How Much Does Professional Home Staging Cost?

Posted by admin under Home Staging Education

Staging your home gives potential buyers (or renters, for that matter) the chance to visualize each room as a livable, welcoming space. It’s hard to convey that feeling with plain walls and a bare open area. But what’s the real value of investing in professional staging? When you’re on the fence, it helps to know that you have options. Your home and budget can benefit from a couple of different setups.


Vacant Home Staging Benefits


Whether you’ve already moved all of your belongings and furniture out, or your place is brand-new, vacant home staging can be a fantastic choice for sellers and property managers. Your empty home needs some care to really attract the right buyers. It’s the same for buyers, renters, and apartments. Owners can always use professional staging as part of their marketing efforts. Pictures look so much better when you can create a little depth of field with furniture and accent pieces.


Not having a fridge hooked up could have easily turned this kitchen’s picture into something stark and empty. But when we turn on the lights and add in some modern barstools and plants for the countertop, we set up a bright, inviting scene. Good staging companies know how to maximize on the style of the existing space. That’s why we chose this type of seating. It’s a great complement to the different architectural textures.


Options with Partial Staging


Of course, you don’t need to go all-out and have an entire home staged. There are plenty of ways you can still get professional staging that honors your budget. Partial staging can work with items you already own. Your staging company will just reevaluate the furniture placement and add in great accessories and accent pieces to tie the room together. This is also called occupied home staging.


These types of arrangements should help you cut back on your spending while still giving your listing the polished look you want. Consulting with a designer can help you analyze your options. Some rooms might do better with extra attention. Take a look at the whole picture of your home to find the right balance for your investment. Then you’ll really be able to make the most of your home’s listing and sale.


What Staging Really Costs


The cost of staging varies based on your area, and even companies within the same zip code can have wildly different quotes. As with most home projects, though, you pay for what you get. An experienced team will rise about the competition. Checking out the portfolio of each staging company can usually give you a better idea of their quality of work. That, and your initial consultation, can help you decide whether you’ve found your fit. Personality definitely makes a difference with your designer!


Although you may be a little wary of the next steps with your listing, there are a handful of stats that prove staging is worth the investment. For starters, most real estate agents are big proponents of staging before putting a home on the market. Staging really moves properties, and having a solid collection of stunning photographs goes a long way for buyers. The fact that staged homes spend almost 75 percent less time on the market is certainly a big plus.


In addition to faster sales, professional staging can also help sellers get higher offers. One statistic shows that staged homes, on average, go for 6 percent more than the asking price. While this isn’t a guarantee, it’s an encouraging piece of information. Compare that with the overall home staging ROI. This boost in sales price can equate to an ROI of ten times your initial investment. What other home upgrades have that sort of track record?


Talking with your local home staging company can give you a better idea of the options you have with your own home. Whether you go for a vacant home staging or an occupied staging plan, you’re sure to get a good return on your investment!

Our Freshest Home Design Tips for Spring

Posted by admin under Home Design

Saying so-long to winter certainly brightens our mood! Those cozy days are great, but it’s always nice to welcome the new season. We love changing up our style for spring. Home design doesn’t have to stay stagnant throughout the year. If you’re looking for some ways to freshen up your space, these ideas are for you!


Feeling Light and Airy for Spring


Mixing things up is a great way to bring the outdoors inside. As we start moving away from the frosty days, you might want to swap out some design features around your home. Different pillows on the couch might make more sense for spring. Those heavy wool blankets can go back in storage, too. Look for light cotton blends or even linen for another type of natural look and feel.


Different pillows in the bedroom are also fun. We loved the purple on these walls and thought some pops of color could help tie the room together. (Doesn’t this yellow one remind you of bright daffodils?) Experimenting with color and fabrics can help set the tone for sunny days and warmer nights. Maybe you want to put your bedroom rug away for the coming months. It can be nice to feel the cool wood floors on your feet during the spring and summer. That’s just another way to bring the light and airy feel indoors.


Design and Texture at Every Turn


You also want to be sure to bring your design sense to your screened-in porch and patios. Add a plant or vase to your tables to create a nice centerpiece. If your green thumb is lacking you can always go with some faux succulents or flowers. These little touches can help your home shine at every turn.


As you play with fabric choices, you also want to look at different textures. When you set up your outdoor furnishings, you might be inspired to bring some of those materials inside as well. Wicker doesn’t have to stay in the sun. Maybe you’ll find a woven texture for an end table or some other bamboo pieces to use in your living room. These sometimes make more sense during spring. You can enjoy them now, then put them away when the weather cools. Your “seasonal” décor doesn’t just have to be for the holidays.


Ready for a Fresh Start?


If you’re interested in making a change, but don’t know where to start, just call on Home Matters! Our design team is always happy to collaborate with you for some fresh new takes on your home. We can work with what you have already and try out some new layouts, or we can go shopping for some great new pieces.


Professional home staging helps sell your home, but it’s also about creating a warm and welcoming vibe for real life. The right furniture and accents can make any house feel like home. Maybe you’ve recently made a move. Do you feel like the space reflects your true style? Or perhaps you’re feeling stuffy in a house that you’ve lived in for years. We’re happy to meet you wherever you’re at emotionally with your space. With a little inspiration from the spring season, we can help make your space shine!

Set the Scene—with Home Mood Lighting

Posted by admin under Home Design

Mood lighting isn’t just for up-scale restaurants. Our homes can do with their own bit of romance, too! Whether you want lighting options to calm you down, or other setups designed for an energy boost, choosing the right bulbs is important. After that, we think light fixture itself is just as special for setting the scene—and creating a little magic.


Ambiance on the Main Level


Candles are a nice option if you want to embrace that warm glow ambiance in the evening. But they aren’t always practical. Going with a permanent lighting option can be a better way to enjoy your space. We love homes that make a statement with their lighting fixtures, like this open concept kitchen and family room. The overhead lights look so sleek set between these wooden beams. And these globes over the kitchen island are a great statement piece.


Installing new lighting fixtures can be such a smart way to refresh your home because the process has a relatively low investment cost. Rather than replace the kitchen countertops or cabinets, you can just swap out some of your overhead lighting options for a more modern look. Just use this kitchen as inspiration!


Lighting Options with Home Staging


As home stagers, we usually don’t have a say in a home’s lighting fixtures, so it’s always nice when a room already has a nice setup installed. The classic warm glow of this shaded chandelier was a great starting place. We took a hint from the gold fixture with the mirror over the bed (which acts like its own type of headboard). Then we found a similar tone for the lamp shade on the end table. It all looks super cozy, right?


We also made sure to keep all of the lights on when we took this pic. One of the keys for a great home listing is to make the space as bright as possible in your photographs. So you’ll want to turn on the lights in each room. This make it easier to see all of the home’s architectural details. It would be hard to notice the tray ceiling in this master bedroom if the lights were off. Plus, you get the full impact of the chandelier itself when the bulbs are lit.


Take Natural Lighting to the Max


If you aren’t sure what to do with your lighting, starting with natural lighting can help. We love how this master bathroom amplifies the light coming in from the walk-in shower. All it takes is a can of bright white paint. Other hues—even a cream or an eggshell—might dull and mute the overall lighting. Sticking with white really makes this bathroom come alive and feel fresh. That’s its own type of ambiance. Sometimes we want an energized space instead of a relaxed feel. (It would certainly make it easier to wake up in the morning as you get ready for the day!)


Lighting can create such a strong emotional baseline for any room. That’s why we believe in giving each space the best presentation possible. When you think of mood lighting, you don’t have to reserve it to Valentine’s Day. Every day of the week can become more romantic and intimate (or welcoming and bright) with the right home accents. If you need help finding the right balance, you can always reach out to us for a consultation. We’d be happy to meet with you!

Home Color Schemes We’re Loving for 2019

Posted by admin under Home Design

Every designer is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to the year’s breakout color. Since there’s no single trend-setter to get behind, there’s plenty of room for interpretation. Whether you want to be bold and experiment with PANTONE’s 2019 hue Living Coral or stay more reserved with Behr’s 2019 color Blueprint, you’ve got plenty of options for a new color scheme this year.


The Metropolitan Color Scheme


We can’t help but love chic cream and gray tones. As professional home stagers, we often lean toward schemes that are more neutral. This stunning master bedroom is a prime example of how these tones are working in recent years. That’s probably why Benjamin Moore’s color of the year is Metropolitan, a balanced gray that’s beautiful in just about any room. It’s definitely one of the trend-setting hues to watch for in the 2019 year.


You can pump up any color scheme similar to Metropolitan with bright golds, like we did with furniture hardware and light fixtures. Or you can try using different textures in the room to add depth to these subtle tones on the wall. Fluffy area rugs help ground the space. (Of course, it also helps that this home has a great view of the woods outside!)


Playing with Enthusiast Colors


If you want a complete playbook for your color scheme, you might like the 2019 Color Forecast from Sherwin-Williams. They’ve pulled together some fantastic combos to suit a handful of different styles. This can be a great resource when you’re looking for a total redesign.


We were inspired by colors similar to their Enthusiast scheme for this Fountain Square home. The lush, deep green on this couch is just irresistible for a fun, energetic space—just like the downtown area itself! It’s easy to pair these deeper hues with all kinds of geometric patterns. Finding unique accessories also helps make these settings shine.


Soft and Calming Muted Pastels


A few other colors are predicted to stand out in 2019, but we’re keeping our eyes on the muted pastels. We tend to gravitate toward these hues for our home staging projects because they’re practical favorites for all types of buyers and homeowners.


When you want a calming, relaxing atmosphere, you really can’t go wrong with this color scheme. That’s probably why they made their way onto this House Beautiful list. In this room, we took direction from the off-white walls with a hint of green. A couple accent chairs in a light blue-grey and some lovely abstract artwork help tie this room together. Now, it’s a welcoming space that anyone would feel at home in, and it totally fits that pastel scheme.


Ready to Shake Things Up?


The early months of a new year can be a great time to try out a new trend for paint colors and home décor. Why not try out a new accent wall this season? Or a whole new color scheme for the living room? It can be so invigorating to keep things fresh. Your home will feel even more comfortable when it breaks out of the color doldrums!


If you need some guidance along the way, our designers are just a phone call away. While home staging is at the core of what we do, we also love working with homeowners on design services. You deserve to love the home you’re in. Let us help make your space one-of-a-kind. We’ll work with you to find a style that’s all your own. Just send us a message to get started on your consultation.

2018 Real Estate Review for Central Indiana

Posted by admin under Real Estate

As another year wraps up, we’re taking a look at how Central Indiana has handled the ever-changing real estate market. A couple trends around the Circle City have stood out, but what does that mean for 2019? By reflecting on the past, we’ll have a better understand on where the new year might take us!


A Year of Low Inventory in Real Estate


Across the country, inventory shortages have proven to be a new norm in 2018. Just in the first six months, the number of homes for sale was 18.2 percent lower than in the first half of 2015, according to an article from This decline has led to more bidding wars, higher prices, and lower selection for buyers across the board. But that hasn’t been bad news for sellers.


The drop in real estate inventory has proven to be even more true for the Indianapolis area. The changes here have been even more dramatic than in other parts of the country. In just three years, we’ve seen inventory decrease by 49.6 percent. That’s a pretty significant shift! And compared to the coasts, pricing around Indy is still more affordable. The growing economy might see an influx of new buyers coming in from out of state, as well as more people staying put. Without enough property to go around, we’ll probably see home prices continue to rise.


Faster Home Sales around Indianapolis


We’ve also seen faster home sales this year in Central Indiana. One article from May 2018 described this frenzied market in a straight-forward way: “A house goes on the market, you get a bunch of showings right away and there’s multiple offers.” This has been a sweet setup for sellers, but the fierce competition makes the house hunt that much harder for buyers. Whereas homes would stay on the market for months in the past, in 2018 some were sold just hours after getting listed.


Of course, not every sale this year happened in one day. According to Trulia’s June numbers, Marion County saw homes on the market for 46 days on average. In Hamilton County, the average was 55 days. These shorter timeframes for listings has also been reflected in price range. Marion County saw an 8.9 percent increase in the average sale price this summer. But even if prices are going up, buyers don’t seem to mind. Although new construction has been happening all over the area, there’s still a high demand for homes. This puts the spotlight on existing homes. Buyers are willing to pay for the features they want most—wherever they can find them.


Looking Ahead for the 2019 Market


So long as you have a great team on your side for listing and staging your home, you should expect to see more great outcomes with the 2019 market. According to the November 2018 Market Indicators Report, the one-year change saw a 7.1 percent increase for the month of October. The year-to-date statistics are even better, at 8.5 percent. This is great boost for sellers! The median sales price for homes in our area has continued to rise over the 2017 numbers, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down.


If the number of homes on the market continues to be slim in 2019, we could expect to see even more competition amongst buyers, since pending sales improved this year. Buyers seem to be especially eager to put in offers throughout these low-inventory months. This might be the main reason why the sales prices have been looking so good. The October 2018 numbers show a 5.5 percent uptick from 2017 YTD pending sales, so the activity is still hot.


Of course, sellers still need to know how to distinguish their home from the pack. A neat and tidy home with a great inspection report may not be enough to attract your ideal buyer. That’s why your listing photos and a fantastic walk-through can really help your property to shine. Buyers are more interested in fighting for homes when they have an emotional appeal. Professional home staging does just that. By painting the picture of what life would look like in a new home, you can help make your listing the must-have home for your area.


If you’re looking to make a move in the new year, Home Matters can help! Give us a call today to start planning your home’s marketing strategy with great furnishings and design. We’d love to hear from you.