Staging Smart: Tips For Staging Large Pieces

Hi, guys! In case you are just tuning in, we are in the midst of a mini series on staging refinished furniture for the purpose of selling! The furniture refinishing community is growing by the day and our desire here at StyleMutt is to bring folks together to share helpful information! We began last week with talking about why staging is so necessary, then we followed up with some specifics. Here are our techniques for staging smaller pieces, and tips for staging in limited space. Moving right along, we're tackling the bigger beasts today - your china cabinets, dressers, buffets, credenzas - the pieces you're going to put a higher price tag on.

We actually LOVE to stage larger pieces! It's a lot of fun to settle big guys in and dress em' up. We'll use everything from plants, lamps, books and candles, to large over-sized pieces of art. While you don't want your piece to get lost in a mix of 'things', it's also okay to put your own twist on it! When you stage a piece with your own style and personality, that energy and enthusiasm translates. So try a few things, step back, and if you like it, snap away! If not, keep playing until you're satisfied. 

Here are a few examples of our own pieces staged and as-seen in our ads on Craigslist:

1. This mid-century modern cabinet was an experiment for me in a new painting technique - denim! While I was thrilled with the effect and end result, I thought it best to keep the staging relatively neutral. I didn't introduce any new colors or textures, but rather complimented the denim treatment with low-key, natural accents. 

2. This hollywood regency style dresser which Cate refinished was the perfect piece to glam up, and Cate totally ran with it! A piece with a lot of punch needs to be styled appropriately. Neutral accents would have been confusing with this high-style piece. The bold hues were on point and reflected Cate's style and intention for this piece exactly.


3. This herringbone dresser was well suited for my dining room accent wall. It's not always necessary to stage with a crisp white background, and I think neutral pieces allow for a bit of freedom with their surroundings.

4. This completely transformed cabinet that Cate did was a great example of adding a little architectural interest to an otherwise simply shaped piece. The mix of metallics and overlapping heights across the top surface all worked to boost the character and appeal of this beautiful piece. If you have open interior storage, show it off as she did here with the basket of blankets.

5. This mid-century modern china cabinet was a beautiful opportunity to show off the versatility of a piece. I staged it both as a traditional china cabinet, as well as a bookcase for a living room or study. China cabinets are hot commodities as they're being seen more and more outside of the formal dining room. They're showing up in bedrooms and hallways to store fresh linens, I've seen them converted to media cabinets with a TV stuck inside - there are so many more possibilities for these pieces now! Help potential buyers to see the versatility in a piece by staging it more than one way. 

As you can see, there's a huge variety to how we style, but there is consistency in that all pieces are brought to life. Don't be afraid to add some real life and energy to your staged pictures; seeing a piece in context just gives it that much more character.

It definitely takes effort and sometimes even help to stage these larger pieces, but remember, if you think your piece is worth $X, it's crucial to make it look worth $X with decent pictures. So much of selling refinished furniture happens online, so pictures are the first glimpse a potential buyer will see of your piece. Make them count!

I hope this information has been helpful for you! Are there any other topics regarding furniture refinishing that you'd like us to discuss? Any questions? We're here to help and encourage, so let us know!

Thank you all for stopping by!  Have a splendid weekend!

Staging Smart: Tips For Staging Small Pieces

Hello, friends! Following up my earlier post this week on the importance of staging refinished furniture, (for the purpose of selling), I thought it might be fun to talk about staging different pieces. Today I'll cover smaller pieces like end tables and accent chairs, and next week we'll discuss the larger beasts.

For whatever reason, I find it more difficult to stage a smaller piece. I love playing with the surface and surrounding of a large dresser or china cabinet, but when all I have is a small footprint to work with, I tend to scratch my head staring at it. I don't really have a specific 'formula' to share, but I've learned that it's okay to stage smaller pieces a bit 'abstractly'. It's not likely that anyone would place a little table floating rogue on the open floor, but it's okay to stage it that way!

It's also okay to settle these small pieces in and sprinkle a little 'life' around them. Some of my go-to accessories for small tables include an open book or neat stack of books, fresh flowers, succulents, and pretty candles. We don't use all of these at once, but it's fun to play with one or two, step back, and see what looks the most natural.

Accent chairs are also one of those pieces that can be a little tricky to stage photos. Accent chairs are just that - accents to a whole, finished room. Taking a picture of one by itself just feels a little bit awkward. Just like with small tables,  it's okay to keep it simple but still bring a bit of energy to your shots. Go ahead and get artistic with your shots. Play with angles, with lighting, with accessories. The top right photo below was a really different kind of shot for me. I had just refinished this antique chair that was passed down from my husbands grandparents. I refinished it in a soft color but wanted to stage it with a bit more life to show it's versatility - that even pale painted antiques can be edgy. :)

Do you have any small piece staging tips that you could share? If you've got photos we'd  love to see! Share either on our Facebook wall or Instagram, using the tag #stylemuttrefinishes. Next week we'll be back with more staging fun!

Have an awesome weekend and thank you for stopping by!