Fireplaces are a “hot feature” on a homebuyer’s wish list, that’s why home stagers take the time to probably stage a fireplace before a home sale. Fireplaces have the capability of being a bold focal point within a space or an unattractive nuance dating the room. With so many buyers desiring this property feature, a home seller needs to take time to highlight their fireplace, making it center stage in the room.
According to a National Association of Realtors 2013 Home Features Survey they found that 57-percent purchased a house with a fireplace. What’s even more important then the fireplace itself, is what’s surrounding it. One term widely used is a “mantle scape” which is adding natural elements of various shapes, sizes, textures to set a scene across your fireplace’s mantel. Try these tips when updating your dingy fireplace when staging a home:
Screens. If your fireplace has a brass screen modernize it! By spending $200 or so to replace the old screen with a new black or bronze version, you can instantly bring a fireplace up-to-date. Do-it-yourselfers may opt to paint the brass screen themselves using black grill or auto paint with a heat-resistant primer.
Background Wall. Most fireplaces have outdated brick. If the brick matches your design aesthetic then by all means use it. But, if it’s a traditional brick in a contemporary home chances are you’re either going to need to paint over the brick or resurface the wall with trendy stone or tile. The background wall should highlight a fireplace, bringing out the wood color and any of its architectural details. Whether your painting the brick or starting with a new surface try earthy, creamy tones for the accent wall, or choose a paint color two or three shades darker than that of the other walls to create monochromatic harmony in the room.
This terra cotta fireplace was dating this great room. The homeowner was panicking about having to rip out the tile, and was SHOCKED when the staging team at Chrysalis Creative Home Staging Inc. in Calgary, Alberta mentioned it could easily be updated with some paint.
For less than $350 the painter sprayed out the dated oak mantel in a white to match the trim, and used a tile paint by Sherwin Williams made to go over tile to update the fireplace. “We chose a color two shades darker than the walls to effectively give the fireplace the role it deserves as the focal point of the room,” said Ellen Harris Mann, Owner Operator at Chrysalis Creative Home Staging Inc.
Add purpose to your unused fireplace, as a storage unit. In order to use your non-working fireplace as storage, clean out the fireplace and spray the inside with a water-based spray paint that you can use indoors, wallpaper or tile. Once dry, fill the area with books, candles, artificial fire logs or heirlooms — choose something that enhances the room or helps tell the story of the lifestyle of the property.
With a TV. If you have a television over your fireplace, it’s important not to over decorate the mantel or television viewers will get distracted watching their favorite show, worse yet your decor might be in their way! Think about using simple decor on either side of the TV in varying heights. You can use elements, like flowers or a plant, to make the black box feel a bit more natural.
Without a TV. Start off using a big piece on top of the mantel wall. Try colorful artwork or a mirror to use as the main focal point. Use accessories sparingly on the mantel. Use one accessory, like a large plant, as a secondary focal point to connect the large piece on the wall and the mantel together. Make sure to create movement on your mantel as well. For example, display three candlesticks of differing heights, a vase, or smaller accessories on one side and leave the other side clear.
Mantel Props. You can create a symmetrical or asymmetrical look depending on the formality of the room. It’s important to decorate the mantel in the same design style as the rest of the home. When accessorizing remember to group an odd number of objects together in varying heights, colors, textures and shapes to keep the display fresh and interesting. Change out the decor each season, too. This our fireplace around Thanksgiving.
You can make the fireplace a focal point, by angling the furniture to either side of it, or place sofas perpendicular to it. Don’t block the fireplace with furniture or other items to clutter the space.
Experiment with what you have on hand, and you’re bound to discover the perfect fireplace statement for your room. Try these tips at home and post your pictures on our Facebook fan page I’d love to see how you’ve transformed this “hot feature” for buyers.