With featured contributor Amanda Swann from Set to Sell. 

There are many spaces in a house that will draw the attention of a buyer, one of these that is often ignored in preparation of selling a home is your bathrooms. Bathrooms usually have minimal furniture, so you may not think about it in terms of staging, but bathrooms are a high priority on a buyer’s list.

As a full time, experienced real estate agent, I hear buyers talk about their likes and dislikes. I have seen bathrooms that draw buyers in and bathrooms that repel. The bathroom is the space where we begin and end our day so improvements here is well worth your money and time whether you are selling or staying put.

The bathroom pictured above is from a home in Riverchase, Hoover, AL. I helped my clients, Aaron and Amanda, purchase and sell this home on relocations to and from Birmingham. When Amanda saw this bath, it caused spontaneous jumping for joy…literally. Before I knew it, I was swept up in the joy and I was jumping. As we were hugging I looked over at Aaron and he asked, “Where do I sign?

Bathrooms like this one and those pictured below, designed by Set To Sell, an award-winning staging and design company, will sell a house quickly or inspire daily joy if you are not moving. There is no downside. Just remember, if you decide to sell, I can help.

Staging: Set to Sell LLC. Photography: Graham Yelton Creative

Bathrooms Can Make or Break a Home

For the perfectly staged bathroom, imagine a luxury spa or luxury hotel bathroom, clean and simple. Luckily clean and simple is not going to break the bank.

I have asked Amanda Swan, the Director of Operations at Set to Sell Staging here in Birmingham to share tips to help you get your bathrooms ready for sale, or ready for daily enjoyment!

When you list your home for sale with me, I will have the pleasure of introducing you to Amanda. One of the biggest parts of marketing your home is prepping each room for pictures and showings. You will meet Amanda during the Pre-listing Consultation where we will review your home and get it ready for the transition from living in it to marketing it!


Staging: Set to Sell LLC. Photography: Graham Yelton Creative

Amanda's Staging Tips

Amanda: After 12 years of experience in the Birmingham Real Estate Market, Christina has garnered many tips, tricks, and savvy secrets to selling homes faster and for higher end profit for her clients. One of those tricks is Home Staging, and that’s where I come in. I (along with our entire team at Set to Sell) am striving for the same goal as Christina: getting your houses sold quick!

When staging your home, it's important to remember that we have made the transition from looking at our home and seeing how we would like to live, to looking at what the buyers want and desires and catering to those in how we present the home.

Today, I want to briefly talk to you about one of the BIG things every buyer has on their mind when touring a potential new home: The Master Bath.

The master bathroom is more than just a place where you get ready in the morning, it is the sanctuary to which you can retreat after a stressful day and a place to wash all of your cares away. You can see why it would be an area of great importance to your buyer! The way in which we present the master bathroom should evoke calm and relaxing emotions from the potential buyer as soon as they walk into the room. Think “spa retreat”, this means soft colors, lots of white, ample lighting (not dark), plush towels (in white of course), and minimal personal accessorizing. Lastly: it goes without saying, but everything should be CLEAN. I’m talking spotless immaculate floors, sinks, counters, tubs, and showers. All hard surfaces should be sprayed and wiped, and anything soft (towels, rugs) should be put through the wash and bleached if they’re white and if not replaced with something white.

Let’s get to work!

Here’s a simple 5-item shopping list from Christina and Amanda to get you inspired:

1. Towels, Rugs, and Shower Curtains


Christina: I have found through the years of working with Set to Sell's top designer that thick, luxurious white towels are the most sensible, affordable way to buy towels in the long run. My personal take on why this makes perfect sense. Why? You can bleach them! Amanda would say, it also makes great design-sense too.

Set to Sell designers use white towels to stage a bathroom because it creates a spa-like feel and makes for the cleanest look. Roll a few up on the side of the bath and fold them in thirds and hang them from your towel rack. There’s just something very satisfying about opening your linen closet to see the fluffy white well-stacked rows. 

Another great way to make your bathroom more luxurious, fold your linens in creative ways, just like they do in nice hotels and cruises. Check out these ideas on Pinterest for displaying bath linens.


Stagers prefer plush rugs that are soft to the feet. If you go for color just think luxury and relaxing when choosing your rugs. According to Pottery Barn’s design experts, "rugs measuring 17" by 24" are typically suitable in front of pedestal sinks or shower stalls, while those measuring 21" by 34" fit well outside most tubs.” 


Amanda: Again, I’m going to go with white for curtains! A handy trick for your personal home or just staging (that literally costs $0.00 extra dollars) is to mount your shower curtain rod just under the ceiling to add height, drama, and draw the eye upwards for a bit of “wow”.

Another trick for staging is to get two curtains and part them on either side of the bath for a dramatic feature. This works particularly well if you have an interesting or updated tile on the back wall of the shower.

Staging: Set to Sell LLC. Photography: Graham Yelton Creative

2. Décor - Plants, Art, & Baskets

Christina: Keep your decorative items to a minimum and only place thing in the room that add to the feeling you are trying to create (that feeling being peace and calm).

3. Doorknobs or door handles (count and measure before you go)

Amanda: Adding a good crystal knob to an existing door can really transform it into a luxurious entry, or updating a silver knob to black can change the feel of the entire room!

4. Paint

Amanda: If you can’t picture a paint color in a soothing luxury spa — it’s probably not the right paint color! Stay far away from bright colors like red or purple, and veer towards white/off-white, light neutrals, and soft aquas that are barely there (much like the bathroom that inspired Christina, featured above).

5. Lighting

Christina: Looks for lights that are specifically tinted for bathrooms and vanities. If you are selling, you want any potential buyer to feel good in the space and great lighting is key for bathrooms. If you are using energy efficient bulbs, make sure you have matching light tones for all the bulbs in the room.

Amanda: Trendwatch! Check out sconces with shades and lucite or gold bases to go on either side of your mirrors. They add soft lighting for your morning makeup and general ~spa~ aesthetic.


Here is a 3-step process to bathroom HAPPINESS:

Okay, you are now home with the goods. Hopefully, you’ve made a Starbucks run on the way back and you are sufficiently inspired.

Set to Sell staged bathroom

Staging: Set to Sell LLC. Photography: Graham Yelton Creative

1. De-Clutter

Empty the drawers and cabinets, wipe them out. Clear the counters and place the items in the lovely baskets you purchased for the project. Remove everything from your counter, shelves, around the bathtub, or shower.  The Clean & Scentsible blog has a list of 20 things you can do to declutter your bathroom. 

2. Deep clean 

The first step to any staging is to break out the toothbrush and deep clean. Scrub away the mold. Bleach dingy grout and replaced discolored caulking. Clean the lightbulbs in your vanity. Remove all dead ladybugs from the base of globes (Or is it just me?:-D).

3. Install and Decorate

Enjoy this part! If you need decor inspiration or help, be sure and check out Set to Sell’s previous work here

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Amanda Swan--Director of Operations at Set to Sell and Featured Contributor

Amanda has been with Set to Sell, a Birmingham staging and design company, since 2015. Their success in staging homes for sale and model homes has open the door for more opportunities for home design. Amanda graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Marketing. She was a longtime volunteer at the Lee County Humane Society. 


Christina Lowry James--Team Leader and Realtor

Full-time, experienced Realtor with a team of dedicated professtionals to searve the needs of sellers and buyers in the greater Birmingham Metro area. Brokered by Re/Max Souther Homes in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Christina has a successful track record and gets her clients prove results. 


Christina James and BirminghamWelcomeHome.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christina James and BirminghamWelcomeHome.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.