Cynthia's Blog

January 9, 2009

Home Staging vs. Interior Decorating

Cynthia's Blog > Stage to Sell Homes

What’s the difference between Home Staging and Interior Decorating?

One of the most common statements that I hear at a Home Staging appointment is: "I wish I’d known about you five years ago!"  Sadly, many sellers finish their Wish-List then barely get to enjoy their home that now looks the best it's ever looked. The next question I hear is, "Do you do this for people who aren't moving?" Of course I do! My approach is different, though, because the goals are different.

When selling, the home needs to appeal to a variety of people with a variety of style preferences: Buyers. When decorating, only one or two people need to like it: Owners.

For instance: a fireplace hearth might be beautifully decorated with plants, candles, easels with artwork, etc., but as a Home Stager I would remove most–if not all–of it in order to reveal the tile surround and any gorgeous millwork or trim.  The fireplace itself should be the focal point, not the artfully-arranged decor.  Buyers want to see what they are buying, and a fireplace is a key feature.

Do any of these situations sound like yours?

  • You love your things but not how they look together.
  • You are newlyweds trying to merge two styles.
  • You have a new home and nothing seems to work as well as it did in the other home.
  • You have furniture but your rooms seem empty.
  • You want some creative ideas for using traditional items in a different way.
  • You want to downsize but can’t decide what to keep or lose.
  • You just inherited some nice pieces & want to fit them in with your own things.
  • Your color schemes are not quite working.
  • Your display areas (bookshelves, kitchen soffits) are haphazard rather than beautiful.
  • You are a collector and want to avoid a cluttered look.
  • You are ready to purchase a few key pieces but are overwhelmed by the possibilities and don't want to make costly mistakes.
  • You constantly ask yourself, "How did I end up with so much stuff!?"

Need a creative eye?  A breakthrough?  A plan?  Having staged over 4,000 homes I’ve had to get creative in arranging furnishings to bring out the best in a home.  Probably the most memorable thing I did for a home with ZERO decor (seriously, a couple of K-Mart family photos and that's it for the walls!) was to stand two antiqued brass cymbals from a drum set on a mantle, layered with books and a glass oil lamp!  I’ve used a child’s wooden toy chair as a plant stand on a sofa table… Transformed a china cabinet standing in a living room (wrong place, yes, but it wasn’t going ANYwhere, so said the homeowner!) into a bookcase, replacing glassware with books, family photos, accessories and greenery–a reading chair and lamp nearby… Stood a gorgeous old wood armoire on an empty wall in a large master bath and filled it with towels and family photos and magic lotions ‘n potions… Created a hearth area where space for it simply did not exist.  You will be pleasantly surprised at the inexpensive ways to achieve rooms that look pulled-together and inviting, whatever your style and budget, using items you already own.

Imagine: Tomorrow you can walk into a "new" home, a place that has been transformed into a haven, one that warmly welcomes all who enter, especially you!  Schedule an appointment today!


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