Green Home Staging Tips to Sell, Live, and Work…

Barb Schwarz, The Creator of Home Staging®, trains Accredited Staging Professionals® (ASPs®) techniques specific to Home Staging.  Whether you are preparing a house to sell or simply want to create a better living or work space, be sure to incorporate eco green concepts! Keep in mind the Recycle Reuse and Reclaim concept.  Anything that was something else and is now used for another purpose is green. What are four of the top “C’s in Staging? Clutter Free, Clean, Color, & Creative!   Clutter Free Turn Chaos into order and peace 1) Americans are the largest consumers in the world. We have “stuff” everywhere! -Go through room by room and remove excess items. -Leave space between items, on the walls, and floor to show off the architectural features of the house. 2) The room will “feel good”, seem larger, & be healthier (fewer dust mites) 3) Commit to keeping the room this way by not bringing in more “stuff”. -Don’t just stash the items in boxes somewhere. Donate them for reuse and recycle! -Implement a new policy such as: When a new item is brought in, another goes out. 4) When preparing to sell a house, go a step further and remove items that are more personal. -Buyers need to envision themselves in the house and mentally move in. -Pre pack collectables, trophies, and family photos. -Contact an Accredited Staging Professional to help you choose which items stay, and which ones “go”.   Clean– A sparkling house is appealing to buyers. It is also healthier and more comforting to those living in it. 1) Clean without harsh chemicals and save money too by making your own natural cleaning formulas. -Natural cleaners are better for people with allergies, prevent indoor air pollution, and create less hazardous waste. -Use ingredients that can be found in your own cupboard, such as baking soda, cornstarch, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and even toothpaste! – Create air fresheners, kitchen & window cleaners, scour powders, and virtually any kind of household cleaner you need! 2) There are many books, articles, and websites with “how to” tips and recipes. *Make windows hard water stained fixtures shine with vinegar & water. *Scrub sinks clean with a mix of baking soda & salt. *Clean the toilet bowl with denture tablets! 3) We highly recommend Pure Ayre, an excellent natural odor eliminator. 4) Common house plants are pleasing to the eye while creating clean air. -They provide a natural way to control indoor air pollution by absorbing gases: formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. -They produce more oxygen to breath, which provides more energy in the body. – Plants are especially helpful in an office environment, where off gassing can be high and the esthetics can be low. – According to Dr. Bill Wolverton, formerly a senior research scientist at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Miss., “A living air cleaner is created by combining activated carbon and a fan with a potted plant. The roots of the plant grow right in the carbon and slowly degrade the chemicals absorbed there.”   Color–  A great way to refresh a room and add style! 1) Paint: The least expensive way to change color in a room with the maximum amount of impact. -To make your house a home, use colors to suite your own personal taste. -When selling a house, use color to lighten & brighten dingy walls or tone down loud color schemes.  An ASP® can assist you in choosing colors that have broad market appeal. 2) Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application, which come from a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOC)s. -It is important for your health & the environment to use less toxic paint & finishes -Look for Natural Paints, Zero VOC, and Low VOC for: *Effective coverage *Very little odor when applying *No “off gassing” after curing *Easy clean up, as they are water based *Easy to dispose of, since they are not hazardous waste like other paints 3) For little more investment of time and money you can use wall plasters. -Limestone, clay, & other natural earth plasters are durable & elegant wall finishes -Create texture and depth while contributing to healthy indoor air quality -The thickness improves insulation through thermal mass, requiring less energy to heat and air condition a house -Surfaces are non-dusting, mold & fade resistant, repairable, and moisture controlling. -Available in a wide variety of color and textures 4) What to do when you have porcelain fixtures that are dated and cannot be changed? Embrace them! -When they are in good condition & replacing would be wasteful and leave more of a carbon footprint -or- you don’t have the money to do it, go “retro”!  Add touches of black to a pink bathroom & change out the faucets for some reclaimed fixtures from the 40s/ 50s. 5) Add “pops” of color with environmentally healthy accessories such as: -Recycled glass, natural pottery, soy candles, fresh fruit, flowers, & edible plants   Creative- We see more furniture pieces made of natural fiber & sustainable wood now on the market. Many companies now have entire lines of organic cotton linens, mattresses, bamboo, recycled glass, and natural tableware. *** But, it is the salvaged and repurposed items that make a house more unique, creative, warm, and inviting! 1) Re-use & Reclaim items that haven’t been used in a very long time such as dishes, napkins, quilts, and towels that have been stored in boxes or handed down in the family and just don’t get used. – Visit companies in your region that specialize in selling salvaged and surplus items such as antique furniture, doors, windows, mantels, fixtures, artwork, and more! – Inquire about items from the sale or destruction of shops and historic buildings. – Save big $$ at estate sales, yard sales, consignment, and thrift stores. – Use the floor boards of an older house or under your own carpet, instead of buying new. 2) Recycled materials such as steel, wood, paper, plastic, can be made into furniture, hardware, and fixtures. – Recycled content carpet has the same look, feel, and price of virgin carpet. – Countertops made from recycled glass and concrete or crushed bathroom porcelain make durable slabs similar in form to granite or marble creating a smooth and shiny surface. Stainless steel and reclaimed wood are other options. – Major department stores (like Target) now offer many recycled items for the entire house, including table ware and bathroom accessories. – Specialty and one-of-a-kind recycled furniture and accessories are available in “green living” stores. *** Note that you can Stage to Sell with furniture props which are made from recycled material from Next Stage Furniture. They are lightweight, yet strong and durable. 3) Repurpose items: Ask yourself, “What else can be done with this?” – Use wine barrels and old pottery for plants. – A large wooden door can become a table. – Artwork can be made out of fabric or clothing. – Bed linens can become window or shower curtain, or pillows. – Iron work can be used inside or outside for artwork. – Quilts can become wall art or even a table cloth. Recycle, reuse, reclaim! Visit for more information about home staging or to find an Accredited Staging Professional. © 1999-2010®. Stage®, ASP®, ASPM®,®, IAHSP®, Accredited Staging Professional® are Federally Registered Trademarks of®

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