Furniture Staging – Furniture Flippin’ Photos

Furniture Staging – Furniture Flippin’ Photos

This is a long over-due post.
Many of you want to sell your beautifully re-designed furniture pieces and have asked for guidance in staging. You want buyers to be able to invision it in their own homes. You want to evoke emotion, because, let's face it, emotional responses = sales. You have three seconds to grab their attention, so let me help you make it a good 3 seconds.
 
Here are are few tips to get you on your way to becoming the staging diva (or devo?) that you need to become rich in this niche – the furniture flipping business. These suggestions can apply to anything you want to sell, really.
 
 
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1. Grab Their Attention.
     This means you have to create a pause in their scrolling or they'll go on by, not even noticing you exist. Seriously. People have extremely short attention spans when it comes to the Internet. They are bombarded constantly with "Buy this!" "Look at me!" "This is what you NEED to be happy!"
 
How Do We GRAB Attention?
Let's start with a simple chair. It's cute. I painted this for my two granddaughters who happen to be self declared princesses. So it's not for sale, but if I did want to sell it, I could get more creative than a bear and some books.
 
I did a pretty good job staging it the typical way. I was satisfied enough to use it in my tutorial as my finished project on LMDH.
 
Red Chair Flip {Love My DIY Home)
 
I added closeups showing off the stenciling on the seat, and the gilding wax details. It's good. It's acceptable.
 
But then I had some fun and brought down my granddaughter to liven up my photo shoot and use her as an example how things change when you get creative and spice things up a bit. Check it out – she is a natural model:
 
Maddie Decorates the Chair {Love My DIY Home}
 
 
How does the photo grab you now? Now the chair has purpose. Now you see it used and can envision it in your home, making your little princess feel special with her own little chair.
 
Don't get indignent and say, "It's a travesty to use children to sell your stuff." Eh. How often do you see people and even children in sales ads?
 
OK, let's take it a step further. How about a video? Watch this one and tell me what you think…does it grab you attention even more?
 

 

I didn't use these kid photos, obviously, since the chair is a keeper for my Maddie and Avlynn, but you get my point? We must grab the attention of the scroller.

 
Creative Staging
 
This one REALLY grabbed attention on our Forum by Colby and Trip Day – (find her on Instagram: @Two_Days_Work):

Trip Day - Staging {Love MyDIY Home}

 
After everyone settled down after freaking out over the salt water exposure, Trip said it was only in the water for a few seconds. "No piece of furniture was harmed in this photo shoot." This definitely is a scroll stopper, and might I add, was sold for a pretty penny!
 
Here are a few great examples of good staging – they all are scroll stoppers. The artists chose wisely. They gave me pause, which isn't always easy.
 
 
Kimberly Gilleland from Red Tulip Designs – Classy Contrasting Colors
 
Smalls, the accessories you choose to adorn your pieces need to compliment but not overshadow. A pop of color isn't a rule, but can be a good choice depending on your piece. This is a perfect example of the use of color to compliment and create some romance.
 

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Luke Davis, from All Things New, Black and White Done Right
 
If you're trying to wow the eye, put your piece front and center – and in this case, the white is very regal and speaks for itself. Know your piece. You can see in this staging that Luke has confidence in his design.
 
 
 
Janet Mullenberg from Elegant Up-Cycle – Bold Gold Never Gets Old
 
Think of an ad in a magazine – a well designed ad will cause your eye to travel over the piece from left to right, down horizontally to the left and then back right again in a "z"  or zig zag movement. This staging does exactly that, making good use of the first three seconds. It grabs on and doesn't let go until you've taken it all in.
 
 
 
Michele Picchini from Wooden it be NYCe – Perfection Reflection
 
This mirror tells a story, as if to say, "If you purchase this vanity, you'll be on your way to a magazine perfect master bedroom." Sometimes we need to help our customers visualize their dreams.
 
 
 
Shellie Gillespie from The Caged Byrd – A Timeless Presence
 
Wall clocks are timeless decorative elements. Their basic design is so simple and classic that they compliment any room of the house. This photo says, "Take me home. I would look great in your decor."
 
 
 
Val Frania from The Red Shed and LMDH (That's me!) The KISS Rule
Fresco Lime Paint Transforms Serving Cart {Love My DIY Home}
 
Newbie stagers tend to overload their pieces with decorations. Your piece should be the main attraction and sometimes less truly is more. Know your piece. 
 
 
 
Jessica Croxall from Jessi's Furniture Makeovers – Breaking the Rules
 
Typically we go for plain backgrounds and flooring to keep the attention on our piece. But Jessica knew that "breaking the rules" of traditional staging was just what this table needed. We often say that our furniture speaks to us. It's obvious this artist listened.
 
 
The above staging are great examples of artists who follow their gut. They are not typical. They don't follow any rules. Why should they? They know their pieces. They know what they want to say with their staging. They know how to stop the scrollers, well, from scrolling.
 
Some Tips.
 
These aren't hard and fast rules, but guidelines to help you set up your pieces to be seen in their best light. Your props, your backgrounds, your flooring, all can be chosen to compliment your piece. But there are some simple guidelines for everything else.
 
Lighting – be sure to have your piece well lit so your customers can see the correct color without distracting shadows. Go read Furniture Staging – Lighting.
 
Backgrounds – be sure to use a background that isn't too overbearing. You want your customers to see your piece, not the background: Furniture Staging – Backgrounds.
 
What photos do you need?
1. The money shot – get down to eye level, straight on. This photo introduces your piece. Most of the examples above show you this. I occasionally like to add the name of my piece (attention grabber).
 
 
Bombe Chest Makeover {Love My DIY Home}
 
 
2. Take one photo angled to the side so you can see the depth of the piece.
 
3. Take one photo standing in front of the piece showing some of the top. You may want to take one with and one without your smalls (the decor you use to decorate the piece). Sometimes you can accomplish this showing the side and top at the same time.
 
 
Bombe Chest Makeover {Love My DIY Home}
 
 
4. If the top has a special stencil or detail you want to show off, take a bird's eye view.
 
 
Bombe Chest Makeover {Love My DIY Home}
 
 
5. Then do your other detail shots. These are great to grab attention too – they will see your style and quality of work. Drawers pulled out are good if you have special detailing like stencils, liners, dove tails, etc.
 
 
Bombe Chest Makeover {Love My DIY Home}
 
Bombe Chest Makeover {Love My DIY Home}
 
 
There is more to staging, but this will get you started and on the right track.
Don't be afraid to play around and experiment with your staging. DON'T just accept one way. You are a creative artisan in more ways than just holding a paint brush. Imagine what you want your piece to say and then photograph it.
 
Next I will share with you the transformation of "Marissa" a neglected and worn out MCM end table that found color to be rather agreeable, and "Augusta", a very long coffee table that the old-world style, leaving the modern world behind. I will share both tutorials with you soon! And then somewhere after or in-between those posts, I'll tell you about the bonbe chest above. She was an interesting piece to work on, for sure! Lots of good stuff coming down the pike!
 
OPPORTUNITIES
Furniture Flipping Forum on Facebook – We are 33,000+ members strong from over 100 countries. Come join us!
Furniture Flipping Blueprint – This is the membership site that I've been working on for about two years. Click to get on the waitlist for more information and launch schedule.
Subscribe to the Love My DIY Home Community – Receive tips, offers, freebies and general information on DIY projects and you'll also get my pdf of the 4 most popular homemade chalk paint type recipes.
The Red Shed – This is our online Facebook store that features the furniture we have for sale. It also has many great examples of staging.
 
A big "thank you" to all the members from Furniture Flipping Forum for sharing your photos with me. You are true artisans.
 

Until next time,

 

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