When preparing your home for sale, you probably know that you should declutter, depersonalize, remove excess furniture, neutralize strong colors, and clean. But then what do you do? Now you are faced with stylizing your home. Just the thought of coming up with a cohesive design can strike fear in the hearts of the bravest homeowner!We are going to explain a simple design process you can use when preparing your home for sale. First, look at your artwork. Does it look old or is it current? If it has been in your family for years, or the colors are drab, it is probably not going to work. You should have one strong piece of art (or two coordinating pieces of art) that is current, per room. Sometimes, more artwork is needed, but using one or two coordinating pieces works well in most cases.The art should be used to highlight the focal point of the room, or if there is no real focal point in the room, use art to create one. For instance, the art should be placed over the fireplace, or over the bed.Once you have acquired your artwork, pull colors from it and use them throughout the room. In the example below, we started with this piece of art:From this artwork, we pulled teal, pink, and a golden-tan. There are other colors – like chartreuse and royal blue that we could have pulled, as well – but the colors we chose worked well for the overall color story we were using in this home. It is important to make the rooms flow easily into one another, and designing with a cohesive color story is a powerful way to do that. This means that you should carry these colors (or at least two of them) throughout the home.This photo demonstrates how we used the selected colors taken from the artwork, to choose pillows and accessories. When you are preparing your home for sale, unifying the space with color makes it feel cohesive, welcoming, and comfortable.In a different home, we used the following artwork to set the tone. Here is that example:From this artwork, we chose chartreuse, red-orange, and brown. The fresh chartreuse green was already in the home as a wall color, so in order to make the wall color feel purposeful, we played it up.The colors of the place setting were pulled directly from the artwork. You can see how they relate to each other. When preparing your home for sale, it is touches like these that give a buyer the sense that the home has been thoughtfully maintained as well as carefully designed.Below is a photo of the staged dining room. You can see how the artwork grounds the room and sets the tone. This was the first room a buyer sees as they enter the home. There was no real focal point, so we created one with the artwork by centering it to the table, and gave it a stronger presence by hanging candle sconces on either side of it. Now, buyers have a place to rest their eye. We also used the candle sconces to relate the design back to the homeowner’s dining table, which had a dark metal base. Coming up with a cohesive design is the key piece of the home staging puzzle when preparing your home for sale.The dining room came together because we tied the table-scape to the artwork. The room was very bland before the bright pop of colors that the artwork provides. When preparing your home for sale, the first impressions you make on the buyer set the tone. Read about the three different “first impressions” in our blog, Staging a House For Sale Will Lead to Great First Impressions for more information.If you have strong colors in your home that you are not willing to change out to more soothing neutrals (neutral no longer means beige – for more on this you can read Painting Tips When Preparing Your Home For Sale) base the artwork on that strong color. For more information on how to stage with bold colors, read our blog, Staging a House for Sale: to Paint or Not to Paint. However, if you have completed all the typical work of preparing your home for sale, and you have a nice neutral palette to start with, you may feel overwhelmed. If you are struggling to determine the color of your artwork and accents, you may find this HGTV blog helpful “How to Create a Mood with Color”. Please keep in mind that home staging and interior design are different, so be careful not to design with a heavy hand when staging. This article from HGTV will help guide you in choosing color if you are starting from scratch, when preparing your home for sale.Want to know what else buyers desire when looking for a new home? Download our What Buyers Desire guide to find out!For a free in-home consultation and information about preparing your home for sale, call us at 781-489-8489.