Why Home Stagers Will Almost Always Take Down Your Window Treatments

published Nov 26, 2019
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Credit: Lula Poggi

For some people, a home isn’t complete without a certain finishing touch: proper window treatments. Adding valances, drapes, blinds, etc., is the cherry on top of the overall design scheme for many homeowners.

So, imagine one’s horror when upon hiring a home stager to prepare their home for sale said stager promptly removes all the window treatments in the home. Why would a design professional do such a thing?

Well, it turns out that this is common practice. And for good reason. We turned to three professional home stagers to get their feedback on this technique.

To bring in more light

The most obvious answer is that window treatments can block natural light from coming into the home, which is a big no-no.

“Lighting is a huge selling point in a home, and it is essential that you highlight the amount of natural light your home has to offer,” said Katie Hilbert and Kari George, owners of The Home Sanctuary, a home organizing, styling, and staging company in Louisville, Kentucky. “We always say you only get one chance to make a first impression, and allowing a buyer to walk into a home that is bright, warm, and welcoming immediately sets a good mood.”

Plus, if a window treatment isn’t hung correctly, it won’t allow the maximum amount of natural light into a home.

To stop them from overwhelming the space

Especially in small spaces, window treatments can easily overwhelm a room.

“Heavy valances, layered curtains, and heavy fabrics can all take over a room,” said Joni Rentz, president and CCO of FØRM, a New York City-based interior staging and design company. “By removing them, the space appears larger and the focus is less on the curtains and more on the room.”

Also, a curtain rod hung at the wrong height could disguise the true size of a window or the actual height of the ceiling, noted George and Hilbert.

To create a blank canvas

You’ll hear it time and again from home stagers: You must allow potential buyers to see themselves in your space and make it their own.

“The absence of window treatments gives the buyers a blank canvas to picture themselves living in the space,” Hilbert and George said. “Often, window treatments can be a distraction for buyers, particularly if they do not have the same taste as you.”

To avoid cost considerations

Window treatments can be expensive. If buyers see outdated treatments on a window, they may get overwhelmed by the potential cost of replacing them, said Hilbert and George. “If the treatments are removed, the buyer will hopefully focus on the great lighting in the room and not think as much about the cost of covering the windows.”

When they can stay

In some cases, a home stager will allow the window treatments to stay.

“We make decisions to keep window treatments in place if window blinds can be raised, opened, and are light in color and if curtains are neutral in color, simple in form, and can be opened or pulled back,” Rentz said.

She prefers “a neutral-toned soft linen or sheer curtain that blends with the wall to create a soft textural effect while allowing light to filter through.”

If you’re leaving the window treatments up, make sure they’re clean and dust-free, said George and Hilbert. Untangle any cords, and let them hang neatly. If you have blinds, replace any broken slats.

If you remove them

On the other hand, if you do choose to remove your window treatments, be sure to patch up any holes in the wall and touch up any paint that was affected by the window treatment hardware.

“Also, sellers should always clean all their window panes inside and out before putting their home on the market,” Hilbert and George added. “We recommend this even if you cannot remove your window treatments. Dirty windows are a distraction and reduce the amount of natural light that can get into the home.”