Staging an Outdated Bathroom

Many homes on the market were built 20 to 30 years ago, and a challenge many realtors face is, “what to do with that outdated bathroom?”  The easy answer is to completely remodel the bathroom to bring it into this century—but that can cost thousands of dollars and, let’s face it: if the homeowner has decided to sell, they have already begun the detachment process from the home, and generally are not interested in investing big dollars into a property they are leaving.

This is where a professional stager can come into the picture, and save the seller thousands of dollars by making the bathroom look updated without having to make a big investment.

I recently staged a home where they master bathroom was done in a harvest gold tile, with flooring that was big in the 70’s.  In addition, the bathroom had a wallpaper border that had hunter green, blue and mauve flowers that were popular in the 80’s and 90’s.   The homeowners knew the bathroom was out of date, but the thought of replacing the tile and flooring was more than they wanted to do, for a good reason.

As I studied the bathroom, I looked for the least expensive way to bring an updated look to the bathroom—despite the outdated colors—and draw the potential buyers eyes away from the patterned harvest gold floor, outdated marble counter top, and harvest gold shower tile. I was confident that I could make the bathroom look updated, despite the flooring and tile; but the border had to go because the colors were too bright and distracting, no matter what I could do with the rest of the bathroom.

I strategized with the homeowner, and we agreed that the border had to be removed.  We used the product Diff (found at Home Depot) and it did a great job, but because the border had been up so long, some of the paint peeled off with the border.  We did a nice job of touching up the paint, and I had a fairly blank palette now to create an elegant look in the master bathroom, despite the outdated fixtures.

As I studied the bathroom, I looked for how to bring in artwork, accessories,  and décor that would compliment the harvest gold, but diminish its visibility. Here is what I did in the bathroom:

1.) I placed black and white artwork on the walls to create a bold, new look that captures attention as you walk into the bathroom.  Black and white accessories always bring an elegance and demand attention, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve.

2.) I created a floral arrangement of white apple blossoms in an oil rubbed bronze vase that beautifully complimented the apple blossom black and white art work on the wall across from the sink.  This brought a fresh look to the bathroom, and a soft elegance to the space.

3.) I purchased several towels in the updated forest green color (you know the color, it is not hunter or grass green, but the new rich forest green that we see in designer décor today) .  I went to several stores to find just the right green, and finally located exactly what I had in mind at Target.  I placed them on the towel bars already installed in the bathroom.

4.) The bathroom has a window with the etched privacy glass, so to add elegance and softness, I purchased an inexpensive oil rubbed bronze curtain rod and hung simple off white full length curtains.

5.) Lastly, to add a splash of pizazz to the bathroom, and further detract from the patterned harvest gold flooring, I brought in black wooden candlesticks and a metal tray, and placed apple harvest candles and berries on it to delight the eye.

The realtor and seller were both delighted with the finished look of the bathroom, and I look forward to another home I stage going under contract quickly!

     Bathroom “Before 1”

    Bathroom “Before 2” 

   Bathroom “After”