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Home Staging or Redecorating? – A Few Tricks

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This is Part 1 of a 3 post series highlighting a house that I staged for a client.  You can follow the Home Staging  series by clicking on the links at the end of this post.

It took me a few days to do the entire house and I am happy to say that the house sold in 4 days.  If your house is on the market or you are going to be putting it on the market soon – staging is an absolute must. You don’t have to go crazy like they show on the HGTV shows,  but  you do need to put a little bit of effort into de-cluttering, de-personalizing, and neutralizing. If you at least do these three things in every room you will be a few steps ahead of the competition in your neighborhood.  It is a tough economy right now and the real estate industry has taken a huge hit. To sell a house, you need to do as much as you can to make the house desirable to a wide array of buyers.

I started with making the glass fronted kitchen cabinets look more appealing. The homeowner had very colorful dishes that where just begging to be shown off.

Home Staging tips and TricksStaging-a-kitchen-cabinet-a

I used to do staging for a living.

Long story short. I had a staging business with a partner – we were very successful – never go into a business partnership – end of story.

After I sold my share of the business I went back to working in display, then in January I left my display job to pursue blogging full time, but still get calls to stage homes.  I enjoy doing this – my display background comes in pretty handy when I need to make little changes like tweaking not only what  is displayed in glass fronted kitchen cabinets, but bigger changes, too – like changing this formal living room

Home Staging Tips and Tricks

with a neutral pale yellow (Benjamin Moore Greenmount Silk HC-3) to coordinate with the rest of the first floor rooms.  The room looks open and airy now.

I also updated the window treatments – I could not find long 95-inch long panels for the windows in a color that coordinated in the set budget, so I ended up draping un-sewn fabric yardage over $13 WalMart rods. The ends puddle on the floor.  I will show you how I did this in my next post.


Working on getting this home ready for the market reminded me of all the tips and tricks I use and take for granted. I learned most of them in my early days of working in display- back in the 80’s.  YIKES! I have been doing this kind of stuff for a long time.   I don’t even give the way I do things a second thought, but thought I could start a series to share them with you.   They can be used when just decorating your house, too – not just for staging a home.

I am still working on this house and will be finished on Friday. I wish I could say staging is just like you see on the HGTV shows, but most of the clients I help do not have $1000 budgets to buy lots of decorative accessories, plus pay my hourly fee.   On HGTV  the stager’s fee is never mentioned, only what they had to spend on paint, new furnishings, and accessories.

I only buy the absolute necessities – and each home is different in what it needs. What I do is search every nook and cranny in the home for items to use. I am usually pretty successful.  Most homeowners don’t mind me snooping around and I have unearthed items that the homeowner forgot they even owned.  I use things I find in kitchens in the bathrooms and relocate items from the garage in the family room.

Staging or just making your home look more fresh and modern using what you already own comes down to three things.

1. De-cluttering – enough said.

2.  Keeping things larger in scale. No dinky junk – knick-knacks, small throw rugs, etc.  Lots of little items have no impact.

3.  Try to make the rooms on each floor flow easily into one another. This is done by picking a few colors and implementing them in each room. The rooms don’t have to match, but if one room has green walls, add a bit of green to the adjoining room by adding a green accessory, area rug, or in the artwork.  Visually the rooms will feel more connected when you do this.

Always keep in mind to make any room look fresh and appealing to the eye –

Less is more!

Take away a few things from time to time in each of your spaces. Move them to different rooms or use them for different purposes.  You may like them better in their new place/purpose.

Experiment – it is free.

Here are 3 things I did today.


1.  I needed picture hanging wire

No need to run to WalMart –AGAIN!   I just make a paperclip chain and attached it to the back of the frame with two staples using my staple gun.    You could also use dental floss – just double it up and tie each end under each side’s staple.


2.  I left furniture dents on the carpet after moving furniture.

To fix all the unsightly dents I put a few ice cubes in each dent, let them melt a bit, raked the dent with a fork in all directions, let the ice melt more, raked again and let it dry.  By the time I left for the day the carpet was smooth.  If you have a very deep dent you may have to do this process a few times.

You can also place a white cloth over the dents and use the steam from a steam iron to remove the dents. Do not do this without putting down a white cloth first!  If your carpet fibers are synthetic then you could melt your carpet!!!  Take it from me, I know this fact from experience.   Which is why I like the ice method better.


3.  Needed to hang framed art on the wall and didn’t want to make a big hole.

This is the only way I hang items on walls – heavy duty straight pins or Bank pins.  Hammer them in on an angle – they hold almost everything. I buy these by the box and one box will last a DIY decorator a lifetime.  In the display profession – these pins are an absolute must in a toolbox.  No big holes left when displays are changed week to week.  You can find small boxes at sewing stores like JoAnn’s Fabrics or order them from display catalogs online.


To follow the series, click on this link –

Staging or Decorating Tips and Tricks, Part 2

Staging or Decorating Tips and Tricks, Part 3

Do you have any tricks that you use and don’t even think about that may help others do things more easily?  I would love to hear them.

Priceless Staging tips for selling your home. You only have one first impression to sell a house, get it right the first time. 

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  1. Great idea for a series of posts, Diane! I do much the same as you, try to buy as little as possible. Of course, it was harder when I had to do my own home two years ago before going on the market! I really like those pins; I’ll have to look for them. I usually use a common nail – nothing huge, but I like the head to be wide enough to actually hold the picture or whatever I’m hanging. These look perfect. Picture wire or D-clip hangers I use those ‘ook” hooks (I think that’s what they are called). Love them!

    1. Hi Kathy-

      I have seen the ‘ook’ hooks – now that I know they work I will have to try them out. Thanks for the tip.

    1. Hi Traci –

      I am still deciding what I want to be when I grow up. :) Actually when I went back to work after selling my staging business – It was just a part time job so I would get a discount on clothes, but they liked me and it turned into a full time job, then my hubby lost his and we needed medical benefits so I kept working until January when things began changing way too much at the store I worked at. I prefer being my own boss and will start doing online dec consults soon – just want to wait until I know where hubby’s new job is going to take us. Once that is settled then I feel I can give 100% to building that end of my business again.

  2. Great post! I love staging and love reading about staging. :)

    I would like to add: Never get a neighbor a job at a job that you LOVE. It does NOT work. :) I’ll leave it at that…

    Enjoy your week!

  3. great tips! i never thought about the stagers fee….they always make everything look and sound affordable on tv..the truth comes out.


    1. Or how much it would cost to have a carpenter re-work kitchen cabinetry or woodwork etc. They “ignore” those costs also.