getting started in home staging?

Real Estate Agent with Realty Direct

My wife loves decorating (and I think has a natural talent for it) and is very interested in getting into a field where she can enjoy decorating homes (i.e. interior design, home staging).  She's yet to decide which path to take, but is very interested in how to best start this new career.  Are there any suggestions you'd recommend?  Should she pursue any certifications?  For somebody with no work experience, who or what type of companies would you recommend she try to get some experience?

Thanks in advance.  BTW, we live in Northern Virginia so if you know specific companies or people you can put her in contact with, she'd greatly appreciate it.

Comments (6)

James Frazier
James Frazier Personal Development Coach - Rockford, IL


One suggestion is that you wife read as many of these staging blogs as possible. Use the search function to find specific topics such as training, certification, and other subjects concerning the business. Then I would suggest that she read the blogs of the top stagers- those who have blogged the most on active rain. There are many seasoned pros in this group and they all generously share their wealth of knowledge. After doing this hopefully she will come away with a better idea of the realities of staging as a business. It requires a lot of hard work and the ability to have many skills not just decorating sense. One needs to be part interior decorator, accountant, psychologist, marketing person, sales person, cleaning pro, and full time schleper.

If you contact me directly, I will be happy to share my experience with the training program I went through. I had a great experience with the company I choose but rather than speak about them on Active Rain itself I prefer to do it directly so as not to give the impression I am pushing their program.

Good luck.

Feb 22, 2007 01:23 AM
Marci Toliver
438-4642 - Mauldin, SC
Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging

Jmaes, I feel like they say on Family Fued Game Show!  GOOD ANSWER! GOOD ANSWER!

Feb 22, 2007 01:53 AM
Maureen Graziano
Third Eye Home Staging - West Islip, NY

Hi- I am new to staging and it is definately much more than decorating.  I think the business side is really important.  There is much more to this job than "fluffing".

Lots of luck and success to your wife!

Maureen Graziano

Feb 22, 2007 07:03 AM
Patricia Barta
Staging by Patricia - Great Falls, VA
Staging by Patricia, N. Virginia

Hi Steve,

If I may offer up my humble advice.  RESEARCH, RESEARCH. RESEARCH.  I have a degree in Interior Design and when I decided to start staging I realized it is a HUGE diffrence; Staging vs. Design.  I had to re-adjust my brain.  Staging has a lot of diffrent facets to it.  Active Rain is an AMAZING learning tool as well.  I can spend hours reading and taking notes. 

I wish her all the luck! If she sets her mind to it she can do anything she wants!


Feb 22, 2007 08:18 AM
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

Steve - Having a flair for design is definitley paramount in this business, but it really is not what we do.  It's more than that, for sure.  It is creating balance in a house to focus on it's best features.  If she can see a room in that light, she's definitely a stager and will do very well.

As far as certification, we've all but exhausted the subject of necessity here on AR, but there is a lot of value in it if she finds the program that suits her.  Do an extensive internet search - there are new programs all the time - and call at least one person on each of their "graduate" lists to get a first person review.  There are also a lot of 'redesign' courses she can take if looking to go more in that direction. 

As far as experience? If she has been decorating your home - she has more experience than she thinks...

Feb 22, 2007 08:22 AM
Sandra Hughes
Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia - Fairfax, VA
Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia
Steve, If your wife wants to call me she can.  I live in the area and will be happy to chat with her about my experiance so far.  You can find my phone number on my web site.
Feb 22, 2007 10:07 PM