Home Staging - Focusing on Focal Points: How to Adjust the Lens of Your Saskatoon MLS® Listing

Please welcome guest contributor to, Rachel Vanderveen, a Calgary real estate blogger and home stager who is writing an eight-part series of home staging advice for our blog. This is part six in that series. Rachel’s previous home staging posts can be found here.

Now we get to the fun stuff: decorating. Actually in most cases, we will be un-decorating, but for those of you who live a little tooplain and minimal---not naming names... *ahem*… bachelors and the like---it may be time to add a few pieces to dress up your spaces and create interesting focal points in your rooms in order to make your home stand out on the Saskatoon MLS®. Most Realtors out there do not offer staging services, so you can bet that once you have your home neat, trim, and staged, your listing will make an impression on your pool of Saskatoon home buyers.

What are focal points, and why do we need them? Focal points are the parts of the room where your eye can rest when you enter, and which cause a calming and relaxed feel to visitors. Having several different focal points in the room tends to communicate to real estate buyers, a feeling of confusion and overwhelm. It just feelscluttered, even if it’s not.

So before we start into how to create interesting and inviting focal points, I need to take you right back to square one. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but we have to de-clutter a space before we can create a focal point. Once you have decided where your focal point is going to be, you need to seriously pare down the space around it to make sure that your vignette is going to get the attention it deserves.

So let’s use, for example, the great room. In this space your focal point will likely be your fireplace. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to create a similar feel. You can make a focal point out of tons of things, such as old musical instruments, a collection of hang-able antiques, old record albums, or framed sheet music. The options are only limited to your creativity, and to being neutral in colour. These are to be used in the great room only if you do not have a fireplace. However, I’m a huge fan of fireplaces in great rooms; if you don’t have one, you can buy them fairly inexpensively at your local big box store. These things are so easy to set up. Just open the box, assemble, and plug in. No saw, hammer, or nails required. Think in the neighbourhood of $500 for a basic one, and around $1000 for your more ornate feature fireplaces. Costco is also a good place to go for these fireplaces. This may seem like a big investment, but remember, you get to take it with you! Don’t forget to point out to your agent that the fireplace is not an attached chattel of the home, so that they can be sure to exclude it on the Saskatoon MLS® listing.

Okay, back to the example. So the fireplace is your focal point. That means that you should undress the rest of the room. Take it down to essentials. Keep the lamps on your side-tables, but take off the figurines, coasters, and magazines. Just keep it simple. Your focal point, however, should be interesting. You may decide to place a neutral urn on top of the fireplace, or neutral—yet eye-catching—picture in a frame hung above the mantle. Mirrors are also great to hang above the fireplace. In fact, I’m okay with mirrors hung just about anywhere. They open up the space, and can multiply the light available. Put bright throw pillows on your couch (make sure they all match and are one colour) and place them so the points, actually point towards the fireplace. The centerpiece on your coffee table should not block the view of the fireplace in anyway; it should be something that will help guide the eye toward it.

In the bedroom, your bed will likely be the focal point, just because of its sheer size. For that reason, again, I do urge you to consider a bed-in-a-bag, if you do not already own a modern set. A modern bedspread can have a huge effect on instantly modernizing a space. Be sure to have a head board in place. If you do not, you can construct one out of some wood, batting, and a length of fabric. Assemble with construction glue and a staple gun, and hang securely where the headboard is supposed to go. Above that I’d love to see a mirror that spans the width of the headboard, or a decorative item of the same length. Failing those large accessories, you can place three medium neutral items on the wall above the headboard, or five small ones.

Remember, it’s not about how much you have to decorate; it’s about how little you can use and still make the space interesting and above all inviting! Happy (un) decorating!

Rachel Vanderveen is a Calgary Christian Realtor specializing in Calgary condos, South East Calgary Real Estate, home staging , Calgary Real Estate Investment, and Auburn Bay Lake MLS Listings.  But more importantly she is a mother to four adorable children, a lover of Auburn Bay Real Estate, and an avid writer of Auburn Bay Community News blogs. For more information on Calgary, or searching, visit her website here.  

Norm Fisher, TeamFisher

About Norm

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 750 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.Less...

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 750 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.

Norm is known for his passion for technology and can most often be found exploring and experimenting with the next big thing in real estate marketing. He was the first Saskatoon real estate agent to promote a home online and has been an early adopter of new technologies ever since. “Everything about this business has changed over the past 20 years, and it will happen again in the next ten. An open mind and a curious attitude are all that’s needed to continue to find new ways to serve our clients by delivering a faster, smoother, worry-free transaction,” says Norm.

In his spare time, Norm enjoys Crossfit and cycling, some years accumulating over 2,000 kilometres on the road. He’s a strong supporter of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and enjoys raising funds by joining fun, fitness-related initiatives like the Grouse Grind for Shelter. In 2015, he trekked the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. In 2017 he walked the southern highlands of Iceland across mountains, sand, snow, ice, lava fields and forest for seven days. Collectively those initiatives raised over a million dollars for Canadian women's shelters.

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