10 Elegant Winter Decorations (Not Christmas) Ideas

To Get Your Home Ready to Sell in Winter


Cold weather interior decorating involves so much more than just putting up an artificial Christmas tree and tacking some lights around your house.

If you’re putting your house on the market this winter, you are probably well aware that winter is the “worst” time to sell your house. Why? Bad weather in many parts of the country (yes, especially Washington D.C.) discourages people from venturing out to showings. Plus, just like in the fall, people tend to be busier than they are during the warmer months, leaving them less time to think about a big move.

But the cold temperatures also provide a great opportunity to show potential buyers the cozy, warm home your house can be for them. After all, what says home more than a roaring fireplace, flickering candlelight and just a hint of Christmas?

10 Elegant Winter Decoration (Not Christmas) Ideas


1. Focus on the fireplace.

Arrange your living room seating to face the fireplace, and then decorate the mantel. You can do Christmas décor here if you’d like, or you can opt for a more winter-neutral style.

 I like adding a couple of large hurricane candle holders and candles, and filling in the space between with white and green fresh flowers like Poinsettia, Paperwhites or Amaryllis. Flowers not your style? Fresh garland is always an easy, elegant solution, or you can choose a few of your favorite crystal vases and fill them with pine cones, dried fruits like lemon, orange slices and pomegranate, or fresh cinnamon sticks.


2. Skip the religious décor this year.

There’s no way of knowing what your potential buyers will be celebrating this time of year, and you don’t want to risk alienating them. Instead of a prominently placed menorah or nativity set, a beautiful arrangement of flowers and greenery would do the trick. Check out these neutral Christmas decoration ideas by Traditional Home for more inspiration.


3. Make sure your Christmas tree isn’t overwhelming.

Plenty of people, especially families, love hunting down the biggest tree they can find and then spending the weeks leading up to Christmas piling gifts underneath it. But when you’re trying to help potential buyers envision your house as their future home, an imposing, cluttered Christmas tree can look jarring. Just for this year, go for a smaller tree than usual—and definitely make sure there is space to easily walk around it.


4. Include soft, snugly fabrics.

Update your pillows, throws and rugs to be extra-cozy. That means plush fabrics, faux fur and velvet. And don’t forget about a well-placed fleece or wool throw.



5. Be sparing with scents.

It’s tempting to pull out all the stops when it comes to wintertime scents. A bowl of potpourri, an evergreen-scented diffuser in every room and all your candles—why not? However, when it comes to scent, less is actually more. All that’s necessary to create a delicate scent throughout your house is a couple of your favorite, scent-complementary candles. You don’t even need to light them; just open the lid and the scent should naturally disperse.


6. Keep your windows clear.

Something about the winter season makes us eager to decorate our windows (maybe it’s nostalgia for frosty windows on a cold winter morning?). There’s a lot of “Christmas window decoration” advice out there, usually involving wreaths. But… when you’re trying to show your house in its best light, it’s important that your décor isn’t blocking any natural light from getting in. So decorate your walls and mantels, but keep your windows clear.


7. Don’t forget about curb appeal.

Curb appeal (what potential buyers see when they first walk up) is incredibly important when it comes to selling your house successfully. And during cold winter months, it’s even more important, because more buyers than ever will probably be opting to search online before making the trek out to see the place in person. You want to be sure first impressions—both in person and online—are strong.

Winter outdoor decorations don’t have to be complicated. A simple, tasteful wreath on the front door can do a lot to make your house feel alive and inviting on a cold day.


8. Choose an elegant color palette.

 Don’t go overboard on green, red and silver or gold. Too much “Christmas color” can end up looking tacky. Additionally, your winter décor should highlight your existing décor, fitting in seamlessly.


9. Make your dining table stand out with a beautiful centerpiece.

The dining room or kitchen is the heart of the home, where many people spend most of their time indoors. Therefore, including a truly stunning centerpiece can help this room feel put-together and homey. I like to use fresh greens like cedar, magnolia, olive leaf and myrtle, as well as candles and fruits such as pomegranate or apples. Check out other natural, DIY winter centerpiece ideas on Pinterest.


10. Add luxury and light to your space with mirrors.

As the days get shorter and darker, winter interiors must rely on more than just a strand or two of elegant Christmas lights to feel warm, airy and filled with light. It might sound silly, but incorporating shiny objects and mirrors into your decoration can really boost the impression of size and light in your space. Not to mention, it’s a great way to infuse a sense of luxury into your house, which means potential buyers feel your house is worth more.


Selling your house in winter in D.C. might be more challenging than when the temperatures aren’t freezing cold, but strategic decorating can help you transform your dark winter hideaway into a contemporary, cozy and inviting space for potential buyers.

If you’d rather leave the decorating to the professionals, contact us for a hassle-free home-staging process to sell your home (even in the winter!) fast.

5 Simple Steps to Stage Your Home for Fall in DC

Fall can be a tricky time to sell your home in Washington, DC. People get busy with school and work and the weather becomes less conducive to a stroll around a new neighborhood. There’s something about the sense of urgency in the air and the declining temperatures that make many of us want to hunker down and snuggle up, not uproot our lives and move into a new place.

That’s why staging your home in the fall season is one of the best things you can do to make your space feel immediately cozy and welcoming to potential buyers. In fact, autumn gives you plenty of opportunity to tap into the magic of the season and use it to sell your home.

Here are five simple steps to staging your home to sell in the fall

Put extra effort into curb appeal. As leaves begin to fall off the trees surrounding your house, the exterior is left exposed and bare. You’ll want to be sure your house still looks warm and inviting from the street.

  • Clean up your yard. Rake the leaves before showings and get rid of any unwanted weeds. Add fresh mulch to flower beds.
  • Make sure everything looks fresh and new. Stain your deck or porch, and get a new doormat.
  • Add autumn-inspired plants and décor around your yard, front porch, or stoop, like pumpkins, mums, bold foliage plants, and fall flowers.
  • Amp up the cozy. Consider adding outdoor walk up lights to make your home instantly feel well-lit and inviting.
  • Don’t forget about your outdoor entertaining spaces. While it might be getting colder, it’ll still be warm enough to use your outdoor spaces until November in DC. Redecorate for fall with a new outdoor rug and throw pillows in warm colors.

Warm up your indoor spaces. People looking to buy in the fall are eager to make their new house or apartment feel like a home right away. Careful attention to decorating details can help make your house feel like the cozy home they were envisioning. (Check out our Pinterest and Instagram for more fall decorating tips.)

  • Bring the bright fall foliage indoors. Place an herb basket in the kitchen, display cheerful red apples or another favorite fall fruit or vegetable in a bowl on your dining room table, and arrange fresh fall flowers (some of our favorites are chrysanthemums or helenium) in vases throughout your house.
  • Emphasize your fireplace if you have one. It’s getting chilly, and you don’t want people to skip over your gorgeous fireplace! Make sure it’s clean and the mantle is well decorated for fall.
  • Use organic textures to make your home feel comfy and move-in ready. Use natural-feeling accessories like textile rugs, and place soft fleece or wool throws over your sofa. Light candles to change the ambiance of a room. Green, orange, and brown accents with warm neutrals are stylish and seasonal.

Aim for sun-soaked spaces. With daylight hours waning, it’s important that you let in as much natural light as possible into every room.

  • Let there be light. Open shades, curtains, or shutters in every room.
  • Get clean. Remove old window coverings and clean your windows.
  • Add mirrors in smaller rooms to create the effect of a larger, well-lit space.
  • Replace outdated light fixtures with new airy designs that mimic soft, natural light.

Infuse comfort into the smallest details. The illusion of high cost and comfort can be achieved without big renovations, simply by choosing luxurious-feeling décor.

  • Think bling. Shiny elements, like silver and gold, reflect light and create the illusion of an expensive interior.
  • Make the master bedroom feel lavish. Layer beds with silky or furry fabrics.
  • Create a spa atmosphere in the master bath. Display plush towels in the bathroom, along with mirrored trays with perfume and candles.

Paint over dirty or unconventionally colored walls. This is a good thing to consider when selling your home in any season, but it’s especially important during the fall, when buyers don’t want to do a lot of work themselves. Neutral palettes allow your autumn decoration to stand out and feel warm and inviting, rather than jarring.

For more easy and on-trend tips for staging your home to sell, no matter the season, or get inspired by following us on Pinterest and Instagram!

8 Reasons Home-Staging your Washington D.C. Home is Worth It

bedroom designYou want to sell your home fast and for as much money as possible, that’s a given. But you might be wondering if it’s really worth it to invest in staging your home before selling it. After all, isn’t that just more money you’re spending? We’re going to show you why most real estate agents across greater Washington D.C. recommend their clients hire certified home stagers, and how it saves them time, stress, and most importantly, money. Read on for TACTIC’s top 8 reasons home-staging is worth it.

Subscribe for more great tips on home staging as well.

You get more money
Hiring a certified home stager is the second-best investment you can make during the home selling process. The statistics don’t lie: staged homes sell at an average of 6.32% over the list price, while un-staged homes sell at a mere 1.6% over the list price. For a home listed at $500,000, that’s a difference of nearly $24,000!
You sell your home faster
It may seem obvious, but it’s true: the longer your home stays on the market, the less it eventually sells for. The National Association of Realtors surveyed and found that homes that sold in the first 4 weeks averaged 1% more than the list price, but at 4 to 12 weeks, the buying price averaged 5% less than the list price…. and by the time your home’s been on the market for 24 weeks, statistics say that it will probably have dropped more than 10% lower than list price. Staging your home could cut the time it spends on the market in half—garnering you thousands of dollars more.
You get a huge return on investment
Home staging costs between a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand, depending on the size of the property. But when you’re talking about an average ROI of 586% (yes, you read that right, 586%!), the initial payout is miniscule.
You leverage what buyers want to see
Home staging companies like TACTIC always have their finger on the pulse of the real estate market. We know what motivates a sale. Most home sellers don’t. For one thing, it’s hard to see your home objectively after you’ve spent years building a life there. For another, most home sellers aren’t interior designers. Hiring a certified home stager with expert knowledge in both interior design and real estate is the most effective way to ensure that each room in your home is packaged for maximum appeal to the greatest pool of buyers.
You tap into the online market
Did you know that 95% of home buyers look at homes online before they decide to visit? You should. Having professional photographs of your home to post online (think: Zillow, or Trulia) is an incredible way to boost traffic to your property. TACTIC includes professional photographs of staged rooms with our packages, and so do many home staging companies. You’ll have potential buyers drooling over your well-lit, airy, impeccably designed place before they even step foot inside.
You undercut the competition from the get-go
The real estate market is notoriously competitive. Staging your apartment or home before selling is the simplest way to set your property apart. Successful agents know that the key to competing is professional staging, because it creates compelling online presentations, drives buyer traffic to the home, and turns prospects into buyers.
You don’t have to be a salesperson
“So, what is that room for? …. Er, the flow from the kitchen to the living room seems a little odd… Oh, we’d have to repaint all these walls, I guess.” If you’ve ever sold a home before, these sorts of comments probably sound eerily familiar, and the people making them are not exactly pumped up about your house. In fact, only 10% of home buyers are able to visualize the potential of a home when it’s empty, which means they’re going need a top-notch salesperson to ‘help’ them imagine it. However, if your property is strategically staged to highlight the best of each room, you won’t have to answer to comments like these—your home will do it for you.
You can relax, at least a little
Selling your home is stressful. It can be a huge relief to have expert home stagers like TACTIC actively working to prepare your home to sell, so it’s not all on you. At TACTIC, we manage the home staging process from start to finish (or you can opt for our do-it-yourself option), so you can focus on finding your new home, instead of worrying if you’ve done everything you can to prepare your house or apartment to sell.