Vignette or light staging for vacant properties is when a corner of the room is dressed, or small bits throughout a space are added in without fully furnishing the space. Is it effective, is it a waste of time, or is it harmful?
Home staging done well is light by definition, unlike decorating, since the goal of staging is to enhance the home and not overpower it. Vignette staging is extemely light, using art, acessories, and sometimes one or two bits of furniture to dress a portion of the space.
Why are some home owners and REALTORS practicing vignette staging? Sellers and agents realize they can no longer sell homes as is. I passed a REALTOR’S bus stop ad yesterday that said “Stage It = Sell It”. A strong indication of market awareness of the power of staging and market pressure for sellers and agents to get on board with it.. In the case of dressing vacant properties, sometimes budget dictates how much goes in. I would counter that staging is an investment with a proven track record, suggesting that finding a sufficient budget to stage is smart.
Sometimes not having access to good props is thought to be a barrier to home staging for vacant properties. Staging professionals can be found in all major centres now, and virtually everyone has access to good advice and staging rentals.
The benefits of staging an empty space are numerous: creating broad appeal, showing size perspective, showing functionality, creating a feeling of wamth and welcome, showing solutions for the too-big or too-small room, using lifestyle showcasing to connect with the home’s likely buyers, showing current and stylin’ design, and color management through adding or toning down colors in order to grab attention yet appeal to as many as possible. Consider that over 90% of buyers look online before deciding whether to view a property. Real estate pictures are critical in bringing buyers to the home. Staging ensures these pictures are appealing whether the home is vacant or lived in. That’s a long list of very effective results of quality staging.
Well placed vignettes can achieve some of these goals. Suggestions of color and lifestyle can be added in for example by dressing a family room fireplace with art, a rug and floor cushions. However consider how much more effective it is to show the placement of a sectional couch with lamps and tables, allowing the buyer to experience wonderful family space. If a vignette is too quirky it can be a distraction from the property which may actually hurt the sale. Staging vignettes done by someone not knowledgeable or equipped in the staging profession can be distatrous, like in these pictures of an actual current US listing, where their REALTOR brought in a few things to help sell the house. Unfortunatley, it looks ike a few unwanted things got left behind when they moved.
If you are considering vignette staging, proceed with caution. There are benefits if done strategically. Tap into the services of a professional stager for expert help.