When staging, use vignettes to add value

These wise words about creating vignettes when staging a home come from Linda Betencourt of Center Stage in San Francisco.

Stopping short of fake food and breakfast-in-bed trays, a few well-placed accessories can really give buyers the idea of how to use and enjoy a space.

This wonderful free standing tub gets a bit of romance with an etagere of rolled towels, candles and fuzzy slippers at the ready. With the prospect of a relaxing soak, the brass hand shower and ceramic tile floor almost disappear.

Remember to keep it current and uncluttered. Black and white photos on the walls give a nice contrast without distracting, white towels are always crisp visually, and silver accents add a much needed sparkle at the corner.

The best vignettes are smart, sophisticated and suggestive, with accessories used to evoke a universal emotions. Others reflect the style of the home. A hipster loft will have a martini shaker and glasses set on a glass table top. A Victorian closet might have a few choice designer dresses stunningly hung on padded silk hangers.

The objects used in vignettes usually have pleasing shapes and neutral colors. Leather bound books on end tables are a popular item, along with lovely bars of soap in the guest bath, a small carafe and glass at bedside, and an artfully tossed throw on the sofa.

Splashes of color generally come from things like oranges or apples stacked in a glass bowl. I’ve also seen creative uses of food packaging to add color spots. Three big green bottles of Perrier brighten a white kitchen counter of a home for sale on 21st Street in Eureka Valley. I’ve even saw a small pyramid of Campbell’s tomato soup cans in a pantry flanked by bright blue boxes of DeCecco Pasta in a condo! Go creative or go home.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com