New Hampshire Home Stager's #1 Rule For Decorating Your Home

Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations

New Hampshire Home Stager's #1 Rule For Decorating Your Home


I'll start by saying although Home Staging is considered decorating by many;

I do not claim to be, nor have I been trained to be, a decorator.


As a New Hampshire Home Stager, I help sellers make their homes more appealing to buyers. My client's taste and personal style are not my concern.  Home Staging is not about the homeowner's convenience or's about creating space and flow and highlighting positive features.

   It's not decorating, it's marketing. 

As a New Hampshire Home Stager, I also help homeowners, who are not selling, give their homes a fresh new look.   I transform, update, organize and refresh.  I help choose paint colors, furniture and accessories.

 Redesign is more like decorating. 

 When I help a client "redesign" their home, it's ALL ABOUT THEM.

  Isn't that how it should be?


At a recent Home Staging consult my client (preparing her New Hampshire home for sale) was thrilled when I said she should remove the large area rug in her living room.  She said "That's great news!  I've always hated that thing!"  Turns out she never liked the window treatments or wall colors either.

 She hired a decorator when she moved in 10 years ago because she "knows nothing about decorating".  She didn't like his choices but trusted that he was the professional and knew best.  Her husband didn't like the new look either, but they have lived with it for 10 years!

How sad is that?


 Life is too short to hate your drapes!

Not everyone has a flare for design and most people stress out over choosing colors.  Hiring a professional for help is a GREAT idea......but the professional should only be a guide and the end result should make you happy. 

Here's my #1 Rule for decorating your home:

Your house should be a reflection of YOUR taste, not someone else's.   You should love the colors and fabrics and feel happy and proud to call it home!

 If something makes you's the right choice for you.

loving it!


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Kate McQueen
Realty ONE Group-Lone Star - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

True.  A space that is  not comfortable and inviting for you defeats the purpose of even bothering to decorate.

Jul 09, 2012 12:57 AM #16
Pam Smits
Staging Fox Valley, LLC - Oshkosh, WI
Home Staging, Appleton, WI, Oshkosh, WI; Green Bay, WI

Sharon--what you have said is so true!  I have done redesign consultations and I always try to find out what the homeowner likes and dislikes and then try to include more of what they like!  Your home is your refuge from the world--it should feel like that!

Jul 09, 2012 01:22 AM #17
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Wow, I'm not sure how I missed this today, but it's a wonderful post Sharon, and well deserving of being Featured.  Your #1 rule is THE #1 rule, or at least it should be.  I have been helping people decorate their homes for years, but the final decisions are always theres, not mine.  I'm there to guide them, not make choices for them.  Excellent post!

Jul 09, 2012 01:40 AM #18
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Congrats on the feature, which I was about to suggest...great minds!  We run in to similar things when we do a brand.  Many people rely on "experts" who think they know how to brand you.  Instead of making it about them like a home which you need to be comfortable in...they make it about artistry and themselves as brand decorators...A

Jul 09, 2012 03:13 AM #19
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Congratulations on the feature and how true your words are-decorating is about the person, and designing real rooms for real people is really what good design is all about.

Jul 09, 2012 03:49 AM #20
Tatyana Makarov
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Your Greater Hartford Area Realtor

Hello Sharon,

I agree with you completely... They we put house on the market; we don't decorate it to our sellers' taste, but to our potential l buyers' taste.


Jul 09, 2012 05:24 AM #21
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Sheila:  I posted and then left for the day to visit my parents at the lake.  What a nice surprise to come home to!  The powers that be obviously agreed with you about featuring!  Thank you!

Debbie:  Too often people are focused on the wrong thing.  The sellers who don't want to be inconvenienced while selling and want the buyers to "see past" their stuff and homeowners who are too hung up on what's trendy instead of what makes them happy.

Valerie:  Lesson learned!  I'm sure they were expensive and once we spend money on window treatments it's like we HAVE to live with's hard to admit you don't like your own choice.

Sally & David:  You have to be happy....that's the bottom line!  Unless you are for sale...then you want happy buyers!

Dorie:  The post didn't start out being about the difference between staging and decorating.  When I thought about how sad it was that this couple lived "hating" the way their home looked, I realized many other people probably are living the same way.  I just wanted to make the point about choosing what makes you happy and it went from there.

Christiansen Team:  Thank you, and thanks for linking back to my other post!

Kim:  Agreed.  It all just gets thrown together in people's minds....staging/decorating one and the same.  I don't have a problem with people thinking I'm a decorator...but I have not had the training and it wouldn't be right to call myself one.  I'm always quite clear with clients looking for "decorating" advice.

Michael:  You've got it!  Thanks for stopping by!

Kathy:  Thank you!  Life is too short to hate your wall colors or your furniture too.  There's always something we can do to refresh and renew!  It doesn't have to be expensive to make your home a happier place.




Jul 09, 2012 06:47 AM #22
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Mary:  It's an easy way for sellers to understand that they are going to have to make some changes.  It's always important to add that staging has nothing to do with their personal style or never want to insult them.  

Ella:  It's the strategic marketing of a product.  Companies go to great lengths to choose packaging that will appeal to buyers, why should selling a house be any different?

Richie:  Thank you for the nomination!  An honor!

Laura:  I've seen the same thing, and it's beyond me.  "That's the color it was when we bought the house" or "I don't know how it got broken, it was broken when we moved here."  I just don't get it.

Chris & Dick:  At least your mother was smart enough to show Rob the door!  Wonder what Rob is doing today, LOL!

Sally:  Been there, done that!  LOL!  Hope you straightened him out before losing too much of that beautiful har!


Jul 09, 2012 06:55 AM #23
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Good work on the Feature, Sharon, but I like pictures of the kids.  Just jokin'. 

I have another thought I'd like you to consider.  Is "good taste" acquired?  For example, you may not have liked the favor of sharp cheeses or wines when you first tried them as a youngster.  But you acquire a taste and an appreciation for them as you try more.

Can design, interior design, be the same?  Can you grow to like good design by living in it?  But you'd think 10 years was ample time to acquire good taste.

Jul 09, 2012 07:06 AM #24
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Kate:  Agreed, make it yours or don't bother!

Pam:  I once chose paint colors based on a clients pasta bowl.  She was thrilled with the results!

Roger:  You didn't miss it, you are here!  Agree....we should guide not make the decisions for them.  Well said!

Alexandra:  For some people, it's all about the status or having something they think others will be impressed with.  I'ld rather be happy!

Joanna:  You don't expect to have to tell people it's ok to pick what they like.  Many times it's just a matter of validating their choices.  They just need someone to say it's going to look good.

Tatyana:  It's all about the buyer when you are selling!

Lloyd:  Plenty of pics of the kids to share on Wednesdays.  Stay tuned!

Good question about acquiring taste.  I would think each person would be different.  I think you could learn to like a color or a style if exposed to it over time.  In this case, they had plenty of time and it wasn't happening, LOL!

I know certain styles of clothing are ugly to me when they first start appearing, but then after seeing the look on TV and in magazines and it becomes quite popular, I end up liking it...maybe that's just me falling into the fashion trap of designers.

Jul 09, 2012 07:45 AM #25
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

I love your post Sharon, well said.  I wish more could separate the two and realize that.  Also on the decorating part... just because it's in or what someone thinks is in it doesn't mean it's right for you. Glad to see this featured!

Jul 09, 2012 08:10 AM #26
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Sharon-  Great post!  You made several excellent points regarding the differences between home staging and home redecorating, as well as using a decorator as more of a guide than the final word. 

Jul 09, 2012 08:27 AM #27
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Your house should be a reflection of YOUR taste, not someone else's.   You should love the colors and fabrics and feel happy and proud to call it home!  If something makes you's the right choice for you.

Sharon, that sounds like great advice to us! Just recently we popped in to say hi to clients we had sold. We couldn't believe the difference in the home! We thought the house was a show stopper (our opinion)when we sold it to these clients, it doesn't look anything like it now but you're right, it is 'home' to these people now.

Jul 09, 2012 08:41 AM #28
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Hi Sharon ~ Very well stated!!  If you're selling, it's about the Buyers (not you the seller).  If you're staying, it's all about YOU :-))  I can see that you've given the AR Realtors some new terminology that will be very helpful to them in the future as they talk to their sellers!

Jul 09, 2012 08:43 AM #29
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Ana:  Funny how people think....she was so relieved to be given permission to remove the rug.  If only she had asked for permission sooner!

Charlie:  We give others too much power sometimes when it comes to our own lives.

Al & Peggy:  As long as they are happy, that's the important thing!

Maureen:  You know as well as I do that nothing I said was "new", but it's nice to think that I've helped more people to understand.  Thank you!

Jul 09, 2012 09:41 AM #30
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Right on target there is a big difference between decorating and home staging.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jul 09, 2012 09:58 AM #31
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Sharon, good point. It's depressing to live with the decor you don't like and if it is time to change, get something that will make you happy every time you look at it. I am re-designing my living room and made insanely decision to buy a white couch.  It had been delivered and I am very happy with my choice.

Jul 09, 2012 02:21 PM #32
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Lou:  Thanks for stopping by!

Anna:  That was a brave decision!  I'm sure the new look will be gorgeous!  I hope you will be sharing pictures.

Jul 09, 2012 08:18 PM #33
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Can you imagine living for 10 years hating your decor, Sharon!?! That is unbelievable.

So true about decorating vs. Staging! Two totally different target markets...

Jul 24, 2012 09:02 PM #34
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Peg:  I just did a follow up with this client and turns out it was more like 20 yrs!  The poor thing!  I think staging this house has been therapeutic for her.

Jul 24, 2012 09:55 PM #35
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Sharon Tara

New Hampshire Home Stager
Questions about Home Staging or Redesign? Send me a message!
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