A Home for the Holidays: Successful staging regardless of the season

Home Stager with Staged by Design®

I love Fall. However, cool weather and afternoon light are just the beginning of what quickly turns into the chaos of back to back holidays. If you can't believe I'm even mentioning the holiday season in October, just take a whirl in any of your local retail stores. You'll find skeleton costumes right next to the turkey decorations that are a mere aisle away from the Christmas lights.

If you find that you need to list or sell a home during the holidays.....

-How do you Stage your home, live in it while keeping it on the market, yet observe holiday rituals?

-Should homes that are vacant be Staged using Holiday decor?

First let me state that I'm the last one to talk about moderation when it comes to personal Holiday Decor. I have 16 boxes of assorted holiday decorations alone in my basement. (Seriously, 16. Just ask my husband.) However, since I'm not selling my home, I can deck my halls any way I like without it affecting the value of my home.

When Staging a home, your goal is to appeal to the broadest group of individuals. This goal does not change with the calendar. The following are suggestions for observing the season without alienating potential buyers.

Halloween: Seasonal décor vs. Holiday specific is always preferred. Tablescapes could include mini-pumpkins or mums instead of draping your front porch with faux spider webs and a graveyard along your front drive. (Just a tip: that cute little pumpkin tastefully placed on your buffet will continue to look fresh for well over a month until you pick it to reveal its rotten bottom. I learned that one the hard way.)

Thanksgiving: Put away the crepe paper turkeys prior to a showing. Consider incorporating warm colors into table settings or accents instead.

Christmas: A simple fresh evergreen wreath on the front door is always welcoming. A partially deflated Santa on your lawn? Not so much. Does this mean that I wouldn’t put up a Christmas tree if my occupied home were on the market in December? No, that’s not practical for me. But I would only use 1 box of décor of my personal stash, as moderation is key.

Vacant Homes: Beware of using any fresh seasonal options in vacant homes. That lovely bouquet will be rotted and unappealing in a few days. A tasteful, seasonally appropriate wreath on the door may be all you need to observe the holidays while still maximizing your home’s appeal to the masses.

Leigh Newport

Staged by Design








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  1. Will Nesbitt 10/12/2008 12:23 AM
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Annie Pinsker-Brown
Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging - Los Angeles, CA
Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager

Great point Leigh! I have had that situation in a vacant home where the builders wanted me to decorate for the season and wouldn't take no for an answer. There I was back in January to remove the wreaths & reindeers! :)

Oct 08, 2008 05:59 AM #1
Leigh Newport
Staged by Design® - Leesburg, VA
Northern Virginia Home Staging

Thank you, Annie. The things we do to make the clients happy!


Oct 08, 2008 07:12 AM #2
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Leigh Newport

Northern Virginia Home Staging
Contact me to have your house staged and SOLD!!!

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