The ultimate goal when staging is to ensure that whoever steps into your home can picture themselves living there. That's what design is all about — evoking a FEELING! The tricky part is that not everyone's style preferences are the same. And if you've ever watched House Hunters, you know that even the smallest thing, like the paint on the walls, can turn off even the most serious of buyers.

So, whether you're trying to put your home on the market, or just improve the zen in your space before your in-laws get to town — these 6 tips will help you stage your home like a pro! I even included some visuals so you can see what a difference these changes make. 

1. Group Your Furniture 

This tip may seem a little counterintuitive, but hear me out! The thing is, people need help understanding what each space could be used for. And when all furniture is pushed up against the walls, the middle of the room seems like wasted space. Try to cluster furniture together to create conversation areas and intentional spaces. If that means removing a few pieces of furniture, don't be afraid to pair down! Crowded rooms leave buyers feeling cramped and makes the home feel and look smaller. 

Face sofas and chairs towards one another with a coffee table in between. This creates intimacy and coziness. 

2. Less IS More

Cleaning up your clutter is one of the surefire ways to make your home feel warm and welcoming. You don't want to distract people away from noticing the great qualities of your home, by drawing their attention to a messy coffee table or desk cluttered with papers. This could leave people thinking that your home doesn't offer enough storage space. 

Take a photo of each room before you start staging. Looking at these visuals will give you a new perspective of the space and allow you to pick out the eye sores in the room, whether that's too many pillows on the couch or a cluttered bookshelf.

3. Take Down "Personal" Decor

You may love the pictures of all your loved ones hanging in the entryway (or collaged on the refrigerator), but for the purpose of staging you will want to find a temporary new home for them. Again, the goal is to allow buyers to be able to picture themselves in your home. Fill the empty space with abstract photos, drawings, a painting or other generic artwork that can blend-in with existing decor. 

This tip is not exclusive to family photos. Consider taking down quotes that have too many words, religious items, personalized towels, or any monogramed items.

4. Find Beauty in Odd Numbers 

I've always been a fan of designing in groups of three or five. Odd number groupings are the most appealing to the eye. I always place the largest item in the back and then vary the heights of the other items. Typically it's best to group things based on a common element: color, texture, shape, etc. But be careful to make it look curated, not cluttered.

Groups of three are great for bookshelves! If you don’t have 3 objects that are all different height, use a stack of books to make the back object stand out. Also, don't be afraid to use blank space to your advantage. This helps keep the space from feeling too cluttered.

5. Keep it Neutral

Bold colors don't always appeal to everyone, so it's important to keep those to a minimum. This rule applies to artwork, upholstered furniture and even wall color. As a rule for staging, I try to only do one pop of color in each room, whether that's a vase of flowers on the dining table or a fun pillow! 

Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. Don't be afraid to mix textures and sizes. Gray, beige, white, black, even navy blue can all be considered neutrals.

6. Don't Forget to Clean Up!

Sight + Scent are the two most important senses when it comes to first impressions! If your home smells good, people will remember that! At the same time, they will also remember if your home smelled like the curry you cooked last night for dinner. So, I recommend lighting a candle a few hours before a showing, or bake a batch of cookies for a lingering sweet homely smell.

Clean your home with a mild all-purpose cleanser to make everything shiny and smelling fresh! This includes but is not limited to toilets, countertops, floors, sinks, litterbox, etc. (and don't forget to dust your ceiling fans!)

So, see?! Staging your home is as as easy as following these 6 simple steps! 

However, if you would like some 1-on-1 guidance—whatever the occasion—I'd be happy to help you implement these steps... and more... to make sure your house feel like a home! Check out my Home Staging services for more information. 


Love, Ding