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We asked our Design Guru, Callie Loewen, everything you need to know when it comes to staging a home!

1) What is staging?

Staging an important part of the process of getting a home ready for listing. It involves placing furniture and accessories to highlight the best features of a house. It helps the buyer to imagine themselves and their lives in the home. 

2) What does a stager do?

A stager can assist real estate agents and homeowners on many levels, ranging from installing all furniture and accessories in a newly-built vacant home to consulting on changes in paint and light fixtures to make the home market-ready.

3) How much of a difference does it make if a home is staged or unstaged?

In my opinion, a vacant house is just that: a house. A building. Walls, doors, windows. Staging is what makes it feel like a home. Buyers often report that the “feel” like a home is theirs, or that they could “see” themselves living there. Installing staging helps buyers form that emotional connection that differentiates ” a house” from “their home”. Additionally, it can also be very difficult for buyers to envision how to arrange furniture. They ask themselves, “Will my couch fit?” and “where would I put the TV?”. Confusion on these items can lead a buyer away from a home, simply because they can’t envision their lives and their possessions in the space. Simply put, staging removes the guesswork!

4) What’s the difference between home staging and decorating? 

I love this question! Home staging makes a house feel like a home, but decorating makes a home specific to one person or family. There are many, many styles of decorating: traditional, shabby chic, coastal, rustic, the list goes on and on. While staging adds some warmth and defines function, decorating adds highly personal touches that may be pleasing to some, but off-putting to others. A seller may love antiques, family photos, and collectibles, but a buyer may have a hard time seeing the home itself  and envisioning themselves in the home because of all the decorations and highly personal items. 

5)  What are the benefits of hiring a professional staging business, rather than simply decluttering what’s there?

Decluttering is ALWAYS an excellent first step when getting a home ready to list. I’ve heard it referred to as “pre-packing”. This is helpful on so many levels: you’re moving, so you’re going to pack, anyway, personal items and keepsakes are kept safely in boxes (rather than on tables, etc. where they can be knocked over or damaged during open houses or showings), and you’re home will already be de-personalized. START THERE!A stager will help you take things to the next level, assisting with optimal furniture placement, advising on updates, and adding in accessories and items to give fresh finishing touches. 

6) Will staging increase my home’s value when I go to list it?

A home’s value is determined by two factors: the appraisal, and what a buyer is willing to pay. Staging can increase your home’s perceived value, leading to more offers, faster offers, or higher offers. At the end of the day, YOU WANT OFFERS. Envision two identical homes in similar condition in the same subdivision:Home A has a sleek modern sofa, clean rugs, bright lighting, and up-to-date decor. Home B has well-worn armchairs, dusty lamps, and plastic storage totes in the corners.
Which home would  appear to be a better value? Home A would be much more likely to get a full-price offer compared to Home B, because it appears to be better kept and more up-to-date. 

7) How do you stay on top of interior design trends?

The internet makes this SO easy! A simple search of “design trends” will lead you to dozens of websites for inspiration and shopping. Blogs by interior designers and HGTV are also great resources. Pay attention to common elements that you see repeatedly across sources. Lately, you’ll notice lots of brushed brass, marble and faux marble, and mix and match metals. Right now, MCM-inspired furniture, and a myriad of textured fabrics (sheep skin, rattan, linen, velvet) are really having their moment!

8) What is your process in determining which pieces and/or which style of staging is right for a person’s home?

Paying attention to the style and scale of the home is key. While MCM furniture is on-trend, it would look out of place in a rustic log cabin! Likewise, a heavier, traditional bedroom set would be lovely in a classic tudor-style home, but would completely overwhelm a minimalistic condo.

Still have questions about staging/design? Feel free to send us an email at!

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