The Difference Between Montreal Home Staging and Interior Decorating

Real Estate Sales Representative with Immeubles Deakin Realty E8107

What is the difference between Montreal home staging and interior decorating?

As a Montreal home stager and Montreal real estate broker, where home staging is still a relatively new concept, I'm often asked, "What's the difference between home staging and interior decorating?"

There are many, not the least of which is the fact that interior decorating caters to the tastes and preferences of one home owner/family, while Montreal home staging caters to the tastes of a whole pool of potential buyers for a home.

But it goes beyond that too. Here's a picture of a room that we were presented with at one of our Montreal home staging projects. 

Before shot of the home office 

Now it doesn't take a genius to figure out that a good clean-up of the room would work wonders.  And as an interior decorator, I could quickly come up with some window coverings, a nice desk lamp and other touches to make the room look like a pretty nice office.

But as a professional Montreal home stager, my job is to think about the target market for this home.  According to the Montreal real estate agent (this wasn't my listing), the most likely buyer for this home, in this neighbourhood and in this price range, would be a young family. 

Aha!  Young family = about two children.  The office was taking up one of the three bedrooms in the home.  Clearly, to attract as many potential buyers as possible, this room had to be converted to a bedroom to clearly show that there were three bedrooms in the home. You never want to make a potential buyer "work" to picture a home working for them or to picture themselves living there.  

So, this is what we did.

After shot of how a home office turns into a bedroom 


The home sold within a week of the staging, with offers coming in at the first open house.

And THAT is the difference between interior decorating and Montreal home staging.

Happy staging everyone.

Posted by




Professional home staging and professional photography: two critical factors to making sure your home looks its best, both in person and on the Internet, and neither of them cost you a penny when you list with me.


Put your best house forward. TM

Tanya Nouwens

Tanya Nouwens Inc., Montreal Real Estate Broker and Canadian Staging Professional (TM) 


C. 514-919-8468

This blog is written with my opinions. My opinions are presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Copyright Tanya Nouwens - 2015. If you want to reprint parts of this, just email me for my permission at


Comments (21)

No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

HI Tanya, Great work and congrats on a quick sale.. It's always imperative that we as, stagers - stage with the potential buyers in mind.. God bless,

Aug 18, 2008 02:54 AM
Leslie Hoyt
Hello Home! - Greenville, SC
Hello Home!

Very good job and very good post!! I am going to use it on our web blog, if you don't mind? We get asked this all the time, too!


Aug 18, 2008 08:30 AM
Tanya Nouwens
Immeubles Deakin Realty - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

Thanks to all of you for your kind words; they mean a lot.  Feel free to use this on your web blog, Leslie.  Now I must go sort my Pier I sale purchases.  I believe I have a serious case of "I-feel-the-need-to-up-my-inventory-itis." I clearly need to get a grip, and to practise my new mantra, "Thou shalt not get sucked in by another Pier 1 clearance sale."  :)

Have a great day everyone.


Aug 18, 2008 09:17 AM
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Tanya - that's awesome! The room looks great. This is a point that can never be discussed to much. Congrats on the quick sale!

Aug 18, 2008 10:00 AM
Julie Davis, Amy Blank - Rediscovered Interiors, LLC
Rediscovered Interiors, LLC - Andover, MN

Great after picture!--another reason to use the demographics when we stage!  Sometimes, I think the before's pictures are "staged" themselves, but this week we were in a home that is a lot like your before--so, it is real!! some people do live like that, and those are the rooms that give the best after pictures -- they are killers to work on and to get the homeowners motivated to get the stuff out, but boy, they are the best when they are done!!!!

Aug 18, 2008 10:08 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

WOW!  Great transformation and congrats on the quick sale!!  Good for you!!  Thanks for sharing and great post!!

Aug 18, 2008 10:48 AM
Fernando Rosado
West Palm Beach, FL
561-906-0050 or 561-840-8950

Tanya ~ Terrific Staging job. Thats exactly what sells quicker. Wish everyone would get it! Great staging

Aug 18, 2008 11:56 AM
Kathi Presutti
RE:STYLE LLC - Brighton, MI
Re:Style, LLC

Tanya--great job! Celebrate the sale (even if your way of celebrating is to invest in more inventory!) I come from the advertising business, and we always focus on the target market as a part of doing business. You are so right to do this!

Aug 19, 2008 01:18 PM
Kristina Leone
Lionheart Home Staging, LLC - Minneapolis, MN

Excellent work!  This is a great example of the right way to stage!

Aug 19, 2008 03:01 PM
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Tanya! I have missed your smiling face! Great example AND explanation. Stagers have the harder of the two jobs, because we have to please EVERYONE, not just the homeowner!

Aug 19, 2008 03:11 PM
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

And that is Home Staging - great example of the difference between the 2.

Aug 19, 2008 03:47 PM
Michele Hess
Simply Staged Inc. - Rockford, IL
Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc

Tanya - Fantastic looking room and great use of such a small space.  Well done!

Aug 19, 2008 10:14 PM
Tanya Nouwens Gurberg -- Ready, Set...Sold!, Professional Home S

What a supportive bunch all of you are!

And yes, I did celebrate our success...I've moved from Pier 1 clearance sales to mid-century modern furniture and artwork finds!  OMG what fun!  Not sure I'll ever use them in my stagings (unless I get a really hip condo again sometime soon) but in the meantime that new Danish teak side table I got looks FAB in my living room...which I am determined to furnish and accessorize using craigslist finds....oooohh, I see another blog coming on about the development of my living room from craigslist fab finds...I'll get back to you all on that...stay tuned.

Elaine: I've missed you too!  Your blogs keep me in stitches and...quite "Depends." You're the best!

Happy day, all.


Aug 20, 2008 12:42 PM
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

That room looked so small!!!  I'm amazed that you could make it a bedroom

Aug 21, 2008 03:14 AM
Richard Baggett
AFI Mortgage - Lake Charles, LA

WOW..... You are good.  RBB

Aug 21, 2008 06:40 AM
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

There was a room under there? lol - great job on the staging.

Aug 21, 2008 02:19 PM
Linda Schulte
Keller Williams - Alpharetta, GA

I appreciate my stager's advice and hard work SO much!  She always says, "Decorating is putting personality INTO a room, and staging is taking the personality OUT (so that it will appeal to more buyers).  I have a lot on my plate when listing a home for sale, so knowing that my stager is on board, is a big help!

Linda Schulte, Keller Williams North Atlanta

Aug 23, 2008 03:27 PM
Abby Roselli
ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC - Staten Island, NY
Staten Island Home Stager

What an awesome transformation, Tanya. 

I agree, that room did look tiny, even looking beyond all the 'stuff'.  I don't know that anyone could have pictured a bed AND dresser fitting in that room like that.  You proved it!  Now that's what I'm talkin' about!!!!

Aug 24, 2008 02:00 AM
KO Designs
KO Designs, LLC - Kansas City, MO

Tanya, this is a great post. This room meets with the ultimate goal of staging this house - appealing to the buyer - & looks good.

May 01, 2009 12:52 PM
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Love your inclusion of pictures... I can't quite picture the tan melamine cabintes with the teak trim.

May 14, 2009 04:50 AM