Archive for the ‘staging a house for sale’ Tag

Setting the Stage for Selling your Lake Tahoe or Truckee House   1 comment

Contributing writer, Michelle Portesi ~Kitchen, Bath and Interior Designer




So you’ve made the decision to sell your house.  While it’s a simple task to call the real estate agent to get the house on the market (…like Lynn Richardson, Your Friend in High Places!),  appealing to potential buyers is a bit more daunting.

As a designer, the following suggestions seem  incredibly obvious to me. I’m always surprised when it isn’t obvious to others. So here are a few tips.



Bite the Bullet. Call for a Dumpster.


Seriously. I mean it. Homes accumulate an amazing amount of detritus. From random boxes to broken appliances and furniture,  these items seep their way into every closet, garage, nook and cranny. Not only do they rob you now of useable storage, they give a buyer the impression that the home doesn’t have enough storage – in addition to making the place look like a candidate for one of those ‘Hoarders’ shows.

Outside, remove dead trees and weeds. Out go the old tires and rusted out swing sets. Don’t wait UNTIL the house  sells to do this admittedly tedious task.  You’re just prolonging the inevitable, and will inevitably prolong the sale of your house.

Bite the Bullet. Call for a Dumpster.



...make it 'go away'...

…make it ‘go away’…


Home buyers often can’t see past your personal items and tastes to visualize themselves in a home. Make it easier for them. Box up your prized deer head collection, vast salt & pepper shaker fetish and the family photos.  Trust me, you can live without them until your home sells. Keep the most spectacular art pieces and decorative items out for display. Just remember that less is definitely more.

In the kitchen, clear off your countertops and remove all items attached to your refrigerator door to cut down on the visual clutter. Try to keep the area mess free for real estate showings.

If your home looks more like the set of ‘Romper Room’ than a home an adult would feel comfortable living in, try to keep the kid stuff to a minimum. Remember, the whole idea here is to sell your house quickly, so your kids will be back to blissfully riding their big wheels at your new home.



Take out about 50% of what's in this room.

Take out about 50% of what’s in this room.


Remove some of your furnishings. Homes are often packed to the gills, and the sheer overabundance can make a house seem much smaller than it really is.

Take out items that are rarely used, and anything over-sized – like a sofa and loveseat combo that doesn’t  fit the proportions of the house. Try living with just the sofa. Definitely remove anything that looks worse for wear.

Arrange furnishing into conversation areas, instead of fixated on the television.  Walkways and traffic patterns should be clearly defined and should not run through the middle of your furniture zones.





Sticker laden purple walls probably won’t appeal to a potential buyer.



Make the house appeal to as many buyers as possible. Realize that the majority of souls walking through your door may not be as enamored of the Barney purple walls as you are. Neutral paint colors like Kelly Moore’s Mission Tan has a warm medium tone that looks rich, makes artwork pop from the wall and goes with just about any decor. Add more vivacious colors with accent pillows and decorations.






DIY curtains from bed sheets

DIY curtains from bed sheets



Making a house feel inviting doesn’t have to be expensive. Get creative! Avant-garde  arrangements of manzanita branches or pine boughs create fresh floral arrangements that are readily available in most yards. Give your bedroom linens a feeling of sumptuousness with a homemade duvet cover and curtains made with inexpensive sheets.  Capture a buyers interest enough to linger in the house.  Keep it light, airy and clean.






…and Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies fresh out of the oven doesn’t hurt either…

choc chip cookies

Make a house smell ‘homey’.


Shameless plug: And if you truly just can’t visualize the above, contact me and I’ll come over and stage it for you! ~Michelle


lynn script





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