Fall Home Decor

Fall home decor is all about warmth, coziness, and the comforts of home. It’s also a great time of the year to show off your house to potential buyers. Showcasing the cozy features of your home, like a fireplace or a fabulous kitchen, can really pay off as the weather turns cool.

When it comes to autumn home selling, resist the temptation to go heavy on fall-themed decor. In fact, don’t leave anything seasonal in your listing photos. It’s basically a time stamp that will let buyers know exactly how long you’ve been on the market. Do you really want Halloween-themed photos advertising your house if it still hasn’t sold by January? No way! Buyers may wonder what’s taking your house so long to sell or assume that you’re getting desperate. Don’t give away your bargaining power for a few pumpkins.

Buyers need to focus on the architectural features of your home — not a bunch of hay bales and scarecrows in the yard or ceramic turkeys on the table.  If you’re really feeling the urge, add a few strategically-placed pumpkins or a bit of fall foliage after the listing photos have been taken.

Our Picks for Fall Home Decor (That Also Works for Home Staging!)

Take a look at our curated list of fall home decor from Amazon! These pieces are both seasonally appropriate and neutral enough to work for home staging.


Cozy up your space for fall by adding a soft rug! This easy-to-clean rug has a neutral color palette that integrates seamlessly into any existing décor.

fall home decor
nuLOOM Moroccan Blythe Area Rug, 8′ x 10′, Grey/Off-white

Texture and pattern can help make your sofa feel a little cozier and more inviting. I love this neutral pillow cover. It’s machine-washable, too!


Sungea Farmhouse Black and White Square Pillow Cover, 18 x 18 Decorative Throw Pillow Case Tribal Geometric Tufted Tassels Woven Cushion Cover Accent Neutral Collection for Sofa Couch Living Room

Warm up your space with these pumpkin-colored pillow covers! The pretty decorative fringe adds a nice touch.


MIULEE Set of 2 Fall Decorative Boho Throw Pillow Covers Cotton Linen Striped Jacquard Pattern Cushion Covers for Sofa Couch Living Room Bedroom 18×18 Inch Orange

Add a little warmth and dimension to your mantel or dining table centerpiece with a touch of gold. These staggered height candle holders are subtle and beautiful.


smtyle Gold Candle Holders Set of 3 Candelabra with Iron-3.5″ Diameter Ideal for Pillar LED Candles

Greenery is a beautiful thing to add to the entryway. It’s a nice transition to the indoors. This wreath is neutral enough to leave up year-round but still a festive nod to the season.


CEWOR Artificial Eucalyptus Wreath 20inch Large Green Leaf Wreath for Festival Celebration Front Door Wall Window Party Decoration

I’m not typically a fan of “word” art, but this one is perfect for home staging: simple, understated, and it sends a nice not-so-subliminal message to potential buyers.


Home Sign – Rustic Farmhouse Decor For The Home Sign – Wall Decorations For Living Room, Modern Farmhouse Wall Decor, Rustic Home Decor, Cute Room Decor With Solid Wood Frame – 8×17 Inch

This gorgeous clean-burning soy candle smells like everything wonderful about fall! Though I don’t recommend leaving anything burning unattended (including during buyer home showings), it’s a great candle for setting a cozy mood while you’re home!


LA JOLIE MUSE Cinnamon Pumpkin Scented Candle, 100% Natural Soy Candle for Home, Vanilla Tobacco Bergamot, 45 Hours Long Burning Halloween Candle, Tin, 6.5Oz Halloween Candle

Need a Little Help?

online home staging consultation 60

If you’re planning to put your home on the market this holiday season, Three Bears Home Staging can you you get top dollar and a faster sale! No matter where you’re located, you can reap the benefits of our experienced, professional home staging consultation services (virtual and in-person)!

How to Remove Mold from Shower Caulk and Grout in One Easy Step

There is something about the bathroom shower of my current home that makes it particularly susceptible to black mold growth – and rather resistant to any efforts to remove said mold. (I’ve conquered it, though, and I’m going to share the secret with you.) I can’t figure it out. The house is only a few years old, well-ventilated, and regularly and vigorously cleaned by me. Mold should hate my bathroom. And yet, it still tends to accumulate at the bottom of the shower walls.

Black shower mold is gross, and if you’re thinking of selling your home, this is an issue you must address if you have it. Bathrooms in a “for sale” home should be white glove clean and feel like a spa. Can you imagine the kind of feelings a moldy shower and bath will evoke in potential buyers? Yuck – a moldy shower is not going to inspire them to pay top dollar or even make an offer.

What DIDN’T Remove Mold

When we first moved to our current house, I did a little research and experimented with a number of methods touted to remove mold from shower caulk. I’m sure there are even more (successful) techniques than the ones listed below, but here’s what did not work for me:

  • Saturating the affected area with straight ammonia. This may be incredibly effective, but personally, I detest the smell too much to even try. And since I often use bleach when cleaning I figured it was better just to stay away from this one completely since combining bleach and ammonia produces toxic gas.
  • Spraying with vinegar. This method proved completely worthless for my situation, although I believe it has some merit as a mold preventative. I do love vinegar for glass cleaning though! Take a look at this DIY cleaner I use.
  • Making a baking soda paste with water. I found this only minimally effective on tough mold. Baking soda is a great natural cleaner, though, and the gentle abrasiveness was good for cleaning the tile and some mildewy spots.
  • Combining baking soda and vinegar. Let’s talk about this for a minute because I see this combination recommended all the time online. Baking soda and vinegar cancel each other out. This is just basic chemistry, y’all. Combining baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide (which explains the fizzing bubbles–they’re not actually “scrubbing” anything) and salty water (water is a great cleaner, but come on, we need something tougher here).

What DID Work

I knew bleach would work. The problem, however, was that it seemed to just roll off the walls and down the drain. The bleach needed to seep into place and stay where I put it. I had heard some people soak cotton balls in bleach and leave them on the grout or caulk overnight, and that’s when it hit me: I already had a clinging bleach product in my arsenal.

Toilet bowl cleaner! I squeezed this on the moldy spots and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

After a few minutes the cleaner started to ooze and run a little. I used an old toothbrush to work it into the grooves a bit, especially on the vertical surfaces. I also left the exhaust fan on because the fumes from this stuff are pretty powerful and (despite the claim on the bottle) do not smell like a “cool wave.”

When I came back, the mold was gone! No scrubbing needed! I did scoop up a little of the leftover gel on an old toothbrush to quickly scrub a few spots that looked like they had mold-potential because, hey, I was already in there. After a thorough rinse with plenty of water, BOOM – I was all done!

Check out the before and after:

I have since shared this method with a number of clients over the years. Many actually make a point of calling me back with an “Oh-my-God-I wish-I’d-known-this-years-ago!” kind of reaction (which I love!) I’m guessing any brand of clinging gel toilet bowl cleaner will work, but here’s a link to what I used:


Clorox Clinging Bleach Gel Cool Wave Scent Toilet Bowl Cleaner, 24 Oz, Pack of 2

Use Caution

Quick disclaimer: if you decide to try this method, please use common sense. Make sure your space is well-ventilated. Test a spot before pouring bleach everywhere. Never, ever mix bleach and ammonia. Remember that bleach can ruin your clothing so don’t splash this on anything you care about keeping. Maybe also consider wearing some rubber gloves.

Do you have any tips for how to remove mold in the shower? Share them with us! At Three Bears Home Staging we love teaching homeowners how to present their homes in the best possible light for a faster, more profitable sale! If you’re getting your home ready to go on the market, schedule a consultation with us. We’ll help you be sure the place looks “just right” for potential buyers!

Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, meaning, if you choose to click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you and is paid 100% by the merchant.

Finding Sanctuary with Sherwin-Williams 2021 Color of the Year

Sherwin-Williams announced Urbane Bronze SW 7048 (245-C7), a color rooted in nature, as its 2021 Color of the Year. As the home becomes the ultimate retreat to help us feel safe and grounded, this warm and sophisticated bronze hue invites designers and homeowners to create a sanctuary in the spaces around them.

color of the year 2021

Urbane Bronze is a rich anchor that grounds the mind in calm and stability with its ties to the natural world. The color is part of the Sanctuary palette from Sherwin-Williams 2021 Colormix® Forecast, a collection of 40 trending hues, which focuses on the need for balance in design this upcoming year.

color of the year 2021

Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, describes Urbane Bronze as a comforting color that draws from nature and brings a feeling of relaxation and serenity. In addition, she explains, there’s reassurance in its sentimentality, with nostalgic ties to design in the ‘70s and ‘90s, but with gray undertones that give it a distinctly modern twist.

This new neutral is bold and understated at the same time and can be used as both a primary or accent color in interiors or exteriors. Paired with natural materials such as wood, stone accents or woven textiles, Urbane Bronze conveys a sense of calm in bedrooms, living rooms and home offices.

color of the year 2021

To create balance and a sense of calm in commercial spaces, combine this hue with elements of biophilic design, including large, light-filled spaces and indoor greenery, which continue to play an important role in the design world.

As more people seek to create a retreat from the world in the spaces around them,
Urbane Bronze SW 7048 (245-C7) is an effective and easy way to deliver Zen in our daily lives.

color of the year 2021

What do you think of Sherwin-Williams 2021 Color of the Year? Let me know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for help selecting the right paint color for your space, check out our Color Consultation service!

How Natural Light Affects Interior Paint Colors

When choosing interior paint colors, it’s important to understand how the direction of the natural light, or exposure, can affect your perception. Natural light tends to vary in color and intensity depending on where it’s coming from. If the beige paint that looked great in your last house now looks pinkish or the gray you love seems more purple in your bedroom, it could be because you’re comparing rooms with different exposures.

In this article, I’ll teach you how natural light affects interior paint colors (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway). I’ve also included a few suggestions for neutral paint colors that play well with the lighting in those rooms. But before we get started on specifics, let’s review a few important pointers when selecting interior paint colors…

Additional Considerations When Selecting Paint Color

Besides exposure, there are a few other factors your should evaluate when selecting paint color:

  • Make sure you have the right light bulbs before choosing an interior paint color. It will make a BIG difference in the way your color appears at night.
  • How much natural light does the room actually get? A room that has large windows unobstructed by greenery will be more affected by natural light. A room with with small windows, large outside overhangs, or lots of shrubbery covering the windows may be less affected.
  • Evaluate how the fixed elements (wood, tile, cabinets, appliances, flooring) of the home play into your color scheme. It’s not all about lighting.
  • Stick with neutrals if you’re planning to sell soon.
  • Observe your paint samples in the room at different times of the day. Also think about when you use the room the most. Light changes throughout the day so make sure you like what you’re seeing.

…and speaking of paint samples, check out SAMPLIZE. These peel-and-stick paint swatches are far more affordable, easier to use, and kinder to the environment that traditional cans of paint. Plus, they offer paint samples in lines from some of the best, including Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore. Here’s why I like them:

  • Your samples generally arrive in just 1-3 days.
  • They’re far less expensive than brushes, rollers, pans, and cans of sample paint.
  • No clean-up. No waste.
  • You can re-position and re-use them.

Click below to visit their website and order your samples:

And Now…on to the Paint Colors!

Natural Light in North-Facing Rooms

Rooms with windows that face north tend to have a cooler, grayer light with just a faint touch of blue-ness. Even with a lot of windows and plenty of sun, the color of the light will still be on the cool side. This means cool-toned paints (blues, grays, greens, and certain shades of white) will feel icier in a north-facing room. Painting north-facing rooms a warm color or even warm neutral can offset this chilly effect.

Neutral Paint Colors for North-Facing Rooms

natural light interior paint colors north facing

Edgecomb Gray is a nice creamy greige for homeowners who want more of gray hue without feeling too cold.

natural light interior paint colors north facing

Navajo White is a light cream paint. The bluish light in a north-facing room counteracts the yellow in this paint color giving it a nice balance.

natural light interior paint colors north facing

Grant Beige, a popular color, is a cool tan that leans just a bit gray. It looks great in well-lit north-facing room.

Natural Light in South-Facing Rooms

Rooms that have south-facing windows are awash in warm, yellowish light as the afternoon progresses. During the morning, these rooms can be shadowy, making color in this space look a bit flat. If your south-facing room is very bright in the afternoon, a cool tone or gray can help offset all the warm light. Using warm colors in this space will make the visual warmth of the room appear more intense.

Neutral Paint Colors for South-Facing Rooms

natural light interior paint colors south facing

Balanced Beige is a beautiful warm taupe and one of my personal favorites. The mix of gray and brown makes it less toasty than a more traditional beige. Works great in a room that gets a lot of afternoon sunlight from south-facing windows.

natural light interior paint colors south facing

Gray Owl is a soft gray that’s not icy. It has a very subtle blue-green undertone that will be a bit more subdued in a room that doesn’t get much direct sunlight

natural light interior paint colors south facing

Ballet White is a light, creamy greige that leans a bit warm. This color can bring a lot of light and warmth into a space, but may be too neutral for south-facing rooms that don’t get a lot of direct sunlight.

Natural Light in East-Facing Rooms

East (and west) facing rooms are trickier to analyze because the light is less consistent. Mornings in east-facing rooms have bright, soft light that’s a bit warm. As the sun rises, light in east-facing rooms brightens, and by midday, paint colors may look a bit lackluster. After noon, rooms with east-facing windows will look a bit grayer and dimmer. These spaces tend to work best with warm colors. Cooler tones may feel a bit drab during afternoon hours.

Neutral Paint Colors for East-Facing Rooms

natural light interior paint colors east facing

Macadamia is light-medium neutral with a golden beige hue that won’t fall flat in the afternoon.

natural light interior paint colors east facing

Creamy is one of the few off-whites that can hold its own in an east-facing room. It warms up the space without being overly yellow.

natural light interior paint colors east facing

Techno Gray is a warm greige. With just a hint of green undertone, this color will hold its warmth in the cool afternoon light of an east-facing room.

Natural Light in West-Facing Rooms

Mornings in west-facing rooms have a more subdued light. After noon, the light gradually appears warmer and brighter, increasing in intensity later in the day. Rooms with western exposures work well with both cool and warm colors, but bear in mind that afternoon sun will emphasize the strength and depth of warmer tones.

Neutral Paint Colors for West-Facing Rooms

natural light interior paint colors west facing

SW 7531 Canvas Tan is more brown without being too yellow.

natural light interior paint colors west facing

Gentle Cream is a versatile neutral that doesn’t lean too golden in western sunlight.

natural light interior paint colors west facing

Stonington Gray is a cooler neutral that offers some counterbalance to the afternoon sunlight.

Rooms with 2 or More Exposures

If you’ve got windows on multiple walls, then you’re dealing with multiple exposures (yikes!) Consider which window lets in the most unobstructed light. Generally speaking, you’ll want to pay more attention to the dominant exposure in the room. The good news is that you’ll have a bit more flexibility when it comes to your personal color preference.

A room with southern-western exposure will have warm, bright light that gets increasingly brighter after midday, whereas a northern-eastern exposure will have cool, gray light throughout the day. A room with southern-eastern windows tends have a soft, warm glow throughout the day, bright in the morning, a bit washed out at noon, with the intensity of the afternoon sun mellowed out by the eastern exposure. Rooms with a northern-western exposure tend to be cool and gray all day, with just a bit of warm light in the afternoon.


Need help figuring out how natural light affects your interior paint colors? Click below to learn more about our Color Consultations services, available both in-person and online!

Our Favorite Bathroom Home Staging Decor Finds on Amazon

When it comes to home staging decor for a bathroom, I tell clients to strive for simple, clean, and spa-like. A bath tub full of toys, toiletries scattered across the counter , or piles of laundry are not present in a bathroom meant to entice potential buyers. As with most spaces, less is definitely more when it comes to staging a bathroom.

Using the Right Accessories

After a THOROUGH cleaning of the space and significant reduction in the amount of “stuff” lying around, you may want to add a few simple accessories to help warm up the space. Using the right bathroom staging decor gives buyers the impression your bathrooms are clean, refreshing, relaxing spots to care of themselves and “take care of business.”

Our Favorite Finds on Amazon

To help you get started, we’ve put together some of our favorite home staging accessories that complement almost any bathroom. Use this list as inspiration or pick up these items on Amazon home decor with the click of a button.


American Soft Linen 6-Piece 100% Turkish Genuine Cotton Premium & Luxury Towel Set for Bathroom & Kitchen, 2 Bath Towels, 2 Hand Towels & 2 Washcloths – Bright White

Nothing says luxury like a fresh set of fluffy, clean white towels! Roll up a few towels for the edge of the tub or for the counter.


LIVILAN White Orchid Flower Arrangement Lifelike Artificial Flower with Decorative Vase, Wedding Party Dinning Table Centerpiece Decor

These artificial phalaenopsis orchids offer the perfect touch of elegance and style to any bathroom.


Candy Jars Clear Glass Apothecary Bowls – Set of 3 – Wedding Candy Buffet Containers (Small, Clear)

You don’t need much on your counters when staging the bathroom, but some pretty glass apothecary jars can be both decorative and functional. Fill with white cotton swabs, cotton balls, sea sponges, or pretty soaps.

SODUKU Floating Shelves Wall Mounted Storage Shelves for Kitchen, Bathroom,Set of 2 Carbonized Black

Need to fill wall space over a toilet or bathtub! These shelves are a great solution — just don’t overfill them! A small plant, a few rolled wash cloths, or a piece of art will do. Keep it simple and uncluttered.


Sweet Water Decor, Lets Stay Home, Oakmoss, Grapefruit, and Amber Scented Soy Wax Candle for Home | 9oz Clear Glass Jar, 40 Hour Burn Time, Made in the USA

Yum…This clean-burning soy candle adds a light, clean fragrance. Don’t leave it burning unattended, though.


mDesign Hotel Quality Polyester/Cotton Blend Fabric Shower Curtain with Waffle Weave and Rust-Resistant Metal Grommets for Bathroom Showers and Bathtubs – 72″ x 72″ – White

I like this fabric shower curtain. It drapes beautifully and is machine-washable. The tight weave gives it a smooth, firm texture that helps it withstand a damp, moisture-rich bathroom environments.


Canvas Wall Art Green Leaf Simple Life Painting 12″ x 16″ x 3 Pieces Framed Canvas Pictures Watercolor Prints Contemporary Canvas Artwork Ready to Hang for Home Decoration Kitchen Office Wall Decor

I love this easy-to-hang canvas artwork. It’s perfect for most bathroom settings and adds a great neutral pop of color and life.


mDesign Natural Woven Seagrass Bathroom Storage Organizer Basket Bin; Use on Bathroom Vanity, Countertop, Toilet Tank – Stackable for Toilet Paper – Natural

This tank top storage basket fits on top of most standard sized toilet tanks. It’s a beautiful texture accent and helps keep bathroom items neat and organized.

Home staging doesn’t have to be expensive and over-the-top; it does, however, have to show potential buyers that your home could be theirs. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, we can help!

We Can Help!

Three Bears Home Staging specializes in positive, empowering home staging consultations that provide immediate, one-on-one feedback. We teach homeowners exactly what needs to be done to prepare their home for the quickest, most profitable sale! Our Walk & Talk Consultations and Online Home Staging Consultations provide clients with the tools they need to sell their home quickly and profitably. Get in touch with us to book an appointment!

online consultation

Prefer to DIY your home staging? Take a look at our online course, Easy DIY Home Staging for Home Sellers.

course

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

Front Porch Ideas and Home Staging Tips

In my experience with home sellers, the front porch is often one of the most neglected parts of a home. This makes sense when you think about how most homeowners use the front porch…in that they really don’t use it at all. Many homeowners enter their house through the garage or a back door entrance, and only briefly pop their head out the front door when greeting a guest or receiving a package.

This is NOT the experience potential buyers will have when visiting your home. They’ll often arrive ahead of the real estate agent and stand on the front porch, impatiently tapping their toes, straining to peek in the window, AND JUDGING EVERY SQUARE INCH OF IT.

And let’s be honest: they have every right to do that. They’re trying to decide whether or not to invest thousands of dollars in purchasing your property! So take the time to make sure your very first impression is a great one!

Front Porch Staging Tips

  1. Clean, clean, clean! Sweep the porch, brush away cobwebs, empty the bug carcasses from light fixtures, shine the windows, and wipe down doors.
  2. Refresh the finishes. Re-painting or replacing your front entry door is actually one of the top ROI updates you can make to your home. While you’re at it, consider updating heavily scratched or peeling door hardware. Make sure the house number is visible and in good shape as well.
  3. Add life! Plants and colorful flowers are a great way to transition buyers from the outside to the inside, but keep pottery neutral, unobtrusive, and to a minimum. This is not the spot to go all “Crazy Plant Lady/Man.”
  4. Accessorize CAREFULLY. A few carefully chosen, neutral accessories will add a welcoming touch (see suggestion below). Too many personalized accessories will send buyers the message that you are firmly planted in this home and may not really be interested in leaving. “Too personalized” includes (but is not limited to) the following:
    • all statuary (gnomes, angels, pet memorials, saints, butterflies, birds, and toads)
    • flags and banners (ALL types)
    • chimes, dangling or spinning decor
    • anything remotely political or religious
    • anything made by your kids or grandkids
    • any cutesy/personalized/instructional signs (i.e., monogrammed door mats, “No Soliciting” sign, “The Jones Family” plaque, etc.)

Front Porch Decor Ideas

Take a look at some of our recommendations for front porch staging decor. Use it as inspiration to shop for your own pieces or simply click to order from Amazon.

front porch home staging decor

This eucalyptus wreath has beautiful thick leaves and full berries – simple and elegant. You’ll need to fluff out the leaves a bit after delivery since it’s packed pretty tightly in the box. Looks great on a door under a covered front porch!


CEWOR Artificial Eucalyptus Wreath 20inch Large Green Leaf Wreath for Festival Celebration Front Door Wall Window Party Decoration

This layered rug set is the perfect combo for beautiful MLS photos and home showings! Versatile, low maintenance, easy to clean, chic, and trendy. (I do recommend bringing them indoors during a heavy rain, though).


Sierra Concepts Pure Coco Coir Front Door Welcome Mat Outdoor Rug 30″x17″ + Buffalo Plaid Rug Checkered Layered Black and White Floor Combo Set – Non Slip Entryway Indoor Outdoors Mats Home Sweet Home

This 4’ tall Mini Cedar Pine Tree perfectly captures the essence of the real thing, AND YOU CAN’T KILL IT! Super versatile – looks great in sunny or snowy climates and withstands the elements well.


Nearly Natural 5172 4ft. Cedar Tree Silk Tree (Indoor/Outdoor),Green,49.5″ x 9″ x 9″

This weather-proof planter will look chic and elegant on your front porch all year long. The UV protection within the material allows for a long-lasting fade-free performance.


Tusco Products MC16 BK 16″ Modern Colonial Garden Planter, 16 inches, Black

If your front porch has the space for it, add a focal point with a rustic acacia wood bench.


Christopher Knight Home Carlisle Outdoor Acacia Wood and Rustic Metal Bench, Sandblack Finish / Rustic Metal

This vintage lantern and LED candle add a touch of warmth and welcome to your front porch photos.


Bright Zeal 14″ Tall Black Vintage Candle Lantern with LED Flickering Flameless Candles and Timer (Batteries Included) – Candle Lanterns Decorative – Indoor Outdoor Hanging Lights – Candles & Holders

Need a little help pulling it all together? We love teaching homeowners how to sell their homes faster and for more money! Our online home staging consultations are available to home sellers anywhere! Take a look at all the services we offer, our free tools and resources, and our new online DIY home staging course for home sellers!

Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, meaning, if you choose to click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you and is paid 100% by the merchant.

Quiz: Is Your Home Ready to Sell?

Quiz time! Are you ready to sell your house? You may feel like you’re ready…but that doesn’t necessarily mean your house is. Have you done everything in your power to squeeze out every penny of hidden equity in your home? To successfully sell your home quickly and profitably?

To find out, sign up below to take our quiz to see where you stand—and what areas you may need to brush up on before you list your home.

If you’re thinking of listing your home soon, NOW is the time to start preparing! Take a look at our new self-paced, online course Easy DIY Home Staging for Home Sellers! We teach homeowners like you every step of the process to preparing for a faster, more profitable sale!

Our Favorite Kitchen Home Staging Decor Finds on Amazon

Most real estate professionals will agree that your kitchen can seal (or break) the deal for many home buyers. That makes proper presentation in this space absolutely critical when selling your house. Everything about the kitchen should present itself as a warm and inviting — a great place to share a meal, entertain, or gather with family and friends.

Using the Right Accessories

When it comes to staging a home for sale, photographers and agents often advise clients to clear kitchen counters completely. Often this is because the homeowner has way too much stuff out, and it’s simply easier and less awkward to ask them to pack up everything.

It’s true: clearing the counters does help the kitchen appear more spacious. But leaving them completely empty can also feel a bit cold and sterile. Using a few simple accessories as “marketing pieces” helps add warmth to your space.

Our Favorite Finds on Amazon

Staging a kitchen is simple and fairly inexpensive with the right props. To help you get started, we’ve put together some of our favorite home staging accessories for kitchens. Use it as inspiration for staging your own home or shop these budget-friendly Amazon home decor finds that complement almost any kitchen.

Put away the plastic utensils or old wooden spoons stained with spaghetti sauce. We want your kitchen to look fresh and elegant! This beautiful, solid teak wood utensil set adds warmth and a bit of functionality to your kitchen countertop display.

Use a utensil organizer for those pretty wooden spoons! This one has a beautiful and elegant relief pattern with brown stripes on the edges. It easily matches most home décor and adds a little delicacy.

In some homes, setting the table is the perfect finishing touch in a dining area. However, it’s important to use neutral fairly place settings. We want the focus to be on your home, not the dishes! Bring an elegant sense of contemporary style to the dining room or breakfast nook with this everyday dinnerware set.

These beautifully handcrafted placemats will add a little texture to your design. They’ll also protect and dress up your tables. I have some myself, and I love that they’re durable and can be reused for a long time.

During consultations, I often recommend clients hide dish towels when staging. They typically add a distracting pop of color or they’re stained/smelly or have a chicken print all over the front. The right dish towels, however, can be a really pretty finishing touch if they tie the room together. What I love about this towel is that it brings a bit of pattern and texture to your kitchen design.

These hand-hewn rustic wooden dough bowls are solid and great looking decorative pieces on a kitchen island. Fill them with faux fruit to draw a home buyer’s attention to a beautiful kitchen island!

Kitchens need greenery! Bring some fresh color into your displays with faux fruit. (Add it to the wooden dough bowl to create a pretty centerpiece!)

When choosing kitchen accessories, help buyers envision themselves preparing a delicious meal in a beautiful new kitchen. This antique inspired wooden kitchen cookbook holder stand is a handy tool for “lifestyle marketing.”

Home staging doesn’t have to be expensive and over-the-top; it does, however, have to show potential buyers that your home could be theirs. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, we can help!

Three Bears Home Staging specializes in positive, empowering home staging consultations that provide immediate, one-on-one feedback. We teach homeowners exactly what needs to be done to prepare their home for the quickest, most profitable sale! We offer both Walk & Talk Consultations and Online Home Staging Consultations to provide all clients with the tools they need to successfully sell their home. Prefer to DIY your home staging? Take a look at our online course, Easy DIY Home Staging for Home Sellers. Contact us here if we can help!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

The Rules of Good Home Seller Etiquette

Part of our job teaching home owners how to have a more successful sale means educating them about home seller etiquette. Believe it or not, there is (sort of an unwritten?) set of rules that govern good home seller behavior (there’s definitely a code of etiquette for home buyers, too — we’ll circle back to that one on a different day). And just like all codes of conduct, the rules of home seller etiquette are meant to reflect an attitude of consideration, kindness, and respect toward your potential home buyers and the real estate agents trying to sell your home.

Wondering what they are (or more likely, wondering if you’ve broken any of the rules)? Take a look:

home seller etiquette
Try to never, ever turn down a showing! The more potential buyers who come through your door, the greater your chances of getting an offer.
  • Always say “yes” to showings. Sometimes accommodating showings is going to be a little bit of a hassle for you. It’s hard to just pick up and leave your house, especially when you don’t have much notice beforehand. But it’s important to be as flexible as possible with showings. The more people you are able to get through the door, the greater your chances are of getting an offer.
  • Leave the house. Buyers don’t feel comfortable when the owner is at the home. You want buyers to relax and start envisioning this house as their future home, and they can’t do that if you’re hovering in the background. As the home seller, you should not be around for any home showing event for any reason, including:
    • Home showing appointments
    • Open houses
    • Broker tours and caravans
    • Home inspections paid for by the buyer
    • Buyer’s appraisal
  • Take you pets with you. Your fur and feather babies can kill a sale. A “for sale” home should convey an atmosphere of relaxation from the moment a potential buyer steps in the door. Barking dogs, overly friendly cats, or squawking parrots do not promote relaxation. Nervous animals create nervous buyers. Whenever possible, completely remove animals from the home during showings. It’s safer for your pets, too. If it’s just not possible, be sure animals are safely secured in an area that will be minimally distracting to potential buyers.
home seller etiquette
Taking fur (and feather) babies with you when you leave for home buyers is safer for your pets and lets you show your home at its very best.
  • Provide documentation. Potential buyers are going to have questions, and it’s ideal to provide immediate answers in writing. To effectively do this, we always recommend clients put together a Home Marketing Binder and leave it on the kitchen counter or another conspicuous spot. This binder should contain information like average monthly utility costs, a copy of your floorplan and survey, any appliance manuals, a list of home improvements, and information about the neighborhood and local schools. We offer a FREE downloadable template and instructions, but if you want to REALLY showcase your home’s unique value to potential buyers, take a look at our easy-to-customize Canva templates in The Template Shop!
  • Move your car. Make it easy for buyers to park and get in. If your potential buyer has to circle the block or drive up and down the street to look for parking, they may just skip taking the tour of your home. No one likes parking problems, and having them is a sure way to get a buyer off to a bad start.
  • Be patient. Of course, you want to know what buyers thought of your home, but that feedback may not get back to you the moment they leave your house. Give the agents a day or two to gather feedback. Sometimes buyers need to process what they’ve seen and think things over before making an offer. Trust me, if they love your house, you’ll hear from them!
  • Accept feedback with an open mind (and don’t shoot the messenger). It can be really hard to hear criticisms of a home that you’ve loved and worked hard to prepare for the market. But try to keep an open mind about the information you receive. Remember — this is a business transaction. Keep it professional and do what it takes to get it sold. If buyers hate the neighborhood or floorplan, that’s obviously something you can’t change. But if you’re consistently hearing that the house looks “dated” or that the carpet is worn out, it may be time to seriously consider some improvements — or price reductions. Talk to your realtor about what steps they recommend to bring you in line with what buyers in your market are looking for (they’re experts in this field and want to get your home sold, too!).

Have you experienced bad home seller etiquette? Have you committed bad home seller etiquette?? Tell us about it in the comments! If you’re planning to sell a home soon, let Three Bears Home Staging walk you through the preparation process. Our consultations and home staging services have helped hundreds of home owners sell their properties faster and for more money (and with fabulous manners) — we can help you, too!

*** Hey, real estate agents — looking for a way to easily convey this information to your clients? Download our Home Seller Etiquette template! Easily customize this flyer in Canva with your own logo/branding/photo/colors/wording, then print and include in your listing packet! ***

home seller etiquette template
Home Seller Etiquette | Template for Canva

Easy DIY Multi-Purpose Cleaner That Really Works!

Weird times we’re living in. Like many of you, my family has spent a LOT of time at home on lockdown the past few weeks trying to stay healthy during this pandemic. Being the fastidious creature that I am, I decided to use the opportunity to get ahead on some serious spring cleaning and try some new, thriftier, healthier, and more effective DIY cleaner. 

I did a little research, and y’all…I feel like I accidentally stumbled onto the secret sauce of cleaning. This DIY cleaner recipe (which, apparently, is NOT a secret at all if you spend even 30 seconds looking on Pinterest, as it’s featured on a number of different sites) is amazing. It’s all-natural has done the work for me on everything I’ve sprayed it on. (I’m fairly certain it will NOT disinfect anything, though — just make it clean. So don’t use it for trying to kill the coronavirus or any other germs).

DIY Multi-Purpose Cleaner Recipe

1/4 cup good quality de-greasing liquid dish soap (we like Dawn)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water

Combine and pour in spray bottle. Spray on surface to be cleaned and wait 30 – 45 minutes. Scrub. Wipe clean with damp cloth. *Not for use on quartz, granite, or other porous stone surface. Spot test before use.

My Test Subjects

  • Oven. Ok, so full disclosure: I do not have a super dirty, crusty, burnt-up oven interior. I try to deep clean it at least once a year, but I HATE oven cleaner. It’s caustic and emits horrible fumes, which make a loathsome job even worse. I sprayed this stuff in a cold oven, let it sit for about 30 or 40 minutes, then wiped with a nylon scrubbie. WOW — all the spatters and burnt spots came right off! Then just wipe down with a wet paper towel to rinse. I also got my best friend to give this stuff a test drive, and unfortunately, she did not have the same results. I think that’s because she was starting off with a lot more gunk in the oven so if your oven is more spattered than mine, it might be worth trying the Self-Cleaning function on your oven first to burn off most of the grime, wipe it down after it’s cooled, and then following up with a round of Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner afterward for better results.
  • Oven racks. Same deal. Spray and wait for about 40 minutes. Wipe with a nylon scrubbie. Clean!
  • Glass shower panels. We squeegee our shower panels after each use so my glass did not have a heavy build-up of hard water stains and soap scum. But of course, some crud was there anyway, so I sprayed it on, let it sit for 45 minutes, wiped with a nylon scrubbie — BOOM! Clean!
  • Bathroom sinks and tubs. This stuff easily cuts through the crud my kids spit into the sink, as well as bathtub funkiness. Just spray and wipe with a Magic Eraser. Rinse.
  • White grout. I have light colored tile with white grout throughout the first floor of my home, including the entryways. Needless to say, it’s easy for white grout lines to start looking dark gray/blackish in certain spots. I sprayed the grout today then gave it a quick swipe with a wet scrub brush. Clean! Just did my regular steam mop routine after that, but the floors like like they’ve been professionally steam cleaned!

***Word of caution: Test this solution on a small spot before spraying it indiscriminately. Do NOT use this cleaner on granite, quartz, or any other natural stone surface. It is extremely acidic and will etch the stone.***

We love DIY cleaner! Do you need some help figuring out how to tackle tricky spots in your home? The experts at Three Bears Home Staging can teach you lots of useful tricks for making your home look its best and most beautiful for potential buyers! Take a look at our services here or contact us here for more information.

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