PROFESSIONAL property styling is a booming business.

And it's not surprising - putting a little effort into the aesthetics of a house can make a huge difference to the sale price.

It makes the photos on a listing agent's website stand out in the crowd, and will give the home impact when it comes to open for inspection time.

In fact, agents say whatever they spend on styling, they get back five times in the sale price.

But not everybody has the funds to spring for a professional stylist, so why not try your hand at doing it yourself?

Jess McAdam from Melbourne recently listed her property for sale. She styled it herself using items she found at Kmart, Officeworks and outlet stores.

Jess framed a tea towel that she loves. She says she gets
Jess framed a tea towel that she loves. She says she gets "lots of compliments" on it. Jess McAdam

With two children under 3 she has little time for shopping, but will always hit up an outlet store and Kmart when she has the chance.

"Kmart is amazing these days," she says.

"You see stuff similar to what's in Kmart in higher end design stores, and it's always way more expensive".

She says she loves getting decorating ideas from TV shows like The Block and home magazines, but often can't afford the full priced items she sees. So she has to get a little creative.

"I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram ... there are so many great ideas for taking a Kmart item and putting your own spin on it and making it a little more special," she explains.

"You can buy something for $5 from Kmart and spray paint it and turn it into something completely different".

She says "Kmart Hacks" on Instagram is one of her favourite accounts for styling ideas.

Bunting and a small pot plant holder spruce up the front of Jess's house.
Bunting and a small pot plant holder spruce up the front of Jess's house. Supplied

She is also a fan of outlet stores.

"I really love Adairs, so I always check out their outlet store when I can ... often you'll find something that has dropped from the main stores for 70 per cent cheaper".

Other professional tips for styling your home on the cheap are:

* Steam/iron the sheets on the bed

It's a little thing, but it makes a lot of difference. It will give the bedroom that chic hotel feel.

* Put top-end products in the bathroom

Bin the Palmolive hand soap and spring for an up-market product like Aesop to keep the feeling of luxury going.

* Declutter/Don't overdo it

Definitely get rid of any clutter that is laying around and don't be tempted to go overboard with the furnishings. Otherwise it can be overwhelming when people scan the room.

* Beware too much 'pop'

Don't be tempted to go overboard with colour. It can make a room feel too busy and crowded. A touch of colour here and there is great, but show restraint.

* A lick of paint goes a long way

While the actual homewares are way more fun to spend money on, don't underestimate the power of paint. Giving the main rooms a fresh coat of paint will instantly elevate the feel of your home.

* Fresh flowers and pot plants

These won't break the bank, but will give the house an instant airy feel.

- With InsideOut

News Corp Australia


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