Learning to neutralize the décor of any interior space is a crucial aspect of successful home staging. Neutralizing is one of the most important parts of creating a feeling of universal appeal in any residential space, since overly taste-specific décor elements are exclusionary and counterproductive in virtually any home staging design.
The scope of this commentary is to explain the concept of décor neutralization and detail some ways in which professional and DIY home stagers can utilize the technique to better their overall aesthetic results. Ready to get to work improving your interior design? Ok, let’s begin.
What Does it Mean to Neutralize the Décor?
Neutralizing means to remove elements of the design which may appeal to some potential buyers, but will certainly turn-off others. The idea of universal appeal is key to the home staging plan, since the goal of staging is to create a space which truly appeals to all who view it, not just some.
Therefore, the process of neutralizing begins with evaluating the space and identifying any elements which are too taste-specific, then planning how they can be changed to provide a better-balanced design.
Here are some general guidelines detailing how to neutralize a space. Specific examples can be found by looking in the specific room location sections on this website:
Color is a big factor when it comes to neutralization. Avoid paint and large blocks which are primary, bright or pastel colored, as a general rule. Stick to earth tones and true neutrals for maximum flexibility.
Be careful when going for a particular look and feel to a room, since the more specific the design sensibility is, the more exclusionary it may become.
Be sure to match your design style to the buyer demographic you are targeting for the sale or rental.
Watch scale and proportion when it comes to interior furnishings.
Avoid clutter and collections all around. Pack up personal items and store them in anticipation of your upcoming move.
Avoid displaying art which make statements which may not be universally appealing or even offensive to some.
Neutralize the Décor for Universal Appeal
If you can successfully neutralize the décor of a room, you have the right elements which will truly please all prospective buyers. If you do it wrong, you may make the space less taste-specific, but may not create a desirable look and feel. There is some amount of difficulty in enacting true universal appeal, even for seasoned professional stagers. Luckily, most home stagers are perfectly trained to create this fantastic look and even DIYers can learn quickly, by trial and error.
If you are tackling sweat equity home staging on your own, be sure to get some help in terms of objectively evaluating your efforts. Ask your real estate agent for their input, or better yet, consider hiring a home staging consultant to give you professional design feedback, at a truly bargain price.