When selling a property, staging and home styling can have a huge impact on the price you achieve and the length of time the property spends on the market before it is scooped up by its new owner.

Understanding who your target buyer is and creating the perfect picture of what their ideal life can look like in your home, on a daily basis, can help propel a potential buyer from interested to converted!

While styling and staging are important, often they are really only applied for high-end real estate and properties with quite a solid price tag.

There's no denying staging can be expensive, but with a few insights and secrets, you can elevate interest in a property for sale by styling on a budget.

Our simple tips below are useful for agents and property owners looking to increase their return with some simple and cost-effective improvements, and buyers who have purchased and, with a fresh start, want to make new house a home.

Getting started

Styling on a budget can be particularly difficult if you don’t know what you’re after, and what kind of look you are aiming to create.

To get started, make a plan. Don't go in blind, and buy this and that without thinking about how it will all come together and what story it will tell. Sit down, draw some pictures, use some apps, do some product searching online and spreadsheet everything -- with costs against a budget!

Your space should tell your (family's) story (or that of the ideal target buyer) through different textures, different colours, feature points, artwork and fabrics.

Focus point one: creating a mood board

Your first step in creating your space, should start with knowing what look you want to achieve. You can begin the process by going through different furniture catalogues and interior design magazines, and start cutting and pasting your visual mood board, placing any pieces you think will go together.

There are also several different websites that can assist you with your mood board – a favourite of ours and of many professional and amateur interior designers alike, is Pinterest (www.pinterest.com.au), where you can sign up for a free account, pin your ideas and get inspiration from other Pinterest users.

Focus point two: texture within your theme

Think about wiggling your toes in soft carpet, or running your hands along a timber feature wall, cosying up to a woollen pillow, while sinking into a deep fabric lounge. It’s not just the visual appeal of using different textures that will breathe life into your space, but the sensory and emotive reaction you, your family or a visitor will experience when they reach out and touch something (or snuggle into it!).

It’s easy to add some effective and sophisticated texture on a budget, especially with shops like Target and Kmart stepping up their home design sections in recent years.

We love the below natural-coloured cushions and wall art from Target – they have a range of great textured items in various colours that you can add into your space to bring warmth, comfort and a touch of the feels!



Focus point three: feature pieces can enhance everything!

When creating a space on a budget, you can make the more cost-effective items look more elegant or costly by the way they are styled or even by adding one or two more expensive feature pieces to the room. Try adding in a natural rug, a designer vase or beautiful flowers to a cheaper glass vase, a rustic or bamboo ladder or even some simple white string lights to further upscale your look -- but make sure they compliment the rest of your décor.

We love the vase from Royal Doulton for $69.95, the natural rug from Ikea Australia for $49 and the set of two Tolani wooden ladders from Zanui for $129.

styling pieces

Focus point four: use your space wisely

When you walk into a room, you want it to feel comfortable and in proportion – you don’t’ want the first and only thing you see to be a great big lounge in a tiny space, or even the opposite, a tiny two-seater lounge in a large area.

When designing your space, make sure you take into consideration what will look good in the space you have –and while it is extremely easy to get carried away with adding bits and pieces from all over, you want to try and keep the space clean and balanced.

Don’t go overboard when making purchases (that's where your carefully-made plan comes in!), and always ask yourself, “Will this fit within the design I am trying to create and the space we have to live in?”. If you purchase everything you love, the mood of your rooms may not flow, and it may end up looking busy and cluttered.

Focus point five: getting creative with do it yourself projects

Creating your own feature piece to complete your room is a great way to make you feel a sense of ownership of the space and weave yourself into the story you’re creating. It's also a practical way to save some serious money and as a bonus, a brilliant talking point!

There are so many great ideas on Pinterest for how to create your own little 'designer' projects, for example, try weaving a simple wreathe for your rustic living room, adding some natural elements like cinnamon to a plain candle to spice up a space, or get creative with some hanging plants.

diy projects

Styling doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, it doesn’t need to feel overwhelming or like you will never achieve the look you want – styling can be done on a budget, and can certainly be done very cost-effectively when you’re renting or not quite yet in your forever home, unless of course, you want to take the décor with you – then go right ahead!

Creating your desired look and feel in a home can be difficult, but if you start with your mood board and enjoy creating a theme that tells a story you would be surprised how easy it can really be!