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"Invest in something you use a lot, like say a quality couch. Go cheap on accent pieces like a coffee table," says Seattle home stager Shirin Sarikhani. "This stretches your budget and allows you to mix.” (Image: Seattle Staged to Sell LLC)

3 simple tips on turning a staged home into reality

Spring is here, and there's new construction sprouting up all over the city. Shiny new homes glitter like fancy pieces of jewelry, luring potential buyers and taunting curious folks like me.

I love going to open houses even though I'm not in the market to buy a new home. I'm curiously fascinated (and nosy) not always about the house, but by the interior design - also known in the real estate biz as "staging."

What exactly is home staging?

It is the act of making a house appealing to the highest number of potential buyers.

Translation: Perfectly placed artwork, luxurious furniture and cool accents. I always leave asking myself, "How come my home can't look like this?"

"What you like is the fact that it's de-cluttered," explains home staging expert Shirin Sarikhani.

It's true, in a staged home there are no plastic toys or mounds of kid drawings on the dining room table. No piles of never ending laundry, or dishes waiting to be put in the dishwasher. Which makes me ask, what can a person like myself do to get that staged home look, without throwing away everything in my house?

Sarikhani offers three tips that she says, won't break the bank.

"Buying compounds the problem of clutter, so purge not add," says Sarikhani. So often she says people think they need to buy new stuff when redesigning their space. Instead, she suggests getting rid of stuff without a purpose that's just taking up space. For instance, those candle holders and that alien plastic toy that's been on our mantle collecting dust. Why are they there if we aren't using them?

Mix and Match
"It's totally ok to mix in old and modern, high end and everyday priced pieces," says Sarikhani. She maintains the mix gives a home layers and depth. Sarikhani also encourages showcasing something with meaning and history in your home. For instance an heirloom piece from a loved one or old photos nicely framed.

Invest in Quality not Quantity
This bit of advice is an extension of Sarikhani's first tip. "Invest in something you use a lot, like say a quality couch. Go cheap on accent pieces like a coffee table. This stretches your budget and allows you to mix."

Finally, Sarikhani says don't feel the need to decorate your entire home in one swoop, or spend your entire budget at one store. Take one room at a time, this will help you build a cohesive look.

Perfect advice, just in time for spring-cleaning.