Ditch the clutter and use art when staging a home office

home office before staging by six elementsIf you have a functioning home office in your house, the chances are it’s quite cluttered with papers, binders, “to do” piles, stacks on the floor under your desk and general chaos.

This might be how you work (no judgments here, I work that way myself), but it’s no way to sell your home. Besides, do you want a bunch of strangers looking at your real work, or potentially walking off with an important file?

For security sake, make sure you hide all important papers, clear your desk, shut down your computer and if it’s a laptop, take it with you!

home office after staging by Six Elements

Clutter was removed from surfaces and the floor. Here a large painting provides a stunning focal point for the end wall, pulls in the otherwise bright wall color and emphasizes the generous size of the room.

And for the sake of trying to sell your home, make sure you office looks bright, efficient and clutter free. Even it it’s a little less functional while your home is on the real estate market, the goal now is to sell your home as quickly as possible.

You want buyers to walk in and think, “What a great home office. I can totally see myself working in here!”

To accomplish this, it’s also a good idea to remove all personal diplomas, which distract buyers, and memo boards, which inevitably look cluttered no matter what’s on them. Replace these with a nice piece of art that ties in the wall color and provides a focal point. Make sure the size of the piece is proportional to the wall itself.

Need help with your home office?

If you’re need help redesigning your home office or staging any room in your home, contact us.

If you’re outside the Toronto area, I can still help you personally by phone working from photos you email me. Learn more about this virtual staging service.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements Inc. She has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. Debra has gained international recognition and has been featured in major media in the US and Canada including: HGTV, CNN Money, CBC National News, CBS Radio, GlobalTV, CityTV, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest and more.

Old wallpaper no barrier to inexpensive makeover

Many of us live in older homes that have layers of wallpaper that have been there for years. The thought of removing it becomes a roadblock to redecorating because we’re afraid of all the plastering work that will be needed if we take it down.

This is particularly true when you live in a home with plaster and lath construction, which was popular through to the 1950s when drywall was introduced in the US and Canada. If you’re not sure what type of walls you have, try hanging a picture. The nail will go smoothly into drywall, not so with plaster and lath that will crumble with age sometimes turning what was supposed to be a tiny nail hole into a quarter inch diameter mess!

If you’ve run into this problem just hanging pictures, it’s not hard to scare yourself out of removing layers of old wallpaper that may indeed be holding those old walls together. This doesn’t have to stop you from radically changing the look of your room with a new color of paint.

With proper priming you can paint over wallpaper!

Granted, this isn’t considered the “right” way to do things, but does it really matter if the alternative is living in a depressing space that you hate, or losing money trying to sell a lack-luster home?

bedroom before color makeover

bedroom after color makeover



Given this older home’s plaster and lath construction, removing multiple layers of 20+ year old wallpaper could have turned into a 5 day messy and expensive re-plastering project. Instead this transformation was achieved over a weekend.

After priming, Debra Gould chose a deep caramel color that was painted right over the ugly wallpaper. New and more colorful bedding, and a properly proportioned night stand and lamp that she selected, completed the redecoration of this master bedroom.

Need help with your decorating or color project?

With a minimum two hour consultation in your home, we will tell you everything that needs to be done in your home (room by room and outside too). Contact us to learn more or arrange an appointment.

> Read more about our color consulting, interior redesign and home staging services.

Feel free to add your comments to this story. Have you ever tried to take down wallpaper before painting?

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements Inc. She has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. Debra has gained international recognition and has been featured in major media in the US and Canada including: HGTV, CNN Money, CBC National News, CBS Radio, GlobalTV, CityTV, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest and more.

Too Much Clutter Hides Room’s Purpose

family room before stagingNot everyone lives in a home the way they would like others to see it when it’s time to sell. My clients realize that in order to sell their homes more quickly and for more money they have to turn it into a product that will appeal to potential buyers.

In this house the family room had become a dumping ground for clutter that ranged from video games to kid’s toys and a myriad of family photos of all shapes and sizes crowding the fireplace mantel. Fine for living but not for selling!

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How to Avoid an Expensive Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen redesigned by Debra Gould

I redesigned this kitchen with paint and accessories instead of ripping out cabinets and putting in new counters. It was even featured in Woman's Day Magazine! Runner on the counter is from the Debra Gould Home Collection

Many families don’t have tens of thousands to spend on a new kitchen, or they don’t want to live through the significant inconvenience of ripping out this critical room and waiting for it to be rebuilt from scratch.

I did it once on my second property and it was a nightmare. The day after I moved in with my toddler I had the kitchen ripped out so that I’d have better cupboard space and a spot for a dishwasher. It took over two months to complete and in the meantime we lived in a construction zone with all the dust, noise and danger that entails.

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