The Differences Between Effective and Ineffective Home Staging

Home Stager with Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors

Do you know the difference between a "good" and "bad" home staging? Many people do not, and they end up wasting money on poorly done stagings that fail to achieve the desired goal of maximizing their home's value and offers.

Here are some common mistakes that diminish the quality of the staging or -- worse -- fail to improve the home's value at all:

1) Too many pieces of furniture, furniture that is too large, or out-of-date styles, patterns, and colors. Crowded and unattractive rooms defeat the whole point of staging to sell -- making rooms look larger and more appealing to buyers so they can better imagine living in and enjoying the home.

2) Art that is hung too high or is way too small or the wrong color for the room or wall. Small art ends up looking like clutter in photos. Art should dramatize and enhance a room.

3) Poor accessorizing using out-dated items, small items, too many different colors, or the wrong number or size of items, which tends to make a room look unbalanced and messy to buyers. Alternatively too much white in a room with no contrast to add interest will not emotionally appeal to buyers.

4) Too-small area rugs that look like scatter rugs under coffee tables or dining tables -- the legs of tables and all the chairs should sit comfortably within the outside margins of area rugs. For living rooms, the rugs should meet up with sofa and chair legs or go completely underneath furniture.

5) Lack of lighting which makes rooms look visually colder. It's surprising how many homes lack table and/or floor lamps that both serve to dress up the space as accessories and most importantly, light up rooms to make them look better! A common saying in staging is "light and bright sells"!

6) Heavy or frilly/fussy window treatments. I generally suggest removing these to both reflect current trends and lighten up rooms. The one exception to this is leaving panel drapes if the colors are neutral or at least work well with the colors in the room and are kept to the side to let in as much light as possible.

7) Too-small or out-dated accessories (like cute plaques, roosters, and dish towels in kitchens, tiny soaps or florals in bathrooms). 8) Small plants plopped in corners of rooms. Greenery -- faux or real -- is great to add warmth and fill in empty corners, but the plants or trees need to be large to make a design statement in the space and not look silly. 


A good home stager has:

1) A solid knowledge of furniture and accessory scale and number of pieces appropriate to each room that will help buyers visualize the best use and maximize the space at the same time.

2) A good design eye for colors -- what colors play well together and in what amounts, the best color scheme that works with existing items and finishes in the house but also that will appeal to buyers, keeping in mind not only trends but the geographic area and seasons. For example, warmer or deeper colors in accessories like orange, red, navy, dark gray, bronze work better in colder months. Lighter greens, blues, teals, yellows are great summer colors IF They work with what's in the home already.

3) Knowledge of design trends. An effective home stager needs to know the "hot" colors, furniture styles to use in vacant homes (transitional for many areas, more modern styles for many cities), and trends in accessories and bedding.

4) Experience in knowing how and where to hang art as well as the appropriate sizes for each room and wall, and the best colors to use in each room to achieve the desired emotional response.

5) Education in home staging (and ideally interior design as well), color consulting, and membership in a staging association like RESA (the Real Estate Staging Association) or staged 


Posted by

Home Staging Bergen County -- Amy Bly

Great Impressions Home Staging 201-390-4649  

 "Great Impressions Get Offers"

Presentation and price are critical to selling houses quickly. You and your agent figure out the best price; I make your home stand out from the competition to appeal to the most buyers, whether they are first-time buyers, move-up buyers, or down-sizing buyers. As an accredited, experienced staging professional, I know how to make your home grab buyers' attention -- on the MLS and in person. A beautifully presented house makes a great impression, stands out from the competition, and generates offers faster than a non-staged house!

For a free home staging estimate, call me at 201-390-4649. 

Home staging website:




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David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

You are so right that there is a huge difference in wanna be stagers and professionals like you.

Nov 09, 2015 02:11 PM #1
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Thank you, David :) It's an uphill battle to show and educate investors and agents on what constitutes a "good" vs. "poor" staging, David! I hate to see anyone spend good money on an ineffective staging job -- and I cringe when I see some of the post-staging photos on-line! Homes that SHOULD look like model homes often seem to have garage-sale, out-dated furniture and tiny plants in the corners of rooms, too-small art on the walls (or no art at all), no accessories, etc.!

Nov 09, 2015 10:14 PM #2
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Good post Amy. wishing you a Merry Christmas and much success in 2016.

Dec 20, 2015 06:10 AM #3
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Thank you, Wendy! I'm very busy,  unusual for this time of year, so I'm hoping it continues for most of 2016! Same wishes for your success in the New Year :)

Dec 20, 2015 09:03 AM #4
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Styling Homes for Selling and Staying
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