Stage for Success by Focusing on the 'Fifth Wall'

Image from SunDown Group

Image from SunDown Group


by Phillip B. Burum, Executive Vice President, Diversified Pacific,

President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter

‘Staging’ is a term that is used to describe the process of making a home as attractive as possible to a potential buyer. When staging your home, it is important to remember that small details can be as impactful as major features. The potential for what can be done with a ceiling, for example, is often overlooked when decorating or preparing a home makeover plan. The ceiling offers unique possibilities for dealing with a room’s general character, its size or even a lack of natural light. Hitting the mark when addressing the ‘fifth wall’ can be the difference maker in the sale of your home.   

     One of the first steps to take in staging a home should be the addition of a fresh coat of paint. A professional paint job might be the best alternative, especially if your home has high ceilings. However, if DIY is your style, as with anything that you intend to do, well, make a plan.

     After you have watched a few online videos about the do’s and don’ts and picked up on all of the designer tips you can, stop by your local home improvement store or paint emporium to confirm what resources are available to you. Color choice is key. Many designers caution against using the same color or pattern on both the walls and the ceiling as they tend to make a room feel small and closeted, so consider contrasting ceiling and wall colors.

     Experts recommend using deeper shades, like eggplant or cocoa, to make a large space cozier while softer tones like beige or white will open it up. A popular alternative to painting walls is adding wallpaper such as overscale - which features geometric designs - or bold patterns that will definitely keep the room interesting.

     There are numerous other design options that should be considered to enhance the look of your home. Adding crown molding in the family room or dining areas can add a certain amount of elegance without a great deal of expense. For a more dramatic effect, consider adding coffered ceilings that feature a symmetrical grid of painted beams or tray ceilings that give off a recessed look.

     Also, consider introducing new light fixtures. Whether utilizing custom or stock fixtures, designers often showcase lighting as a work of art rather than just a functional element. Recessed lighting, pendant lamps and chandeliers are being paired with other ceiling details to make a statement with a room’s design.

     Ceiling fans stand out as the one of the most popular decorative items, with 88 percent of buyers rating them essential and desirable according to the latest What Home Buyers Want survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Ceiling fans, like lighting, should be evaluated for form and function but whichever guides your choice, it is an important added feature as fans have consistently remained favorite home décor item over many years.

     Ceiling height makes an instant impression. Though lower ceilings in some rooms are gaining favor due to concerns about energy efficiency, high ceilings on the first floor are still highly desirable. No one is recommending that you tear down and rebuild, but the height or lack of height will be evaluated by anyone looking at your home so pay attention to the tips and tricks in decorating to ensure your home is viewed in its best possible light.

     Remember, the details are important. Lighting, paint variations and color choices - along with the potential to add the appearance of depth - should all be considered as part of your staging plan. First impressions only happen once. Staging well will give your home the best chance to make a great first impression with its next owner. 

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