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To be a successful stager, sometimes you have to use psychology. I had to use it on my last staging client. Here is how it went down:

I ordered furniture and artwork for a newly remodeled home, located five minutes from where I live. I told the warehouse people I wanted tans and browns for the living room because I would probably use ORANGE (and maybe green) as my accent color. The word orange is capitalized for a reason.

I received an email the morning of the delivery telling me that two ORANGE chairs were on the truck. In case I didn't like them, they sent two brown chairs, too.

In the case of this staging, because it was so close to my own home, I decided to wait and get the appropriate accessories after the furniture was delivered. The truck arrived, and they started carrying furniture in. The driver asked me if I wanted to look in the truck and choose the chairs. I told him I really couldn't tell, and would he please bring the ORANGE chairs in. He did, and I loved them! They were absolutely perfect for the room!

I spent the next half hour in my basement choosing the right accessories and packing them up. As I grabbed my phone, I noticed I had missed a call. The client left me a message saying she had just "stopped by the house", and she hated the ORANGE chairs and they would HAVE to be replaced.

I called her back and asked her if she was referring to the TERRA COTTA chairs in the living room. She hesitated and said yes. I then asked her to trust me, and if she still hated them after I was completely finished with the staging, I would gladly replace them.

Here are the before and after photos:

living room before  living room staged


living room 2 before  living room 2 staged


kitchen 1 before  kitchen 1 staged


kitchen 2 before  kitchen 2 staged


bathroom before  bathroom staged


master bedroom before  master bedroom staged


Where I live, if you use the word ORANGE people think of this:




So I would NEVER stage with ORANGE!!! I only stage with TERRA COTTA.

My Melissa shot

The next day, the client called again. "You were right" she said, "it looks beautiful."


Posted by

Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


I wish we had more stagers around here. It is almost unheard of here.

Apr 23, 2011 04:20 PM
Marianne Sweet
Home Sweet Home Staging - Rochester Hills, MI
Home Sweet Home Staging, LLC Rochester Hills, MI

Gorgeous staging Big Sis.  Maybe I'm partial because I use a lot of orange ... er, terra cotta (or as I call it, "rust") in my staging also.  You're not surprised, are you? 

I did, however, nearly spit out my coffee when I saw the Broncos logo.  Them's fightin' words!  LOL!

Apr 24, 2011 01:29 AM
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

I absolutely love those terra cotta chairs! And... love the table setting you used. 

Congratulations. Your home staging is being featured in the group Staging Before and After Pictures.


Apr 24, 2011 01:33 AM
Marianne Cherico
Interiors by Marianne Cherico - Foxboro, MA
Home Stager -Massachusetts and Rhode Island

I also love those terra cotta chairs. They add beutiful color...Isn't it fiunny how words create an impression (orange vs. terra cotta)?....it is all perception.

Apr 24, 2011 02:03 AM
Karen Searle, Home On Display
Peterborough, ON

Lovely - the chairs look great and I think those dishes are so pretty.  Great job! 


Apr 24, 2011 02:31 AM
Rob Proctor
At Home Real Estate Company - Loveland, CO
GRI ePro

Great Job Elaine!! Looks like everything works together.

Apr 24, 2011 04:28 AM
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Orange County, CA

I love the look you pulled together, Elaine. And I applaud your use of "color psychology" to convice the client that your choice was the right choice. Well done!

Apr 24, 2011 06:04 AM
Pamela Smith
Ventura County Home Staging - Thousand Oaks, CA

What a great way to handle this color issue Elaine. You were soooo smart to immediately switch the concept to terra cotta. I can just here the pause in your client's voice! Color memory/perception can be a very strong thing for some people - obviously was for your client! The way you infused the terra cotta throughtout with art and accessories ... well, it's what she hired you to do!! She was looking at the "orange" chairs in a vacuum. The completed look was spectacular. Congratulations!

Apr 24, 2011 08:41 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Orange you glad you used the terra cotta chairs?!!  I think they add a real zing to an otherwise neutral palate.  Glad you stuck to your guns!

Apr 24, 2011 01:23 PM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Elaine--glad the client trusted you because the outcome is fantastic.  The chairs and the table setting add just the needed pop.  Nice staging. 

Apr 24, 2011 01:53 PM
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

We would have to use red and blue for the Houston Texans, now that I think about it the Astros and Rockets colors aren't much better. I like the orange terra cotta chairs!

Apr 25, 2011 03:43 PM
Leanne Zumbrunnen
Z Touch Design Services - Lenexa, KS

I love the whole color scheme as well!  So... how did the client feel after you were done?!?

Apr 25, 2011 06:37 PM
Michelle Seidelman
Staged To Sell - Portland, OR

It's great using the color accents like that. Nice job, I'm glad the client was pleased with the finished results : )

Apr 26, 2011 06:10 AM
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Aloha Kimo! This seller had put in tan tile floors, tan carpet, and tan paint. It was crying out for some color! As the buyers walk in, they can see the living room and into the kitchen where the table is, so I felt it was important to tie these rooms together. As always, thank you for the positive feedback!

Kathy- I think the orange works because the chairs are very simple.

Thanks, Laura! I hope the buyers refer to it as "the home we are going to make an offer on"!

Steve, what kind of backwater swamp are you living in? :)

Apr 26, 2011 11:54 AM
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Hey Lil Sis! Don't spread it around, but I am NOT a Broncos fan. Love the Rockies, Avs and Nuggets, though. And no, I'm not surprised you use this color a lot!

Thanks, Kathy! Those are my favorite staging dishes. And, thanks for the feature!

Marianne- Another perfect example would be my bedroom walls--they aren't brown, they're chocolate!

Thanks, Karen! I have used those dishes for entertaining!

Thanks Rob! That is always my goal!

Michelle--I've learned a lot from our AR star stagers, including you!

Apr 27, 2011 09:47 AM
Reno, NV

You're right! The "terra cotta" chairs are perfect...... great staging for this vacant house!

Apr 27, 2011 04:27 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Not sure how I missed this originally, but I'm glad I caught it now!  Fabulous job!

Aug 25, 2011 04:26 AM
Realty Executives NOLA
Realty Executives NOLA - Kim Higgins, Broker/Owner - Greater New Orleans & Northshore Area Rea... - New Orleans, LA
Greater New Orleans & Northshore Area Real Estate

I just happened upon this post after reading a more recent one of yours. Love the psychology at work and the photos are beautiful!

Jun 14, 2015 01:17 AM
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Thanks, Kim! There is so much psychology in staging, as I'm sure there is in selling and listing!!!

Jun 14, 2015 01:21 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Elaine Manes Gage ,  I'm glad she came to her senses and trusted your judgement.

Jun 14, 2015 12:51 PM