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How to style your home for sale – by Elyse Knowles

Something that is often overlooked by vendors, or people listing their home for sale, is ‘home staging’. We spoke to Elyse Knowles, styling pro from The Block, who shared her hints and tips with us.


I’ll admit, before Josh and I started on The Block, I was a styling amateur – I have picked up my style along the way. Having worked on both The Block and our personal reno project in Coburg (click here to view) over the past 18 months, I’ve certainly learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to styling your home for sale.


Styling your home for sale is not the same as styling for your own home. What’s the difference? Well, firstly – you’re not selling the house to yourself. So, while you might love a heavily patterned wallpaper, or a bright feature wall, you have to remember that anyone could be trying to picture themselves in your space. That’s why I have three simple suggestions for getting your home ready pre-auction.


  1. Keep It Simple

Using neutral colours and simple embellishments will ensure that you don’t alienate buyers. On The Block, we opted to keep the walls white and clean. This allows buyers to project their own lifestyle onto the room, without the distraction of your bold art collection or colour scheme, as cool as they may be.


I like to push the boundaries, but the trends are trending for a reason – people like them. The style of our house on The Block has been described as Kinfolk contemporary, using natural tones along with small elements of luxury, texture and design – enough to make the house feel like a home, but still serving as a blank canvas for our prospective buyers’ imaginations.


  1. Just the right amount of on-trend

If you’re wondering how to keep up with the evolving world of interior design, the answer is Pinterest. Pinterest is the queen of the styling mood board. I’m a very visual person so I trawl through trending topics and as soon as I see something I like, I pop it in my collection. Researching popular colour palettes and exploring how far we can push the envelope whilst still adhering to the public’s current demands is important - and fun.


A colour scheme or textural theme helps tie the house together. Once you’ve got that theme in mind, focus your attention on your living areas – particularly the kitchen. This is where buyers will be spending most of their time. We start our day in the kitchen with breakfast, we make memories with friends over the dinner table – this space really needs to connect.


Your outdoor entertainment area comes second, in that it needs to link seamlessly to the interior, which is something I think we did really well on The Block.


  1. Quality is key

Chances are if you’re selling up now, you’ll be buying soon – which is when the fun really comes in. When you’re styling your own home, quality is key – ideally you’re going to take the big ticket items from house to house for the rest of your life. So, your couch might be a little exxy, but it’s worth it if it will last you in the long run.


When you’re styling for sale, quality still stands, but your budget may be a bit more restricted.



My parting advice stands for any space: Keep it nice and light and fresh – you don’t want to make the room seem smaller with any clutter. Enhance the space using mirrors, and only include a few personal touches and items that make it homely, but still relatively spacious. If it’s not essential, take it out.


Check out 46a Regent St, Elsternwick  (her and partner Josh’s house on The Block) and see Elyse’s impeccable styling skills for yourself.




Interior design , renovation , styling , The Block , Tips