When you’re staging your home to sell, you don’t have to be a professional decorator to get it just right. In fact, you can make a huge difference in the way potential buyers see your home if you know how to light it properly.
Whether you’re selling a home in Lakewood or you’re selling a condo in Long Beach, it’s important to get the lighting right in both hotspots: the living room and the kitchen. Bathrooms are important, too, but people tend to focus on the rooms where they’ll spend most of their time—and the living room and kitchen fit the bill.
How to Light Your Living Room for Home Staging
In the living room, it’s ideal to use a layered approach. You want downward-facing lighting for reading or completing tasks, so the light fixture attached to your ceiling fan is fine… but it’s not enough. You also need light that bounces off the ceiling to create ambience.
Lighting designer Markus Earley agrees. “Bouncing light off the ceiling creates a sense of brightness in the room, and avoids the shadows or downward direction of recessed lights,” says Earley. You can also wash the walls with light by using floor lamps or recessed lighting aimed at the walls, and then add task lighting with an accent table lamp.
How to Light Your Kitchen for Home Staging
Like the living room, you need ambient light and task lighting in your kitchen. A ceiling-mounted or recessed fixture above the sink is a must, and an LED light strip or dimmable fluorescent bulbs beneath cabinets to illuminate countertop workspaces is a nice bonus. Ideally, you’ll also have a central, ceiling-mounted fixture. If your kitchen is narrow or small, think about installing cove lighting along opposite walls to bounce rays off the ceiling rather than downward at the floor.
How to Light Your Bathroom for Home Staging
That central ceiling-mounted fixture just isn’t going to cut it for home staging. According to Patricia Rizzo of the Lighting Research Center, “One of the best improvements you can make in a bathroom is to light both sides of the mirror. You don’t want to cause shadows in the bathroom.”
What if You Can’t Change Your Lighting Plan to Stage Your Home?
If you can’t improve your lighting plan during the home-staging process, don’t worry—you can make small improvements that will still make a world of difference. Invest in a few standing lamps that you can strategically place to eliminate shadows when people are touring your home and remember that nothing beats natural light. Pull back the window coverings and let in as much sunshine as you can; you’ll see it pay off on closing day.
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