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Your Furniture Flipping business will only be as great or as not-so-great as you make it. Investing time and thought into making it fabulous is what will make you stand out from your competition.
It actually doesn’t take a million steps to be noticed, it’s really just a few major steps. One of the most important being, staging and photography.
I know I touched on this topic in a couple of other posts, but not in-depth. Since this is such an important aspect of building a successful business, I think it’s important to talk about it some more!
Staging is the difference between sweat pants and that perfect little black dress. Sure, you’re probably still pretty cute in those sweats…but you don’t get attention like you do in that dress! That’s what staging is about, you’re trying to make people stop dead in their tracks and stare, or in internet terms, you want them to quit scrolling!
Now, before you freak out from your lack of photography experience or decorative skills, you DON’T have to be a professional to nail this. There are a few basic things that are good to know (and I’ll cover those) but nothing you need to stress about!
*There are affiliate links below, you can read my full disclosure right here*
First off: Get some staging pieces that work with the style of furniture you tend to flip. (I’ll give you some suggestions at the end of this post) For example, I am a lover of all things, Farmhouse, French Country, Shabby Chic..ect… so my staging items generally match that style. If you tend to be more Modern/Contemporary you’ll want to buy items in that category, and so on for every different style.
There is some wiggle room, I’ve seen some pretty creative staging that I would never have thought of using but it really worked amazingly. With experience you can start to integrate interesting ideas into your staging as well, but for now, let’s keep it simple! Simple works for me every time.
I like to get my staging pieces at Hobby Lobby when they are having their big 80-90% off sales (am I alone?) I will buy small things, medium things..just whatever I see that I think might work for any of my pieces. I then hoard them, in the closet, in the mud room, in our pole barn and a lot of times they will become part of my every day decor until I need them…drives my husband crazy! You gotta do what you gotta do…
If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby, and you like shopping online, I love Amazon, who doesn’t?? They have EVERYTHING, and I’m not one of those gals that loves going shopping, so if I can find it online and get FREE 2 day shipping ( if you don’t have Amazon prime, you don’t know what you’re missing!) than that totally works for me!
I’ll have some recommendations for staging items you can find on Amazon for you at the end of my post to give you ideas and help you get started.
Secondly: Use items in a variety of shapes and sizes. When your decorations are grouped properly your piece can look like a picture in a magazine! In fact, get a magazine with pictures of furniture, no better way to learn than visual examples!
*Side note: Notice that you don’t see furniture in magazines from places you love like Pottery Barn, for instance, that are staged out in the yard…as much as I love the natural elements of outdoor pictures, including perfect lighting, you need to stage an item in it’s intended location. If you are lacking good lighting you may want to invest in Photography Lighting, you can get some really decent professional lighting from 40-50$ here on Amazon.
Thirdly: Stage your pieces against a neutral colored wall. The reason for this is that a colored wall will probably not match every item you paint and it will draw attention away from the actual piece. I know some of you are very limited with space, I staged in my mudroom (still do sometimes) the majority of the time since I started flipping!
It can be a pain in the butt to find somewhere to stage other than outside, I get that..but I definitely believe it’s important to make your background as neutral and non-distracting as possible! Get creative, I’ve seen people use their big white garage door as the backdrop (I may have done that once) you couldn’t even tell the piece was outside!
I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to beautifully staged furniture. You should definitely check it out for a visual of what I’m talking about ( you could follow me too, I wouldn’t mind one bit 😉 ) – you can check it out right here!
Fourthly: Take pictures from the front as your main picture but have pictures from every different angle so customers can get an accurate and detailed view of what they are buying, get close up shots as well.
Make sure your pictures are straight( this may be my pet peeve, but I’m pretty sure nobody likes a crooked picture). Nothing will turn people off more than needing to tilt their head to look at the picture properly. I use PicMonkey for all my editing, I recommend it if you use your phone to take your pictures. (PicMonkey is an App you can download on your phone)
In conclusion, your main goal is to cause your customer to fall in love with your piece, you want them to envision it staged just like you have it in that perfect spot in their house.
The truth is that most people don’t have a natural gift for decorating, so a piece of furniture that’s not staged and either poorly photographed or photographed in the yard doesn’t inspire them. They need to be shown the potential of your pieces!
Here are just a few ideas of perfect staging items for Farmhouse, Shabby Chic, Rustic, French Country style furniture: (P.S. Large frames or mirrors & lamps are great on pieces like long dressers, buffets and things that need that extra height and space filled.. also, I like to use greenery and/or flowers on almost every piece I stage!)
* There are affiliate links below, you can read my full disclosure right here*
If you are decorating a more Modern/Contemporary style of furniture, here are some great items you could use for that:
These are just a small assortment of items you could use for staging. Some of you may have items like this already in your house, you should certainly try to use what you have especially if you’re on a tight budget!
My go-to staging items are vases with flowers, old books, greenery, clocks, old window frames, and small items like mason jars and random decorative items that accent my larger decor.
Tip: Using flowers, a vase, framed art or anything that has the same color on it as your furniture piece as part of your staging will make your item pop. For example, if you painted a dresser yellow, find some flowers that are close to the same shade of yellow and add them to your staging items…don’t make everything yellow, just make something prominent that color.
The key is to always be prepared when it comes to staging. Having a lot of miscellaneous items along with staging decor you already have will help save you time and headaches. Trust me, I’ve tried to make the same 5 items work on each piece of furniture, it gets old…just like you need new clothes every now and then, you also need new staging items to help keep you inspired!
Well, that’s it for now! I hope you found some ideas to help make your pictures even more amazing! Don’t forget to check out my Pinterest Board on Styling Furniture to Sell for tons of visual ideas and tips for staging – check it out here.