The majority of today's buyers are Millennials and have an expectation in how a home should look when viewing it, so I always stage the home in a contemporary way to appeal to that buyer demographic. When I'm asked to stage an occupied home, I try to incorporate as much of the existing furniture and decor to help keep the rental costs down whenever I feel I can make it work, even if some of those pieces are vintage (1950s - 1970s) or antiques (1940s and prior). The secret is to interject just a few items while the majority of items are more contemporary.
In this first example, I staged a 1960s era house that had a mish-mash of 80s and 90s furnishings and decor but had a mid-century modern dining room suite in excellent condition. The seller was not willing to remove the original burnt orange glass partition at the front door, so I felt it best to stage the house with a mid-century vibe which is currently on-trend. I was thrilled to discover a retro chair, stereo cabinet, and table lamps in the basement storage room which I knew would perfectly compliment the design. (I updated the lamps with contemporary barrel shades). I then complimented those retro items with a more contemporary, yet mid-century feeling
sofa and chair, end tables, and coffee table. I added some colour-coordinating art, pillows, and accessories to tie it all together. The transformation was amazing and impressed both the (90 year old) seller and more importantly, the buyers - so much so that she received 2 attractive offers within the first few days of list!
In this second example, I staged a 1960s era house that had been renovated with a modern kitchen. The owner had a 1930s art deco sideboard and old wood console and was about to place them in storage, but I thought it would be a wonderful juxtaposition to the modern furniture I planned on using, so asked her to just leave them put for me to use. She didn't think combining antique furniture with modern furniture would look that good, but trusted my expertise nonetheless. I also incorporated her gorgeous original artwork into the design and she was absolutely thrilled with the end result, both in how it all came together, as well as receiving an asking price offer within 12 hours of listing!
Injecting a few antiques, whether it's to stay or sell, is a great way to add charm, warmth, and a little history to today's modern and contemporary home designs. Not only that, but they make for a great conversation piece as they have a story to tell.