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"Staging" vs. "Home Design": The Art of Storytelling for Your Home

Have you ever walked into a house that simply feels like a home? A place that narrates a beautiful story, one that inspires you and evokes a comforting warmth within?

That's the power of an effectively staged home.

However, it's important to clarify that 'staging' and 'home design'—though intertwined—are not synonymous. Both are important elements in the realm of interior design, but they each serve different purposes and are suited to different contexts. Understanding these differences can transform the way you present your home, especially if you're preparing to sell.

Home Design: The Expression of Personality

At its core, home design is a deeply personal process—a canvas where you splatter your individuality and life experiences. It's an exploration of your tastes, preferences, and aspirations translated into a tangible living environment. It involves choosing the perfect wall colors that reflect your personality, furniture that fits your lifestyle, and décor that mirrors your values.

The ultimate goal of home design is to create a space that resonates with you, a place that you love coming back to every day, where every corner is imbued with memories and sentiments. It's about constructing your ideal living space, a haven that serves as an extension of your identity.

Home design is also about convenience. You wouldn't keep your most common used things tucked away most days, which is why you have it within reach for easy access in your every day living.

Home Design vs Staging before and after

Staging: The Art of Selling a Dream

Staging, on the other hand, is a strategic exercise designed to showcase your home's potential to prospective buyers. It's not about creating a personalized space, but rather crafting a universally appealing environment that potential buyers can see themselves in.

Unlike home design, which is a permanent endeavor, staging is temporary—like setting up a stage for a performance. Here, the stars of the show are the features of your home, and the aim is to spotlight these attributes while minimizing any possible distractions. The central idea is to create a neutral yet inviting atmosphere that allows buyers to visualize their own lives within the space.

Interior designer and staging expert, Heather Odean of Karis Home Solutions, encourages you to think of this as no longer your home. She gives a wide angle view of the home to determine how it's going to present best in photos to attract the most amount of buyers for your property.

Staging vs Home Design before and after
Why Staging Makes a Difference When Selling Your Home

Now that we understand the difference between home design and staging, let's delve into why the latter is so crucial when preparing to sell your home. The simple answer is: staging sells a lifestyle, not just a property.

  1. Creates Emotional Connection: When done correctly, staging can elicit an emotional response from potential buyers. It presents an aspirational lifestyle that they can picture themselves living. As they walk through a beautifully staged home, they start to envision their family dinners in the dining room, their children playing in the living room, their peaceful mornings in the serene master bedroom.
  2. Highlights Potential and Function: Staging effectively demonstrates how each space in the house can be utilized to its full potential. It reveals possibilities and inspires ideas. This can be particularly beneficial in properties with unconventional layouts or smaller spaces, as staging can provide creative solutions to perceived limitations. Proper placement of certain furniture or decor can anchor corners to intentionally draw your eye to or away from other areas of the home.
  3. Speeds Up the Selling Process: A well-staged home can often sell faster than a non-staged one. This is why you see new construction communities have a staged model home - and why that floor plan tends to be the most popular style in the neighborhood. It allows buyers to mentally move into the space, making them more likely to put in an offer. By decluttering and depersonalizing the space, staging reduces potential distractions, helping buyers to focus on the strengths of the property.

Watch the Video for Before and After tips, with Interior Designer Heather Odean

Best Staging Practices: Crafting Enchanting Spaces for Home Buyers

In the canvas of home staging, every room tells a different part of the story. Each space is a chapter in the book of your home, each corner whispering tales of comfort, joy, and warmth. To ensure that these narratives are conveyed effectively, it's crucial to stage each space with a keen understanding of its unique role in the home. Let's delve into the best staging practices for the main areas of your house—the kitchen, the living room, the primary bedroom, and the bathroom.

Kitchen: The Heart of the Home

A well-staged kitchen is the tantalizing aroma of fresh coffee in the morning, the whispers of shared secrets over midnight snacks, the laughter bouncing off the walls during family dinners. It's the heart of the home, a haven of delicious memories.

Do: Clean and declutter. Remove unnecessary items from above cabinets and on the countertops, leaving only a few, high-quality kitchen essentials. These suggest the space is functional and ready to be used.

Don't: Leave personal items, refrigerator magnets or worn-out utensils visible. This can detract from the overall impression of cleanliness and care.


Living Room: The Soul of Togetherness

Your living room is a space of connection, where shared experiences weave the threads of family and friendship into a beautiful tapestry. It's a room that invites relaxation, conversation, and togetherness.

Do: Arrange the furniture to create an inviting conversation area, making it look as big and wide as possible. Use neutral colors for large items, adding pops of color with accessories and decor. Make sure the room is well-lit, using both natural and artificial light sources.

Don't: Overcrowd the space. While you want to showcase the room's potential, it's important to avoid making it feel cramped. Keep decor to a minimum to avoid distraction. Remove pet furniture and toys


Primary Bedroom: A Sanctuary of Rest

The primary bedroom is a personal retreat, a serene oasis where each day begins and ends. It should feel like a soothing caress at the end of a long day, a peaceful escape from the world's hustle and bustle.

Do: Use plush linens, soft lighting, and calming colors to create an atmosphere of tranquility. Showcase the room's storage potential with neatly arranged closets, keeping the floors cleared as much as possible.

Don't: Ignore the bed's visual appeal. A well-made bed can transform the entire look and feel of the bedroom. Avoid loud, busy patterns that can disrupt the peaceful ambiance.


Bathroom: A Spa-like Retreat

The bathroom may be one of the smaller rooms in the house, but it's an area where luxury and relaxation should take center stage. A well-staged bathroom is like a personal spa—a space for rejuvenation and self-care.

Do: Ensure the bathroom is immaculate. Use white, fluffy towels, a new bar of soap, and perhaps a small plant or two to evoke a luxurious, spa-like feel. Pull up bath rugs to present the flooring in full, creating a bigger space. Make sure to clean mirrors, faucets and shower glass so they reflect properly in your photos.

Don't: Leave personal items in view. From toothbrushes and shampoo bottles to used towels, these items can detract from the overall image of a clean, luxurious bathroom.

This checklist is sure to help you get your home looking its best and keep buyers focused on the best features. Complete these tasks to ensure your listing attracts the highest number of potential buyers to net you the most amount of money!
Checklist: Prep Your Home to Sell

This checklist is sure to help you get your home looking its best and keep buyers focused on the best features. Complete these tasks to ensure your listing attracts the highest number of potential buyers to net you the most amount of money!

In essence, staging is a form of storytelling. It crafts a compelling narrative about your home, inviting potential buyers to imagine their own stories unfolding within its walls. It's a powerful strategy that not only emphasizes the strengths of your property, but also touches the hearts of prospective buyers, sparking their imagination and fostering a deeper connection to the space.

Remember, people buy homes, not houses. The magic lies in how effectively you transform your house into a prospective home for others. Let's unlock that potential with the power of staging. Consult with your real estate advisor on best practices specific to your market and craft a magnetic marketing strategy for your home!


Helping happy homeowners,

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