing boom growing more popular each year, we see even greater importance in pulling together to share helpful information. Rather than simply share the 'Before + After' photos of newly refinished pieces, we'd like to share new tips and techniques that we're learning as well. There is a lot of information for how to refinish furniture floating around the web, but we'd like to extend our focus to include how to refinish, market and sell your furniture, if that is what you desire to do. With so many talented creatives refinishing and selling furniture, it can be difficult to make your work stand out and move your inventory at a comfortable pace. We have by no means perfected how to market and sell our pieces, but together we have sold around 225 pieces over our combined 7 years of experience, and have learned a few significant things that we feel help our pieces move.
To begin, we'll be using a few posts to discuss staging, starting today!
One of the most important things you can do for a piece you've put time and work into is show. it. off. Bring it inside wherever you feel you have the best lighting, and create a beautiful scene around it. Careful not to let the piece get 'lost', but don't be afraid to add a lamp, a stack of books, a vase of pretty flowers - simple items that help show your piece in context. I specifically like to show versatility with pieces I refinish. A dresser can serve as an entryway catchall, or a dining room buffet. A console table can function as a desk. Try staging your piece a couple different ways to show potential buyers that your piece would be a multi-purpose investment for their home.
Here is an example of a piece hot out of the garage and currently available for sale, that I staged two very different ways:
This mid-century modern china cabinet could serve as a library in a study or living room, or as a traditional dining room storage piece. Help potential buyers to see value in versatility. Don't you? I know for me personally, I'd rather put my money into something that I could move around and use differently someday, rather than something that's going to be a one-trick pony forever. Take photos in both settings and share both when you post your piece to sell!
Here is the mid-century cabinet in my living room:
And in the dining room:
And don't forget the close-ups so folks can see the details that give your piece additional character!
It's can be difficult to imagine how a piece of furniture might look in your home or where you'd place it, especially if you're only looking at pictures of a piece in someone's garage or sitting on their driveway. Make it easy for people looking at pictures of your piece to really see its potential. Proper staging and a dash of versatility, (when possible), go a long way. It takes effort, yes, but if you feel your piece is worth $X, take the time to make it LOOK worth $X! If it doesn't look fantastic in your pictures, it will be hard to convince people to take the time to see it in person. Just my two cents. :)
Two-Tone Mid-Century China Cabinet
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Thank you all so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!