Cynthia's Blog

January 22, 2011

Create Beautiful Display Areas

Cynthia's Blog > Stage to Sell Homes

Five Do's and Don'ts for Accessorizing Surfaces

I believe that there is a Universal Law of Surfaces: If you have a surface it WILL get covered! The trick is to cover it in a way that looks good and makes us feel good when we see it. Here are some tricks for five areas that I regularly "tweak" when staging.

Kitchen Soffit

DON'T use the top of your cabinets for storing items that should be behind a cabinet door. It's like a neon sign flashing "Not enough storage! Not enough storage!"


DO arrange decorative items grouped at a focal point such as the area directly over the stove. 


China Cabinet

DON'T add brightly-colored children's clay artwork and last year's tax information that hasn't yet been filed.


DO stick to dinnerware that is the color theme outside of the cabinet (artwork, window treatments, centerpiece), and keep the items to a single china pattern. Add stemware and clear glass items for a serene and pulled-together look.


Table Tops

DON'T use table tops for storing everyday utilitarian items (e.g., paper napkins centered on the breakfast table, nail clippers and crossword puzzles on the end table, children's toys below the coffee table).


DO limit surface items to pretty decorative items, or nothing at all. Tip: A decorative hinged box can contain items such as the TV remote and nail file, if necessary.


Fireplace Mantle

DON'T display a series of items the size of a soup can because the scale is too too wrong. And be careful of mirrors: they can reflect (and emphasize!) your popcorn ceiling!


DO start with something large in the center, such as framed artwork, preferably in the colors that are within the room.



DON'T empty bookshelves of everything simply because someone said that books equal clutter!


DO keep hardback books, some personal photos in similar frames, and a few nice decorative items, then start in the center of the bookshelf and go outward but not to the edges. Distribute books on each of the shelves.


Bookshelves are fabulous "display ops" and do have a tendency to become visually overwhelming. Study photographs of well-done bookcases to see the patterns used, or give me a call because I can make all of your surfaces beautiful and functional! (I  plan to do a blog on bookcases soon…stay tuned!)


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