We Gave a Professional Home Stager $100—Here’s What He Bought at Big Lots

published Aug 11, 2020
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Living room interior with white sofas
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When you think about buying home decor, Big Lots might not be the first store that comes to mind. But the value retailer, with locations in 47 states, is something of a well-kept secret for basic home accents at a great price.

Just take it from Brad Pierce, creative director at Cheri Kasella’s HAVEN Home Staging and Redesign, Inc., in Chicago. We asked the professional home stager to shop the decor options at Big Lots and report back to us with his selections for sprucing up any space on a dime.

While his grand total was shy of the limit—at $98—Pierce’s choices illustrate how big of an impact simple items, like the following, can make when staging a home.

Credit: Big Lots

A black framed mirror

“Wall decor is often one of the primary focal points of a room. It is important for items hung on a wall to be as neutral as possible; they should not display anything personal, such as family photos or names. Mirrors are a great go-to wall decor item for staging as they can open up and brighten a room, making it feel bigger while reflecting in light from outside or adjacent rooms.”

Buy: Black Framed Mirror, $30

Credit: Big Lots

A sheer curtain panel

“HAVEN recommends keeping windows as open and clear of window coverings as possible to best let in natural light and open up the space. If there is a view outside the window that needs to be softened or hidden, utilize a light, solid-colored curtain panel in ivory or a light gray.”

Buy: Just Home Ivory Voile Sheer Curtain Panel, (84″), $5 (two for $10 total)

Credit: Big Lots

Neutral throw pillows

“Neutral accent pillows are a quick and easy way to update dated or darker furniture. If a furniture piece is darker, I suggest a lighter, solid-colored throw pillow, such as these ivory herringbone pillows. Solid-colored pillows often show best in listing photos. Fewer accent pillows is recommended. If space is more limited or a sofa or chair looks smaller, remove any larger pillows, matching the piece with fewer and smaller throw pillows instead.”

Buy: Ivory Herringbone Throw Pillows, 2-Pack, $20 (two sets for $40 total)

Credit: Big Lots

A lightly scented candle

“Along with a staged home looking good, it is equally important that it smells good to potential buyers. If a home has any odors of smoke, pets or mustiness, help alleviate it with candles. These candles don’t need to be lit but should simply offer a soothing neutral scent. Strong-scented candles can have a negative effect.”

Buy: Brazil Coconut Wood Textured 3-Wick Jar Candle, 11 Oz., $4

Credit: Big Lots

A white shower curtain

“If a bathroom feels dark or dated, a new white or light solid-color shower curtain and new white bath towels are an easy and inexpensive update for this space. In most cases, a bathroom will stage best if the shower curtain is opened most of the way—in particular, if there is a window in the shower area or the room feels smaller.”

Buy: White Fabric Shower Liner, $14