46 47 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume �� LIFE & LEISURE some buyers have teens, not toddlers. Accent colors can be brighter, however. A full-size bed could be in large-sized rooms for teenagers or college-aged kids. Other bedrooms should be staged as standalone guest rooms OR an office (or other functions such as exercise, yoga, etc.), but not a mix. HOME OFFICE It wasn’t very long ago that a home office was an optional feature, not a requirement! But now, many households have at least two office setups, not to mention space for kids BATHROOM Staging a large bathroom is easy – once it’s cleaned thoroughly, it will have a fresh, airy spa-like feeling. But what should you do with a small bathroom? First, emphasize a clear view of as much of the floor and walls as possible. No area rugs or shower mats. Replace frosted glass shower doors with clear glass or a shower curtain that will allow a view all the way to the far wall. If there’s a budget for new fixtures, consider a pedestal or wall-mounted sink as wide as possible. Just because the bathroom is small doesn’t mean the sink has to be. Consider a space-saving wall-hung toilet, towel hooks instead of racks, and open shelves with attractive baskets over closed cabinets. Modern medicine cabinets add storage and are a perfect way to keep clutter out of view. Some even have outlets built into them to charge toothbrushes, shavers, etc. If possible, adding natural light will create a worthwhile connection to the outdoors. A small 2 ft x 2 ft skylight with a view to the sky or a window high on the wall are options that allow for privacy as well as light and reduce the need for window treatments. Additional mirrors will also multiply light; consider using a collage of smaller mirrors in various sizes on the wall as art. Keep frames consistent, at least in a color two shades darker than the walls or in a matte silvery metallic, or skip them altogether. Finally, Towels should be all white to reduce visual clutter, but a little bit of tonal texture keeps things interesting, such as the stripes in the Kensey line of towels from Jennifer Adams. www.jenniferadams.com/products/kensey-bath-towel to do their schoolwork. For staging, consider one dedicated space with a door – such as a bonus room, den or bedroom, and another table in the formal living room. For example, a sofa table could do double duty, or a small dining table in an otherwise awkward corner of the living room would work, too. Stage home office furniture that blends with the décor style of the house and doesn’t look like real office furniture. As most of us know, wood dining tables work quite well as desks! They also are more useful sizes and look nicer than office-beige laminates. Choose a table/desk about 4-5 feet wide and 30-ish inches deep, unless the room is quite large. That’s enough space to visualize getting work done without dominating even a small room. The desk chair should be ergonomic but made of wood and upholstery, not plastic and mesh fabric. Low open shelves or cubbies provide storage as well as a surface for supplies. OUTDOOR LIVING Outdoor spaces and home offices have earned their keep recently and are on the wish list of many home buyers! Emphasize good connections between outdoor living spaces and indoor ones with shared views and easy access off the kitchen or great room. If the backyard is small, start with at least a dining area. Bigger yards can have an outdoor living room as well, complete with a sofa or sectional, armchairs, coffee and end tables, and an area rug! Outdoor kitchens are also a smoking hot trend but will be expensive to put in just to sell a home. So let the new buyers go down that path if they want. Instead, go with a casual outdoor cooking area with a handsome new or thoroughly cleaned grill, charming cooler, and a trolly cart for food prep or as a drink station. Revitalize and clean existing patios and decks to look almost as good as new. Budget allowing, patio pavers or a new wood deck where there was none will create a sturdy place for the furniture and helps define the “room.” Or with a pad of ¾” gravel edged with pavers, brick or flat stones to contain the gravel physically and visually. consider beveled edges to create even more sparkle! Keep colors muted, both on the walls and in accessories. Too much color and pattern can make a small bath feel even smaller. Good colors for bathrooms will bring the outdoors in, such as a warm sandy color, soft teal, navy blue or grayish-green or blue tones. One dramatic statement, say, in the shower curtain, will be plenty. Even so, keep the pattern large-scale but simple and in just one or two muted colors max. Then, tie in that color with the accessories such as a soap dish, vase or other artful treasure.