Appeal to Portland Home Buyers With Vintage Home Staging

vintage home styling

Whether they are long-time Portland residents or have only seen the city on Portlandia or style blogs like Urban Weeds, if home buyers across the US were asked to describe this city in one word, that word would be: Eclectic.
No doubt about it – styling your home to show off its funky, retro side (even if you don’t think it has one) will charm buyers and help your home stand out from the crowd. Here on the Portland Real Estate Blog, we’ve written before about how home staging can reduce the time your home spends on the market by 78%. Now, we explore five ways  to give your home staging a distinctly Portland feel, all without breaking the bank.

1. Generic be gone! On the remodeling blog Improvement Center, Gina Pogol writes: “Ditch stock hardware on cabinets, doors and drawers. That goes double for cheap, cheesy brass door knobs. Even modern cabinetry looks older with period hardware.” Don’t forget details like switchplates and outlet covers. To really make an impression, Pogol also suggests replacing your front door with a vintage or salvaged one (Portland has several outlets for recycled building materials).

2. Decorate with “found” objects. Peruse secondhand shops and estate sales for items like vintage scarves, classic records, old license plates, paintings on velvet, and other budget-friendly items of interest. Look for neat picture frames in which to place old postcards or even someone else’s black-and-white family photos.

3. Illuminate the situation. Adequate lighting is key to any good home staging. Use vintage or faux-vintage lamps and lighting fixtures to add a warm glow to dark corners or a dramatic spotlight to important features in your home.

4. Funk-ify your furnishings. Used furniture of good quality from the past 30 years is not hard to find, especially if you search beyond the Portland metro area. Wingback chairs, dainty writing desks and kitchen sideboards are especially trendy (just check out the photos on If you’re short on time or funds, find some lace doilies, frilly pillows, slipcovers or vintage fabric to add color and retro appeal to your modern furnishings.

5. Go full color. A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea when preparing your home for sale, so why not add interest and energy with some vintage tones? Moss green, charcoal, teal, cream and orange are go-to retro colors. Just remember to keep it light so that your home’s new owners can change it up after they fall in love. If you aren’t into picking new colors, the Improvement Center blog has this tip: “Almost any painted wall can be antiqued by coating it with a glaze and then rubbing it off. Or have a professional painter recreate the real thing with authentic colors and techniques.”

Staging your home can be be tricky – there’s a fine line between “homey” and “overdone”. By combining a variety of vintage accents to show off your home, you’ll not only be at the height of Portland fashion, you’ll be able to combine the decor you already have with your new-old treasures.

On that note, don’t worry about finding furnishings or accents that match perfectly or end up looking too planned. Eclectic or vintage home staging is all about creating a fascinating world full of unexpected surprises. Remember, Portland real estate shoppers are looking for a place that’s unique as they are, one that brings the city’s eclectic pulse into their new home.

August 13, 2012

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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