One on One With Audra Miller


Tips on Staging a Home for Sale

By Gina Dostler

one on one 1900 Woods La Habra  12 copy



With spring’s arrival, homeowners commence cleaning and others put their castles up for sale. Audra Miller, a Corona del Mar interior designer, provided some helpful advice on how to stage a home to appeal to prospective buyers.

Q: How do you enhance curb appeal?

A:  Great curb appeal is the first thing a passerby sees, whether they are perusing the neighborhood or shopping for a new home. To enhance the curb appeal, the exterior color of a home should complement the interior color scheme and design of a home so there is a nice flow to things. Select neutral colors to appeal to a broader audience. The landscape needs to be clean and colorful. Add some green with lots of flowers and plant life. For instance, a charming cobblestone walkway would look nice lined with bushes and flowers.  And it’s always good to power wash the driveway and walkways to give a clean crisp new look.

Q:  Creative ideas for a porch?

A:  If your home has a porch or patio, make sure it has a “welcome home” vibe. A clean doormat with some potted plants and furnishings that are placed just right, even if it is a small porch, can call out quaint and cute and bring a good feel to everything. If you have a big front porch, decorate it with the most colorful spring foliage for an eye-catching display. Keep the porch light on for those after-work late evening drivers checking out homes.

Q:  Should keepsakes be displayed?

A:  Knick-knacks clutter the home and take away from the assets of a home. Store all personal items such as sentimental photos, artwork and collections out of sight, leaving the potential buyers to imagine their own life living in the home. Focus on the color of paint on your walls since it is the first thing buyers see.
Select a color that is neutral and soothing to the eye. Trim color such as baseboards, crown and door moldings all need to be the same color and sheen. A few accent walls are okay, but nothing too stark or bright. A few shades darker than the main color throughout the home is the best choice.

Q: Whats the trick to a homey home?

A: Creating a lived-in look is done with peripheral stuff. Add area rugs, accent pillows, window treatment panels and rods along with artwork. All these add-ons help to warm up the overall feel of the home and keep the colors blending and flowing.

Q: Tips on making the home more spacious?

A:  The rule of thumb is always, less is more. Select smaller scale furniture such as a loveseat, occasional chairs and a small coffee table to create the illusion of a room being larger. Bulky furniture takes away from floor space, which is where the eyes tend to go for room size. For example, in a small bathroom a pedestal sink will make the space appear less cramped. And remember to clear out the clutter.

Q: Are odd nooks a selling point?

A: Odd nooks and alcoves are a great selling point for storage, a potential wine cellar or utility closet. You can even set up a mini work station or add shelving for a small library. If you have extra rooms, don’t leave them empty. Give them a purpose, such as a game room, home office or guest bedroom. Also, make closets presentable and open them up to more space by leaving about one quarter of it unused. Get everything neat and organized in bins and containers and the rest store elsewhere.

Q:  What’s trending in spare room?

A:  Right now home theaters or media room have been climbing the popularity charts. Bringing the cinema to the home, right down to the chairs, aisles, big screen and surround sound are all big sellers if you have the space. But even a small room can be setup as the media room. Also a good sell: kids study area or playroom.


Audra Miller, 3334 E. Coast Highway, Suite 164, Corona del Mar, Ca  92625, 714.904.7431