I Sent a Home Stager Photos of My Bathroom — Here’s What She Told Me to Get Rid Of
Confession: though I consider myself a bit of an interior design enthusiast, I’ve never quite felt I hit the mark when it came to my bathroom. It either feels too lived-in (ahem, disorganized), or too beige. I have the added obstacle of being a renter, which means I have to make do with the storage and design choices put before me. Shortcomings and space limitations aside, I still want a bright and beautiful bathroom for myself — and friends who swing by — to enjoy. And I know I’m not alone.
For people who have just one bathroom (or not enough bathrooms), the commode needs to be tidy and aesthetically pleasing despite all the foot traffic. So I called in reinforcements. I worked with Amanda Lewis, owner and lead stylist of Denver-based The Den Rentals, to take my bathroom from “cute but cluttered” to Zillow listing-ready.
Form Over (Some) Function
Lewis’ first few tips revolved around decluttering my space. “Tuck away all products on the countertops including hand soap. Even though we all live with products on our counters, it’s distracting in photos and tends to feel cluttered visually.” Lewis shared an easy hack: putting belongings in a shower caddy for easy access and removal. And for those who are updating their bathroom for an open house? “It’s OK to place hand soap back out once showings commence just in case someone needs to use the restroom.”
Now that the counters were clear, it was time to address the floor. “[Stash] away extra toilet paper, the trash can, and also any plunger/toilet brushes for photos and showings.” Next on the chopping block were the white bath mats. I was surprised to learn that even neutral accessories can be distracting in photos. “[Remove] any bath mats as they break up the photograph. Your eye won’t seamlessly scan the room when looking at the image.” Instantly, my floors looked longer and the honeycomb detailing was much more prevalent.
Show Off the Little Details
With the clutter out of the way, there was more room left for architectural details to shine; and Lewis made sure we didn’t miss a moment. “Leave your shower curtain pulled half back for photos and showings so buyers can see the tile work.”
Next, Lewis encouraged me to have fun with some of my personal touches by suggesting the dried flowers go on the countertop. Once I stood back, I saw how the dried arrangement complemented the shower curtain, keeping my eye focused on the height of the bathroom.
Don’t Bring Attention to a Bathroom’s Shortcomings
Lewis believes in removing what could potentially tell more about the home than you want a buyer to know. “Remove the end table as it makes it feel like there isn’t enough storage. Even if there isn’t, you don’t want to immediately call attention to it.” Away the end table went into the closet.
Afterward, I removed the used towels from the back of the door and left the wall hooks empty to Lewis’ advice. “Always leave clean towels out on the towel bars.” Instantly the room felt more tidy and elevated.
A Few Extra Tips
Lewis shared more general tips for those looking to stage a home or refresh a room. “Use soft white bulbs and make sure all are in working order.” If you have a little extra money and elbow grease, Lewis suggests “touching up any paint as needed.” Finally, “If your bathroom is in need of updating, switch out vanity lights and hardware for an inexpensive, quick refresh.”