How to Stage a Historic Home to Sell

Your historic home brings character to your neighborhood. So, when it comes time to sell it, you want to make sure you attract as many potential buyers as possible. To do this, you need to stage your home properly. Here are some tips for making your house stand out.

1. Choose the Right Color Palette

To highlight the unique features of your home, such as hardwood trim, go for neutral colors. Lighter colors can help make the space feel larger. Also, consider earthy tones or royal wallpaper to emphasize the history of the house.

You can even try to match the original colors of the home. Another option is to look for period-appropriate tones by consulting an expert. Also, look out for paint collections specifically for historic houses.

Here are some paint colors for your historic property to consider:

  • Fresh Mint
  • Sky Blue
  • Rich Navy
  • Bright Salmon
  • Chrome Yellow

2. Declutter the Space

You want your space to feel open and inviting. Remove any excess furniture or knick-knacks. This will allow buyers to move around the room and for key features, such as an old bookshelf, to stand out. Clearing out your area can even make it feel larger. Adding mirrors is another way to create the illusion of space.

Also, consider removing any personal items, such as photographs, from your walls. You want potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home. Before decluttering, try and set goals for how you want the space to look. Then, follow these strategies to efficiently organize your house:

  • Remove trash and recycling
  • Group similar items
  • Make note of any duplicate items
  • Ask yourself if you use, want, need, or love the object
  • Take advantage of vertical storage space

3. Add Simple Window Coverings

Consider replacing any heavier drapes that may have come with the home. Many buyers want a house that feels light and airy. Having lightweight and light-colored curtains helps bring in natural light. Also, these neutral hues can highlight your unique window trims.

To make a statement, add a vibrant colored shade against a white wall. This can draw attention to the window and make the space feel brighter. Here are some other window treatment ideas to add to your home:

  • Incorporate artisan fabric
  • Mix and match fabrics
  • Add a Venetian blind
  • Design with velvet curtains
  • Select a vintage print

4. Update With Modern Amenities

While you want to keep the property’s original charm, you still need to make sure it’s updated. Remember, the home needs to be functional to live in. So, consider upgrading your indoor plumbing and the kitchen. Having modern kitchen features, like energy-efficient appliances, can help attract buyers.

You may also want to get rid of the parlor styled couch and purchase a more sleek-looking one. Although, when adding fixtures, make sure they still blend in with the overall style of the home.

Besides the decor, also inspect the outside of your house. Moss typically grows around older-style properties. Since the moss can damage your roof, you want to remove it before selling your home.

5. Highlight the History

Keep in mind that the historic charm of your home is one of the key selling points. Showcase essential furniture and design elements, such as original hardwood flooring.

Here are some other features of your home to showcase:

  • Arched doorways
  • Mantles
  • Original molding and trim
  • Cabinets
  • Roof
  • Glass panes

Rearrange your furniture so they draw focus to these features. For example, remove any rugs to display your floors. Also, ensure there is enough lighting in rooms with these items. Research some of the home’s history, too. Learn about who lived in the house before. This information can entice potential buyers and allow your home to sell quickly.

First, check out the national registry of historic places to see if your home is listed. Then, talk with your realtor and look into old census records to learn more about your house’s history.

6. Find the Right Agent

To help your home sell quicker, look for an agent who understands how to market historic properties. Make sure they have previous experience selling historic homes and already have a marketing strategy in mind. Also, the real estate agent can provide you with some valuable tips for how to lay out your home.

7. Don’t Do Too Many Renovations

You may need to perform renovations to update older features, such as electricity. However, some upgrades can take away from the home’s historic value. So, try not to replace intact historical features with trending designs. This can turn off some potential buyers.

How to Successfully Stage Your Historical Home

Once you’re ready to sell your historic home, there’s a lot to think about, from marketing to open houses. Staging your house properly helps attract potential buyers, so keep these tips in mind as it comes time to pass your property on to the next caretaker.


Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She published maintenance and decor advice for homeowners looking to buy and sell properties.