Home Staging is Not Decorating

Home Stager with Six Twenty Designs
Home Staging is Not Decorating

There's still a lot of confusion about the difference between home staging and decorating. When I introduce myself to people as a home stager, I still get people who respond with "Oh, so you decorate homes". While that is one aspect of my business, it's not what home staging is about. Home staging is not decorating.
Not completely, that is. There is an aspect of decorating that goes into home staging but that's not what the term means. Who would hire someone to decorate their home when they're selling it? I'm pretty sure most people would see that as a non-necessity.
Home Staging is Not Decorating
Home staging is about preparing your home for sale, making a great first impression. During a home staging consultation, I'm not decorating a home. I'm looking at each room and identifying the perceived negatives buyers will see and coming up with a solution to fix them.

Home stagers will assess the furniture. Is it too big, making the room appear smaller than it is? Could a different layout work better? How do the rooms flow together? Will the color of the fabric be a distraction to buyers?

We'll assess the paint color and its condition. Bold colors could turn off a potential buyer. Worn and discolored paint just screams "this house needs fixing!"

We'll look at the basic condition of the home. Does it need landscaping? Cleaning? Repair?
Home stagers will also see how much stuff you have and either tell you to box it up or use it in another way in another part of the home.

Home staging goes far beyond just decorating. It's about taking into consideration all aspects of the home. Cleaning, painting, layouts, repair and some DIY fixes. But home staging is not decorating. It's preparing your home for sale and doing what's best to make that great first impression.

Book your home staging consultation today and prepare your home for a shorter time on the market.

Posted by

Suzanne Otto-Six Twenty Designs


Home Staging is a tool every seller should have in their back pocket. Don't lose out on potential buyers by selling your home "as-is".


If you live in the Montgomery, Bucks or Chester County of Pennsylvania and need a home stager, contact Suzanne.


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Comments (69)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Suzanne- staging and decorating are two different things for sure.  Well done explanation, Suzanne.  If you are decorating a home, you have only to satisfy those who live in it.  It's so important that sellers understand the difference.

Oct 22, 2014 11:14 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Home staging is about increasing perceived value as was mention above.  It is best for sellers to seriously consider this advice.

Oct 22, 2014 01:36 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Great post on this subject.  Good staging is really a plus!

Oct 23, 2014 01:01 AM
Karen Mathers - REALTOR®
Keller Williams Vero Beach - Vero Beach, FL
When it Matters, Choose Mathers! 772-532-3221

Fantastic explanation of the differences!  Staging can be a tremdous asset in getting you home sold quickly. 

Oct 23, 2014 01:28 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Hi Suzanne,

Great post.  I've met some decorators who are great at what they do, but they have no idea how to stage a home.


Oct 23, 2014 03:17 AM
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR * Broker * Coach

Good point. I agree with comment #54. I have had many people with beautifully decorated homes ask me if they should become home stagers. In reality they do not know anything about staging, just decorating. They really are not the same thing, but I can see where being a good decorator would be a very useful skill to have if you were considering a career in staging. 

Oct 23, 2014 05:35 AM
Mary Benton
TechTown Realty, Licensed in Texas - Lubbock, TX
TechTown Realty in Lubbock

I like the idea, I know it works but we don't have stagers in our community...or not many.  Has not caught on here, those who tried their hand at staging could not make a living.

Oct 23, 2014 08:12 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Excellent post. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression or so the saying goes. 

Oct 23, 2014 02:33 PM
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Hi Suzanne, you have explained the differences perfectly. Both have different results. Have a great day.

Oct 23, 2014 03:52 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Hi Suzanne, I think sellers think it is decorating and they think they are good decorators or at least most of them do. Great post and well written.

Oct 24, 2014 11:19 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Suzanne ... great post and look at all these comments, "WOW" 

Oct 26, 2014 05:24 AM
Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Excellent post Suzanne! Thank you for the differentiation. Good luck.

Oct 26, 2014 03:02 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Another objective set of eyes,...and a good definition we can all use when doing our consultations.

Oct 26, 2014 09:56 PM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Thanks Nick & Trudy!

Oh the themes, Carla. The themes I've seen!

Thank you Larry!

Exactly Sam

You know it Sharon! Those red flags need to be eliminated.

And that's exactly what I try to get across to sellers Ann Marie. We need to make it appeal to a broad range of people.

Right Praful! But sometimes it's more than simple touches ;-)

Thank you Kathy.

Joan that's exactly what stagers do. 

Thanks Paula!

Karen, staging is a tool every seller should use!

It's two completely different things Wayne & Jean Marie.

Dana, it's certainly good to know the fundamentals of decorating when staging a home. 

I think it's only a matter of time Mary.

That's right Tom!

Thanks Jackie, you too!

It's true Debbie. Most sellers don't understand the term staging. 

Thanks Bob :)

Thank you Tanya!

Right Sally & David!


Oct 28, 2014 12:53 AM
Cesi Pagano
Laguna Niguel, CA

Great blog Suzanne! I think it´s good that people get to know the difference!

Oct 28, 2014 05:18 AM
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Specialist - Agent

A talented stager, such as yourself, can make all the difference in the world with time on market.

Nov 01, 2014 12:14 PM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Thanks Cesi!

It's true, we can Chris :)

Nov 02, 2014 10:35 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Suzanne.... I'm very late for this party....great post....home staging is the essence of the meaning of the phrase "the eye buys" and that's what home stager attempt to do....they make the home catch the eye of the buyer....and appeal to human senses....

Nov 03, 2014 06:04 PM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Suzanne your post is right on point.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Nov 04, 2014 11:55 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Excellent information. The service you provide is critical - an objective assessment of multiple characteristics.

Nov 19, 2014 11:00 PM