Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Staging Your Home will Help You Sell It...
If You do it Right

Professionally staging a home will increase its value, create excitement in realtors and buyers, and frequently lead to a faster, more profitable sale. And yes, you can do it yourself (DIY).

There is a big difference between interior decorating and prepping your home for a buyer. In fact, they are exact opposites of each other.

  • Interior decorating showcases your taste, color preferences, art collections and memorabilia. Decorating is for you, the homeowner.
  • Staging, uses a proven formula to add color, art, furniture and decorator accents to showcase your home. It's marketing to entice a buyer.

We love to feel cozy and comfortable in our homes. And we should! But when it come time to sell, it's in our best financial interest to give up the comfort and give the buyer what they want. You might argue it feels like living in someone else's home. But that's the whole idea.

You want every buyer who walks through the door to feel a rush of excitement. To literally fall in love. It happens within the first two to three seconds. It's not logical, it's not rational, it's emotional. And there is a way to make it happen...every time.

The following example shows you how easy (and inexpensive) it is to transform a room using what you already own.

Living Room Before

Living Room After


  • Walls were painted a soft neutral color (not white).
  • Only enough furniture was left to make the room look large, appealing, and to highlight the best architectural features (the sliding glass door and the view beyond).
  • There is no evidence of personal use.
  • Art, pillows and accessories are in a consistent color scheme.
  • The picture was moved over a bit, and the plant and floor lamp were added to create a pleasing backdrop for the sofa.
  • Cost? A can of paint ($30), three new pillows ($30 - Ross), and artificial green apples ($5 - Hobby Lobby).

Why should you go to all that work when the buyer is just going to change things anyway? Why can't they just buy it as is?

Because presenting your home at its best is going to bring you more money. 

The following steps will take you through the process. You will find tricks of the trade, creative ideas, easy tips, specific instructions, and before and after pictures to help you get the sale you want.

Essential Steps to a Profitable Sale

  1. Committment to the Process - Do you really want to move? Do some serious soul-searching to make sure you (and your partner) are fully committed.
  2. Hire the Right Realtor - Tips for finding the best realtor for you.
  3. Deliver the Dream - Think like a buyer. Why would they want to live in your home?
  4. Looking Through the Eyes of the Buyer - See what the buyer sees when they step inside your door.
  5. Sorting and Packing - Step-by-step how to do it as painlessly as possible. And in the process, how to identify great staging props you already own.
  6. Color - What's the best color for your walls, accents, and accessories? How the designers do it.
  7. Repairs - Can you afford to lose thousands of dollars by ignoring a $100 repair? 
  8. Cheap Free and Budget Conscious Ideas - You don't have to spend a lot of money. Find creative ways to make your house beautiful and share your ideas! 
  9. Clean - Inside and out and pest free (need information about bedbugs?).
  10. Improvements - Invest your time and money where you'll get the greatest returns.
  11. Arranging Furniture - How the pros do it.
  12. Art that Sells Homes - There is a difference between choosing art that will help sell a home and choosing art for personal reason.
  13. Bathrooms - A formula that works every time.
  14. Kitchens - Buyers LOVE a professionally staged kitchen...and it's so easy.
  15. Bedrooms - Make your bedrooms irresistibly inviting.
  16. Dining Rooms - Invite your buyers to imagine a lovely dinner in their NEW home.
  17. Greenery - Where the magic happens.
  18. Going the Distance - How to keep it that way.
  19. Hiring a Home Stager - What to look for and questions to ask if you need more help.

Are You a Decorator, Stager or Homeowner with a Great Idea?
You're invited to share your inspiration in our share success forum.

Get A European Perspective
When preparing a home for sale, the basics are the same, but the finish selections may vary depending on where you live. Get a European perspective on staging a home to sell.

Vacant Home and No Budget for Staging?
Vignettes could be the answer.

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.