Myth #6 Busted - Home staging just means removing the clutter.

Home Stager

Home staging is more than just decluttering.   Anyone can take everything off the kitchen counter or strip a bathroom so there is nothing in it - so why should people hire someone to do it for them?  Professional home stagers are trained to; first get rid of the clutter, then add decorative elements and / or emotional connection points that will appeal to a broad range of home buyers.  Just cutting the clutter is not enough.  You do not want the room to end up looking stark.  Every room should be warm and inviting, beautifully decorated and stylishly current.  Homes that have been staged have IT.  It is just like Stewart Potter said, "I'm not sure how to define it, but I know it when I see it!"

I figured the best way to illustrate IT is with pictures.

Kitchen BeforeBefore- This kitchen looks pretty good.  It is not really cluttered although it lacks style and pizazz.


kitchen afterAfter - Although there are almost exactly the same amount of items on the kitchen counters this kitchen is warm and inviting.


 This master bath has been decluttered but it is not inviting.

 After - Looks relaxing and inviting. Again there are actually more items in this space than in the before but they are designed to appeal to prospective buyers.

OK - I hope that helps to clarify myth #6.  There is more to home staging than just decluttering a space.

If anyone has B&A's they would like to share I'd love to see them. 



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Peter Andres - Lic. in FL & NY GRI,SRES,CNE
REALTOR - The Villages, FL

Reading this blog and viewing the pics, the first thing that came to mind was my wife in the morning. After we get up, we get ourselves ready for the day and she has the master bathroom first. I'll put the coffee on and prepare the oatmeal/ cream of wheat /grits and the next thing I know it, she walks out and she's this raving beauty! You gals have the edge on knowing how to stage yourselves.

Nov 14, 2006 12:27 AM #2
Stefan Scholl
Buyer's Broker of Northern Michigan, LLC - Petoskey, MI
Northern Michigan Real Estate

Thanks for sharing.  I love looking at the before and after shots.

Nov 14, 2006 02:55 AM #3
Val Allocco
Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island - Northport, NY
HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island

Maureen, Congrats on writing a featured blog! 

Love the before and after pics!

Staging It Forward,


Nov 14, 2006 04:50 AM #4
Deb Salkeld
Diversified Data Solutions, L.L.C. - Macomb, MI
Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant

I've been reading about staging homes - there was an article here in Macomb County. In some instances, I've heard they actually rent furniture and bring in items from their own homes. It's amazing the difference it makes.  Great job!


Deb Salkeld - Diversified Data Solutions, L.L.C. Your Virtual Partner.

Nov 14, 2006 04:52 AM #5
Gina Dougherty
Fusion Design Consulting - Redondo Beach, CA
Home Staging Redondo Beach, CA-

Maureen, you are exactly right, staging doesn't mean stark and empty it means warm and appealling, and your pictures really prove it.

Your quote captures what stagers provide- we enable buyers see what "could be".  Great Job!

Nov 14, 2006 05:34 AM #6
Kaushik Sirkar
Call Realty, Inc. - Chandler, AZ
Your before and after pics are quite striking!  Thanks,
Nov 14, 2006 06:33 AM #7
Home Design
Alpharetta, GA
Home Design and Real Estate
Very Impressive.  I love what decorators can do with any type of room.  Home staging is very important!
Nov 14, 2006 11:19 AM #8
Teresa Boardman
Boardman Realty - Saint Paul, MN
Nice job. The way I figure it less is more, well more or less.
Nov 14, 2006 12:03 PM #9
Bonnie Erickson
Tangletown Realty - Saint Paul, MN
I had a client whose home was so clean before decluttering that it almost felt sterile.  She proceeded to remove all of her personal items in preparation for the listing.  I nearly died when I returned as the house was totally cold and uninviting.  Clean and decluttered but cold.  We had to add "stuff" back in to restore the homelike feel.
Nov 14, 2006 01:05 PM #10
MaryAnn Morrar ~ La Jolla
Coldwell Banker - La Jolla, CA

Your pictures are great.  I'm going to share my new listing photos, the seller has been working very hard.  We are still not finished staging.

Bedroom before


AfterBedroom after

Nov 14, 2006 01:07 PM #11
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA

No question that a picture is worth a 1,000 words.. my what a difference staging can make..

Nov 14, 2006 01:25 PM #12
Carl Guild
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Properties - East Hampton, CT
Central Connecticut Real Estate
Love seeing the before and after shots! Thanks!
Nov 14, 2006 02:39 PM #13
Bonnie Erickson
Tangletown Realty - Saint Paul, MN
Isn't it fun to see how differently people live?  Some could never imagine living in MaryAnn's before picture, while to others that's like a comfortable shoe.  The staging was definitely an improvement for MaryAnn's listing!
Nov 14, 2006 07:39 PM #14
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Mary Ann - Thanks so much for sharing your before and after shots.  What a dramatic difference.  Whenever I stage a home I try to use reds - they really photograph well.
Nov 15, 2006 12:45 AM #15
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY

It is embarrassing to admit how psyched I was to see that my post was listed as a featured blog.  Does that make me a total computer geek???

Thanks to everyone for your great comments!!!

Nov 15, 2006 12:47 AM #16
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

Hey Maureen

I totally agree that decluttering is NOT staging. I had also did a blog about this because soooo many realtors think they stage when in fact they just declutter. I consider that the prep work prior to staging. No you are not a computer geek, but I am a computer iliterate...

Best of Luck

Stage it Forward Phyllis Pafumi

Nov 16, 2006 01:37 PM #17
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI


It's kind of like the same thing that happens each year at the Oscars.

All women are wearing some of the finest gowns in the world... some look great, others ugly! WHY? Styling creativity.  A talented stylist knows that each element that is added into the mix impacts it. The job of the stylist is to balance, tweak and stylize to perfection.

Regardless it still takes? TALENT.

Nov 19, 2006 12:16 AM #18
Bonnie Erickson
Tangletown Realty - Saint Paul, MN

Craig is so right about the key component.  It's not just balance, or following good design rules, or coordinating color, or any of the other "techniques".  Good  eventually boils down to talent!

Nov 19, 2006 01:17 AM #19
Alyse Bromberg
Dressed for Success - Kingston, ON
Maureen, nice job!  What did you put over the window in the kitchen?
Apr 05, 2007 08:02 AM #20
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Alyse - It is a simple wooden frame covered with fabric.  No sew - I used a staple gun to attach it.  
Apr 05, 2007 08:47 AM #21
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