Get Your Home Ready to Sell With Budget Decor

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In a tough selling market, staging your home is the perfect way to increase the likelihood of a sale.

“Buyers want the home that looks like a magazine,” advises Nick Rafello, vice president and associate broker at The Corcoran Group in New York.

The key is to stage your place with items that create a beautiful visual memory (and remove mismatched, tacky or college-era pieces) without costing you a fortune. Think simple, natural pieces that showcase your home, not your things, and you’ll up the odds that someone will love the vibe and buy. Incorporate color in just a few eye-catching pieces, like interesting art or unusual bowls or vases that transform a room, says Rafello, rather than a kaleidoscope of prints, patterns and shades. The goal is to make people feel comfortable enough to see themselves living there—which is great advice, even when you’re not selling.

Check out the types of budget-friendly décor Rafello typically purchases to prep a home for the market:

Mirrors. The bigger the mirror, the grander the statement (and the more you can enlarge the look of a small room). In lieu of one massive costly piece, cluster three like these together. They’re modern and the price is right ($11.95 to $19.95 each). Plus, they double as centerpieces, vanity trays or party platters.

Pillows. Go for unusual styles displayed in odd numbers (one or three), which is more visually interesting and less matchy-matchy, advises Rafello. For a splash of color on a neutral couch, we vote for a rectangular cover (on sale for $15) from West Elm either alone or paired with two other small pillows, square and round.

Bowls.
No need for expensive centerpieces to add a touch of cool to your tabletop. Rafello says to shoot for one simple piece, a few small ones clustered together or an interesting chat-worthy style. We couldn’t choose just one. Our picks: This butterfly votive candle holder is one of the few opportunities to grab something by designer Nambe for just $20; these four spice bowls grouped together create a cool vibe; and a funky mother-of-pearl bowl says vintage in a good way.


Tablecloth. Rafello turns to tablecloths only when there's a mismatched dining set or the table is in shabby not-so-chic condition. If you’re showing a home, the more neutral the style better, but for every day use, our pick is this navy-print budget beauty from IKEA with matching napkins.

Side table. A small table with interesting details can make a room feel put together or provide fashionable functionality to an entryway. This unassuming "decorator table" has shelves for storage, but we’re following Rafello’s advice by keeping the look sparse and clutter free.

Rug. A round braided natural fiber style in neutral shades subtly pulls a room together and adds a touch of a lived-in look for $20.

Shower curtain. One of the easiest updates you can make to a bathroom is with a new shower curtain. It adds a crisp, clean feeling for your family and gives a just-redecorated look for guests. We like a white waffle weave for a luxuriously simple, modern look or a sleek, sophisticated black-on-black pattern.


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